FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the Press Conference of the top three finishers for the FIA Formula 2 Championship Sprint Race here in Monaco. In third place we have Dennis Hauger from MP Motorsport, in second we have Gabriel Bortoleto from Invicta Racing and on the top step is Taylor Barnard from AIX racing. Taylor your first points in Formula 2 and it’s thanks to a win in Monaco, how sweet does that feel?

Taylor Barnard: It feels absolutely amazing. We had the points in Imola which got taken away from us due to the disqualification which was a shame. You saw by Durksen’s pace that weekend that the car has definitely improved throughout the first half of the season. This weekend we knew that we could have done somethings a little better than what we have done previously. I managed to get reverse pole in Qualifying and from then on we just had to try to execute in the race which we did.

FIA Formula 2: The start was key to that execution, but did you ever feel under pressure at any point?

Barnard: On the Safety Car restarts and after the Red Flag that was not making my life easy. The start was the critical point of the race. I had to push a little bit more than I would have liked to, but no we managed to secure the first position after the first corner and manage it from there.

FIA Formula 2: What was it like sat in the car during the Red Flag period, knowing you were so close to victory but had to wait for a restart?

Barnard: It was agonising. I think everyone can agree, every driver in that situation where it is not just my first win or my first podium but my first points of the year, I had to wait the 10 – 15 minutes in the Pit Lane. I didn’t even know if the race was going to restart or not, so it was a little bit agonising.

FIA Formula 2: Congratulations, Gabriel a second straight podium for you after placing second in Imola. Talk us through the race from your perspective.

Gabriel Bortoleto: I had a great start finally. It was my first good start of the season. Taylor didn’t have the best one, but he still managed to keep the lead into T1. He broke super late and locked up but did a good job keeping the lead. After that I knew it was to try and keep him under pressure, force a mistake or just drive around. That is more or less Monaco, you can’t overtake too much. You can but it is very risky, you really need to have a big pace advantage to try something. That was not the case. I tried to keep putting him under pressure, but he didn’t make a mistake. I think I used a little bit more from my front tyres than he did so at the end he had the pace advantage. I am happy, P2 is good points for the Championship. It is good to get my second podium of the season in Monaco.

FIA Formula 2: Were you pushing pretty hard, you had a few moments at the chicane where you cut the corner, is that a sign of how hard you were pushing to put pressure on?

Bortoleto: No actually in that moment I was not trying to put pressure on him. It was more about Dennis and I, he was also pulling a gap from me to do the Fastest Lap. I was trying to do the same and I maybe pushed a little too much at the chicane and locked up. At that moment I had already given up on trying to put Taylor under pressure, he was not going to make a mistake. I was just trying to put in a good lap, it was not possible. I didn’t have the pace today to do the Fastest Lap. Especially after everyone put on the Option tyres.

FIA Formula 2: How good is it to close up that gap in the Championship, as you said it is back-to-back podiums for you now.

Bortoleto: It’s good. It's good for the points and to gain a position in the Championship but we need to see tomorrow. Tomorrow is the big points race, I am starting P9. It is not going to be easy to make moves. Let’s see what we can do. I really think that it will be tough, but nothing is impossible in motorsport.

FIA Formula 2: Thanks very much, Dennis third place for you. How was it behind the wheel from your perspective?

Dennis Hauger: It was a bit of a train, in the beginning I think I had good pace. As Gabriel said, it is just hard to overtake around here obviously. In the end I think the pace was looking good. At the end, Antonelli came in with the Supersofts. I thought he would be putting a bit more pressure on me. I think he was going for the Fastest Lap. As we were all trying to do at times. It was a not a clean one, I clipped the wall on the first push which was not optimal. I would say I kissed it more, but either way it was a good race. Got some points but it is tomorrow where it really counts. We are starting P8 which is not the easiest. I think it could have looked differently for us this weekend with the Qualifying. We just have to do what we can around here and use the pace we have at least.

FIA Formula 2: It is your first points since Australia, how important was it for you and how relieved are you to get back on the board?

Hauger: Overall this weekend I think we were back to where we were in Melbourne in terms of pace. In Qualifying we had a really strong car and we were on it. We should have been higher, but the pace is looking good, and I feel comfortable with the team and everything on track. It is a confidence boost going forward into Barcelona. It is about keeping that momentum and trying to do the job tomorrow.

FIA Formula 2: Starting P8 tomorrow, is there anything you learned from today’s race that you can use tomorrow or is it limited value in that sense?

Hauger: There is not really very many things you can do. You can just have a good start, which I didn’t, so something to take away there. Overall, I think it is just about keeping clean, pushing in the right moments is a key point. Especially for tomorrow with the Pit Stop. You just have to try and see the balance and everything else for tomorrow.

FIA Formula 2: Great stuff, thanks very much all.