Interviews by Sergio Álvarez; header image by Diego Merino; Singapore circuit photo by George Darwent; extra dry jokes and normal transcribing supplied by Cyril
Here we are then, Formula 2 2021 is GO-GO-GO!
And my man Piastri starts his first F2 race in Bahrain from P7, much like Sr Schu at Spa twenty years ago. That’s after Vips’ not so VIP DSQ, dunno, some high-tech shenanigans relating to the undertray fins on his Hitech machine not being where they wanted to be or initially intended to be, that is below the reference plane so the stewards could complain. Voilà, taking it nice’n’steady, our 2021 Formula 2 champ, and exactly as he had promised earlier on.
Elsewhere, I thought it rather unusual for two Alpine F1 juniors to be duking it out for pole position, either Luca de Meo (that’s DE not DI) sprayed them with some magical speed powder or they have stepped up their game significantly for 2021. Big time or bust baby. If you don’t perform, you reform & head towards GT racing territory, which nobody watches in reality – despite it being good fun overall.
Oh cool, check out these new WordPress functions, you can tweet out my quote just like that if you wish!
We feel sorry for former P-tenner David Beckmann who now moves into P9 and with that Théo Pourchaire is promoted to pole for Saturday’s Sprint Race 1. DB tried hard and he almost made it! #F2 #BahrainGPTweet
Enough of that though, let’s hear from our top three theys – we don’t wanna say men, it’s not at all correct, is it.
Join us as we join Sergio – albeit virtually – and them three top F2 humans, virtually as well. It’s all futures made of virtual insanity, excuse the pun. For all our burning petrolhead desire to be at the circuit in Sakhir, we are extremely nice and law-abiding Portuguese and Spanish citizens in full-on Easter lockdown, coming to us live courtesy of @govpt & @desdelamoncloa. I actually have a bunch of passports, for what it’s worth I’m the real citizen of the world about to be unleashed. I just don’t have that new fancy EU digital pass, can’t be bothered wth QR codes. But my triple citizenship is on the horizon!
BAHRAIN QUALY PRESSER
Q: We all know it can get pretty windy and dusty here in Bahrain, please tell us about your racing lines and braking points today, how you attack the corners. Have you changed your approach compared to, let’s say, previously in testing? Thank you.
Felipe Drugovich (P3, Feature Race): Um, I think the wind has been pretty calm today so compared to when we tested here or many times we’ve driven here from last year to now, we know our braking points and stuff like that. It was pretty similar to what I had.Do you like this new WordPress block? Certainly looks like an improvement over last year. I am where I want to be.
GZ: Quite similar to what FD just said really. With all these laps we’ve done, we don’t have to change our driving or adapting to the wind, especially like today (the wind) being pretty calm. A little bit different to FP, but nothing special.
Clarkson, Tom Clarkson F1 (F2 presser host): Forecast for the weekend is for more wind, is it? How does that affect the balance?
Christian Lundgaard (P2, Sunday): Sunday should be quite windy. In terms of wind, obviously if we have a headwind down the straight you can expect to brake later into Turn One. But if you have a backwind, you should also expect to brake slightly earlier because you will arrive at a higher speed. That affects the rest of the track as well and it’s up to the driver to adapt. I think the amount of laps we’ve done here, I think we’ve had any kind of (wind) direction at this time so… How many times have we driven here in the past year? A lot! Pre-season and post-season testing, two races at the end of last year and now here again!
Clarkson, Tom Clarkson F1 (F2 presser host): You’ve got a lot of experience of windy conditions.
Note from the editor: the answer, mon pote, is blowing in the wind.
Q: So this year we have a split calendar between Formula 2 and Formula 3, which tracks are you going to miss the most? Apart from Spa, or course!
CL: Mugello! It’s not on the calendar of either one of them. But I miss Mugello. Which ones are we missing? Austria, Hungary, Spa? I would choose Hungary, Budapest.
GZ: USA! Joking, I’d love to go there. I would say probably Red Bull Ring where I had my pole position, obviously it wasn’t a good weekend (with car failure in the race) but I’d love to go back to repeat it.
FD: Mugello! Apart from that one, I think Red Bull Ring was a really nice place last year, I love the place.
Bonus track at the end of the presser…
Driver who wishes to remain anonymous: I have a question. Can we bring back Mugello?
Another driver who wishes to remain anonymous: Why not USA?
Tom Clarkson F1: Bruno (Michel), are you listening?
Yet another driver who wishes to remain anonymous: Singapore?
Formula 2 drivers wanna race in SIN GP.