Thoughts from Drugovich, Pourchaire and Vips
FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here in Monaco, in third place Juri Vips, in second place Théo Pourchaire, and winning his fourth race of the 2022 campaign and his third race in a week. Our winner, Felipe Drugovich. Felipe, many congratulations. What a race. How sweet was that view from the top step of the podium?
Felipe Drugovich: Thank you very much. It was just an incredible race for me. In the beginning, everything was really nice out in front. But towards the end, I was struggling so much and I had to keep up with Théo behind. Luckily, I managed to do that and not make any big mistakes. I'm just so happy right now.
FIA Formula 2: Just talk us through that pressure that Théo had you under?
Drugovich: I cannot even explain that. We're still quite dead after the race because it was very physical. The steering was really heavy for me and I was struggling from the beginning with the car a little bit. Towards the end, it was just crazy. I knew I couldn't make any mistakes and even without any mistakes, he was already too close for comfort at the end of the straight. So it was really tough.
FIA Formula 2: You dominated in Spain last weekend, and you've proved that you can win in a very different way, here in Monaco. Does that give you a lot of satisfaction?
Drugovich: Yeah, it does. We came here this weekend thinking this was going to be our weak point of the season. But we managed to turn it around and find a good setup for the car and I'm just so happy with it.
FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations to you. Thank you, Felipe. Théo to coming to you. You won here last year, and it looked like you really wanted to win here again?
Théo Pourchaire: Of course, I wanted to win Monaco. It's the best race of the season. It's a good weekend overall, for me. P2 Monaco is very good. I think we had the pace to win the race but Felipe did a good job. He didn't make any mistakes, and I was putting a lot of pressure on him, for sure. I was really close at some points, I was almost crashing into him sometimes, in the Hairpin the front wing was almost touching his wheels. But yeah, it was fine and I'm happy but a bit exhausted physically and mentally right now.
FIA Formula 2: As you say you were very close to him. How close did you get to committing to an overtake?
Pourchaire: At one point, I wanted to go for the Nouvelle Chicane. But I was a bit too far back. I mean, I think we were going to make contact I was going to try to overtake because I had rear locking, the tires were struggling, the car was moving everywhere. So the only option for me was to put pressure on Felipe and wait for him to make a mistake. But he didn't do one and I was close one time, I think it was lap two or three, in the swimming pool section I was almost doing a big crash there.
FIA Formula 2: Perhaps your best opportunity came during the pitstop where Felipe had a slightly slow stop. Were you aware that there was an opportunity?
Pourchaire: Of course, my stop was not the best one as well, but we were really close to overtaking Felipe at the pitstop. We had an opportunity to box in the safety car. We all did that, it was a good thing for us but in the end, we did our maximum. We were really close to winning this race, but P2 is fine.
FIA Formula: Final one for me. What's your take on the championship situation now Felipe is 32 points ahead?
Pourchaire: Yeah. 32 points. I mean, it's a lot. But we've only done five rounds. In two weeks, it's Baku. It's another story, a completely new story, and the championship is very long. I know I have the pace to win it.
FIA Formula 2: All right. Thank you. So Jüri coming to you now, many congratulations to you as well. Good to see you back on the podium after a difficult couple of rounds. Now at one point, it looked like you were going to join these two in a battle for the lead. Just talk us through it.
Jüri Vips: Yeah, after the Safety Car. I mean, I never had the pace of Théo. I think he was taking a lot of risks on cold tyres at the beginning, which I wasn't willing to take because of the season I've had. I just wanted to finish the race. Then I kind of stayed with them, within DRS just about. Then there was one lap in the Hairpin when I wound the lock on and I got into second gear. And because the steering wheel was at like 300 degrees, I didn't know which way it was and I wanted to downshift and went to third and then fourth and nearly stalled. Then I had to grab the clutch and I lost like four or five seconds with that. I nearly caught up with them and but the same as Felipe, we had really bad graining. the last sort of four or five laps I dropped off quite a lot as well. Otherwise, the pace was good, because, after that error in the Hairpin, I could catch up with him again.
FIA Formula 2: And Jüri, is there a sense of relief to just put together a tidy Feature Race?
Vips: Yeah, definitely. I don't think it's been the easiest weekend. But I don't think the outcomes would have been too different if it went smoothly either. Because of the red flag in Qualifying, also I didn't get to do the last two corners at any time in Practice. So, Qualifying was the first time that I got to do them at speed, and I got blocked on my first lap as well. So I only had like one push lap to do them at full speed. So yeah, I lost like two tenths in the last sector and missed out on the front row. I don't think it would have made a massive difference in the end because I think Felipe would have ultimately been on pole anyway. So just happy to get a result.
FIA Formula 2: Many congratulations.