Thoughts from Verschoor, Daruvala and Sargeant
FIA Formula 2: A very warm welcome to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here at the Red Bull Ring. In third place Logan Sargeant for Carlin, in second Jehan Daruvala for PREMA Racing, and taking his first Feature Race win in FIA Formula 2 our winner Richard Verschoor for Trident. Now Richard what an opportunistic, brilliant, victory by you. Have you ever won a race like that before?
Richard Verschoor: I think I did in karting! Already on Friday, I saw that the track dried out very quickly and then the team asked me last minute "Did you want to change tires or not?" I said "Yeah, let's do it. We're eighth anyway!"
FIA Formula 2: Well talk us through the decision to start the race on slicks, because it clearly wasn't a foregone conclusion?
Verschoor: No, I wasn't, I was in quite a bit of doubt. Normally when I say "Okay, let's do it." they have a response. But as soon as I said "Okay, let's do it." they started changing tyres. So I was just thinking I hope it's the right decision.
FIA Formula 2: What made you do it?
Verschoor: Because I saw on the reconnaissance lap that it was drying, and there were only like two or three corners where actually where we would lose time on the slicks. So that was the decision for me.
FIA Formula 2: And how tricky were those early laps?
Verschoor: Quite tricky for me, we were a bit lucky with the Safety Car because the track was drying. Mainly Turn 1, Turn 3 and Turn 4 were a bit tricky braking, but from there on it was just about getting temp in the tyres and pushing from there.
FIA Formula 2: Once you got temping the tires, any dramas after that at all?
Verschoor: Not really, to be honest, the pitstop was a tricky one, because the entry was a bit wet and the exit was as well. But the team did a really good stop. Then it was about getting the tires on the temp, on the medium it was a bit more difficult but from there it was all clean.
FIA Formula 2: There was a drama on the slowdown lap actually, what was the issue there?
Verschoor: I wish I could tell you. I'm praying it's not fuel. I will cry if that's the case. But let's see.
FIA Formula 2: And what kind of reception did you get from the crowd? I'm sure all these Dutch fans are here to see you.
Verschoor: Yeah, it was great. I heard after the race that something had happened, that's definitely something that we should exclude from happening again. Apart from that, the orange army was amazing. They gave me a big cheer even when I was in the Safety Car waving. So that was really nice.
FIA Formula 2: Very well done to you, Jehan, let's come to you now. 11th to second is a very good day at the office. Was the start tyre obvious to you as well?
Jehan Daruvala: To be honest, no it wasn't that obvious. It was more my team's call to go on the slicks. I was really unsure, but in the end they just said let's do it.
FIA Formula 2: At what moment in the race did the slick become the dominant tyre?
Darvuala: For me, it was pretty much after the first lap knowing that I didn't lose any positions to the cars on wets I said we're on the right tyre. I was already quicker than them in Turns 6, 7 and 8. Turn 3 was really tricky. Actually, I think the Safety Car helped them because if they did another two laps on the wets, they probably would have lost another five to six seconds. So yeah, the slicks were definitely helpful. The team made a good call and that's mainly why we are sitting second.
FIA Formula 2: And what about the big moments thereafter? Just talk us through the rest of the race.
Daruvala: To be honest, the whole weekend we haven't really been quick enough in general in the dry. It's a bit of a mystery. I think I took a lot of risks in pity entry and pit exit. I had a good out lap, and I was able to undercut Merhi. I was behind them before the stop and I think was six seconds ahead of him one or two laps after. I think I did a good job in the pitstop and the team did an excellent pitstop. That was helpful because we really struggled with pace after that, every lap on the radio my engineer was like... 5.4s... 3.6s... 3.2s... and I was thinking Merhi's going to come at one point. I knew he had a penalty as well. So the goal was to not fight him too hard. I still tried to have clean air on my tyres but in the end P2.
FIA Formula 2: Well done to you Jehan. Now Logan, let's come to you. You started the race third, and you finished third. But that really does not tell the story of your race, does it?
Logan Sargeant: No it definitely doesn't tell the story. Similar to them, I had a hunch that the slicks would be better but it's difficult when you're starting third everyone around us was on wets. If you make that call to go to slicks you could ruin the race for you and the whole team. So we stuck with it. It obviously didn't go my way. I did get mad when I was pretty much in last, but it was just a phenomenal stop by the crew and then I was just coming through like a train for the first half of my stint.
FIA Formula 2: How early in the race did you realise you were on the wrong tyre?
Sargeant: On the formation lap, I knew it was pretty much a given that we were going to be in reverse. I was optimistic that maybe we could hold on until the pit window. The Safety Car, I believe, helped us as well. We could keep the tyres cool. I mean, obviously, the outcome is good, considering the strategy call we made
FIA Formula 2: A very aggressive drive by you today. How did the tyre hold up?
Sargeant: I'm not going to lie halfway through my medium stint I was a little worried. I was sliding around a lot, I was starting to grain the fronts. However, I knew from yesterday that even if there's a slower car in front of you, it's hard to get close. So I knew as long as I didn't make any mistakes and just kept on putting in decent enough laps, they wouldn't be able to get close enough to overtake.
FIA Formula 2: Now, Logan, you are flying at the moment dare you start to dream about this Championship?
Sargeant: I'm just giving it 100% every time I go out there. I think today was a good example that, we could have called it early on in that race that it was over and weren't going to come back through but we just never gave up. And it's what I'm going to keep doing.
FIA Formula 2: All right, very well done to you too.