FIA Formula 2: Welcome to the FIA Formula 2 Championship press conference following today’s Feature Race at the Red Bull Ring. Joining us are race winner George Russell for ART Grand Prix, in second place is Lando Norris for Carlin and in third, Antonio Fuoco for Charouz Racing System. George, starting with you; this is your second consecutive win and your fourth so far of the season. What was the race like in the cockpit, because it didn’t look easy at all.

George Russell: No, it wasn’t at all – the degradation of the supersoft tyres at the start was absolutely enormous and after about the first lap and a half I was sliding all over the place. I thought I was really struggling, and I looked in my mirrors and Lando was really struggling as well, so the first half of the race was really tricky, and after the first safety car period we ended up coming out behind three drivers who had yet to pit, so that was a tricky scenario for us – whether to push to get past these guys, or stay back and save the tyres – so I think Lando opted to stay back at the start to preserve his tyres which gave me a little bit of comfort, really, because it meant I could drop back. From then on it was just a case of managing the tyres, managing the gap to the guys behind me because as we mentioned, in Formula 2 we get very limited testing at a race weekend, so it’s very difficult to know what the tyre degradation is going to be like. So it’s quite easy to go out and push, but maybe you’ll drop off massively – maybe you won’t, when we’re at the front it’s a very tricky gamble to play with. But yeah, we brought the car home, it wasn’t easy but we got the 25 points.

FIA Formula 2: The tyre selection was different to what we had last year, do you think it was the right selection or would you have preferred the softs and the mediums?

George: I would probably have said medium-supersoft, I think the supersofts were good tyres to use in qualifying, get a little extra performance from them, from my side there was a little bit too much tyre management compared to what I would have liked. Moving forward, next year I think medium-supersoft would be the right way to go.

FIA Formula 2: Moving on to you, Lando; like George, you finished from where you started but it also wasn’t a simple afternoon. Could you talk us through it?

Lando Norris: Well, my start was really good laughs. Yeah, I didn’t drop too far behind George so that was all good, and as George said, the first stint was very tricky – the supersofts went off within the first two laps and very quickly I had to try and save tyres. Some areas I caught George, others I dropped back, so as he said it’s very hard to know – with our very short practice sessions – how much to push and how much not to push on a different grade of tyre that we don’t practice on. It’s very hard to judge, and I think it was a bit lucky that we could pit under the safety car and essentially get a free pitstop – we didn’t lose any places or anything. The second phase was not so easy, I got overtaken by a couple of people who opted to push more in the middle of the stint and take a bit of a gamble, but I tried to save as much as I could as I knew there’d be a big amount of degradation. I did what I could, and by the end it paid off, managed to get both of those guys back and they fell back a long way. But in the end, second place was good and I think the pace was maybe good enough to challenge for the win, because it’s not the easiest track to follow closely on. But George did a very good job, and so it was a good race.

FIA Formula 2: Just on those closing laps when you picked off the people who had overtaken you, was that because you had preserved your rubber?

Lando: Yeah, it was basically just me saving a lot more. The main phase was just after the second safety car, and when I got overtaken they were just using the tyres more – maybe when they were colder and I was a bit more preservative because I didn’t want to grain them in the last few laps. That was my idea, and it paid off.

FIA Formula 2: Coming to you Antonio, from P13 to the podium, nobody was expecting that – least of all you! Where did you come from in those final few laps?

Antonio Fuoco: I think I maybe saved a little bit more of my tyres compared to the others, in the last four or five laps I felt quite good with the car. We came back quite quick, so the race was quite good, I just made a mistake on lap three when I crashed with Ferrucci and then I did an extra pitstop for a front nose change. The pace was good, so we’re happy for the podium – for sure, we need to work on qualifying, but for the race I think we are there.

FIA Formula 2: As you say, you had a great recovery after your lap three incident, how do you deal with that psychologically – taking that pitstop and turning it into a podium finish?

Antonio: To be honest, when they told me on the radio that I was 17 seconds behind the last car, I was thinking everything was over, but the second safety car helped us a bit because we closed the gap to the last car and then we just overtook the car in front – we were lucky with it, but we had good pace.