Thoughts from Piastri, Zhou and Verschoor
FIA Formula 2: Well done to the top three Qualifiers for the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here at Silverstone Circuit. Joining us today is poleman Oscar Piastri from PREMA Racing, in second place Guanyu Zhou from UNI-Virtuosi and in third place Richard Verschoor from MP Motorsport. Starting with you Oscar, congratulations on your first ever F2 pole position. You sealed this result on your first stint, can you take us through that lap? And did you know you had done enough for pole?
Oscar Piastri: Firstly, thank you. It's been a while since I've been on pole so I'm pretty happy with that. The lap was very good, it was very clean with no mistakes. To be honest, I didn't know until after the session that I gained so much time in Sector 2. It felt good but I didn't realise it was that good. So, it was just a good lap with no mistakes, and I think that's part of the key at Silverstone. There's so many places where it can go wrong in the high speed corners that staying under the limit a tiny bit is the way to go and it clearly worked out well today.
FIA Formula: It's your third top three since the start of the season. What's your secret, because you've been quite strong in Qualifying?
Piastri: It's nice to be qualifying consistently at the front so far compared to F3. The car has been really good in Qualifying, I think even in Bahrain the car was quite good in Quali. The last three rounds, we were 3rd at Monaco and Baku and now on pole. I think we've well and truly proved we've got a very fast qualifying car as well as fast race car. The car was really mega today so thank you to PREMA. We started the day strong in practice and we clearly kept that pace in qualifying. I don't know what the secret is because I don't feel like I'm doing much different to last year, it's just all clicking at the moment.
FIA Formula 2: That's four more points for you in the Championship but you will be starting from P10 for the first Sprint Race. What can you hope to do from that position?
Piastri: Hopefully, it goes better than Baku Race 1. I think the first aim is always to stay in the top ten so that you get in the reverse grid. We'll see what our race pace is like tomorrow. Generally, it's been strong throughout the year and I think our pace this weekend has been pretty strong too. Hopefully, we can make up a few spots, but with this format you can very much make up for it if you finish inside the top ten. So, the aim is to make no unnecessary risks and hopefully we make up some places.
FIA Formula 2: Thank you very much. Guanyu, coming to you. It's P2 for you, it's your second-best qualifying result of the season and a big improvement from Rounds 2 and 3. Are you satisfied with the result today?
Guanyu Zhou: Well, P2 after a bad few qualifying sessions I'm quite ok with the results even though we had good potential to fight with Oscar. I definitely didn't think we had the potential to be fighting for pole after the first set, because after the first run I was eight tenths off, so I really had to do a huge lap to be able to get close to Oscar. I was setting purples in the last flying lap, and obviously I had someone spin in front me, so I had to back off a little bit to avoid crashing into him, so that didn't help. In general, I think to be back in the front row for the Feature Race is always good.
FIA Formula 2: Why do you think you gained the position in the second stint, what did you differently from the first?
Zhou: Well, this morning I only had four flying laps because of all of red flags so you don't get a lot of laps. So, it's all about how confident you are throwing the car through Sector 2. Especially though Maggots and Becketts there's a high risk of spinning the car around, but it also where you can gain the most. To be honest I knew where I was in P7 I really had to give it everything I had in the car and in myself. That's what was able to let me put almost everything together.
FIA Formula 2: With Oscar on pole position, he's reduced your Championship lead down to one point. You will be starting right in front of him tomorrow, is that something you'll have in mind going into the race?
Zhou: Right now, I'm not thinking too much about the Championship. Oscar is closing the gap, but my focus is over a whole weekend rather than if he's closer to me at this point or that point. It's too early to see. Also, like Oscar said, starting P9 for Race 1 is all about not taking any stupid risks in Lap 1 and getting through to the end. The aim on my side is just to move forward and focus more on Race 2 and the Feature Race on Sunday.
FIA Formula 2: Thank you very much Guanyu. Richard, P3 for you today that's your best ever result in Formula 2 and following P4 in Free Practice this morning. How was your day?
Richard Verschoor: I'm really pleased with today in general, especially coming from Monaco and Baku which were quite difficult weekends for us. I'm happy to be at front again, which is how we more or less started in Bahrain. It feels a bit better to be honest and I hope we can continue like that for the races tomorrow and Sunday.
FIA Formula 2: We had the session ending with two minutes to go, do you think there could have been more for you than P3 without the red flag?
Verschoor: We took a bit of different strategy to most, so we only did one push lap on each set. For us it I don't think it mattered because we only had on push lap anyway.
FIA Formula 2: We know from last season that MP Motorsport have a good package here at Silverstone, are you confident that you can carry that speed in the races tomorrow?
Verschoor: Sure, I am looking forward to racing tomorrow as always. It's what I like most about the weekend. We are starting P8 tomorrow so it will be exciting, hopefully we can stay inside the top ten and get a good result in Race 2 and Race 3.
FIA Formula 2: Thank you!