Thoughts from Doohan, Martins and Vesti

FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to the top three qualifiers for the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here at the Hungaroring. In third place, Frederik Vesti for PREMA Racing, in second place Victor Martins for ART Grand Prix and taking the fourth pole position of his FIA Formula 2 career, our polesitter, Jack Doohan, for Invicta Virtuosi Racing. Jack, very well done, first pole of 2023. It hasn't been the easiest of seasons for you so far, so describe how you feel after this pole position.

Jack Doohan: I'm quite happy to say the least, coming from being on pole in my maiden Formula 2 race into my second season and getting pole in Round 10, so it's been quite a while. It's definitely not been as easy, even today it wasn't easy at all. Not as easy as I would have liked to have it. Happy to be back.

FIA Formula 2: A lot of people expected this kind of pace from you all season. What has clicked this weekend in particular?

Doohan: I think having fully the confidence back with the team and myself, with my engineer and me. I think the car has been back to normal since Monaco, or more so, Barcelona. After half a season or more of not really knowing what's going on your engineer starts to question himself, I'm questioning myself and you can start to drift away. Now that we've come back in together, I have confidence in him, he has confidence in me. We had a car to deliver today and luckily, I did.

FIA Formula 2: It was very tight at the top between all three of you. You aborted your final lap having gone purple in the middle sector. Were you tempted to complete that?

Doohan: So we had an issue before the start of the final run so I wasn't able to go out with everyone which looked quite scary for a moment because we might not have been able to go out for the last run but we were able to get the car going. I had to do my out lap and prep lap on the push lap for everyone else, so it wasn't an ideal warm up at all. The first lap luckily was enough for pole but to be honest it wasn't really an amazing feeling, but it was a good lap. For the second lap it was going to be a lot better, I think we were three-tenths up after Sector 2 and four and half tenths up after Turn 12 but as we know it’s quite brutal here in Sector 3. Turns 13 and 14 were going to be quite harsh and my engineer decide to save that, so my engineer decided to box after we knew we were going to be ok.

FIA Formula 2: Let's throw it forward to this Feature Race. What are you biggest concerns going into the race itself?

Doohan: To be honest I don't have many concerns I just look forward to adding more points to the board and I don't really have any pressure on myself. The cards I've been dealt for the first half of the season weren't amazing so I'm not in a title contending position at this point in time, but I look forward to putting myself in that position very soon. I'll be going full gas and going for the win.

FIA Formula 2: Best of luck with that, Victor coming to you. Quick all afternoon, less than a tenth short in the end. How good was your lap?

Victor Martins: Not so good I would say. Honestly, I started the second run with a mistake on the first push so I was not putting myself on the right foot for that run. I knew I would have another opportunity on the second push to do the lap, so I just did a clean one to be there. I wasn't thinking I was going to stay P3 with no laps in the second run but people around were not improving that much. I got provisional pole for a bit but then Jack got it after that. It was a clean one but there was a bit more today.

FIA Formula 2: Talk to us about the track conditions, how much did the track surface evolve during the session?

Martins: I think we were expecting a lot of improvements from the second set. Of course I was watching Formula 3 and looking at the lap times. It was quite quick compared to last year's pole position, so I was actually expecting good grip on the track, which was the case but on the second run there wasn't that much improvement. It was the same for everybody, in the end it was just a matter of getting it right for the overall qualifying.

FIA Formula 2: Victor you've won here in the past and you come here on the back of your first Formula 2 win in the Feature Race at Silverstone. How much confidence do you have going into the business end of the weekend?

Martins: I have good confidence, for sure when you come from a win at Silverstone you always have the confidence in yourself and in the team. The car has been quick all the time, so obviously I will have another opportunity tomorrow and another opportunity on Sunday to get those performances on the board. I'm looking forward to racing now, I'll be starting on the front row so I just need to keep working with the team. The car is super strong so we need to keep this confidence high and have a good one.

FIA Formula 2: Best of luck with that. Fred, coming to you now. Fastest after the first runs when the Red Flag came out. Are you disappointed not to be on pole, was there more pace in the car?

Frederik Vesti: I think I was on pole on lap one, lap two and lap three and I think Jack and Victor beat us at the end. I think since FP the car was really strong so I'm just happy to bounce back like this from what was a bit of a harsh weekend in Silverstone. It's a good start to the weekend so it's good to be on pole especially when it's this close and the car felt good.

FIA Formula 2: You say it was a harsh weekend at Silverstone, a hugely frustrating weekend, how do you feel coming into this weekend as a result of what happened at Silverstone?

Vesti: I very much try to focus on what I can control, first of all the Safety Car was not a good thing in the Feature Race at Silverstone and I got taken out by no fault of my own during the Safety Car restart. Sometimes this happens and that's why we try to build the Championship lead. Luckily, I had enough points to take from but it's not what we want and we're here now to try and rebuild that lead that we had.

FIA Formula 2: Théo Pourchaire starts alongside you on the grid in the Feature Race, how important is it that you finish ahead of him? Or are you still playing the long game?

Vesti: I'm here to take pole so I don't really think too much where Theo is, but it seems like we're glued together because when I do a bad quali and when I'm in the front he's in the front. For sure we will continue our close fight and I'm sure we will see each other on track.

FIA Formula 2: Best of luck to you.