FIA F2 @ Silverstone: Tar Wars

NEWS & STORIES

Interviews by Sergio Álvarez; photos by Diego Merino.


What was left on the table in previous posts from Silverstone.

Qualy, Friday

P1. Piastri | PREMA Racing

P2. Zhou | UNI-Virtuosi

P3. Verschoor | MP Motorsport

“With the F2 car and how heavy the car is and how sharp the rotation coming round at high-speed is quite impressive, it’s also sometimes quite risky.”

Guanyu Zhou

Q: Gents and no lady, could you describe your feelings in the F2 car regarding the infamous Silverstone tailwind? Gave you wind?

Verschoor: “Similar to what Oscar said. Especially at this track because there are more high-speed corners you feel it a bit more. In general, I think on tracks like Monza (ooh, we’re heading to the Temple of Wind in September!) it can affect a bit the braking. But mainly on this track when you have a lot of tailwind the high-speed can get a bit more tricky, it’s the same for everybody.”

Zhou: “I mean the other two guys covered pretty much everything but obviously with the F2 car and how heavy the car is and how sharp the rotation coming round at high-speed is quite impressive, it’s also sometimes quite risky. And obvously the direction of the tailwind going through Maggotts and Becketts is definitely not helping. It’s extremely difficult because the first three corners it’s not flat where F1 is flat the first two corners so it’s quite a lot of difference and when the car snaps it’s not a small rotation – that’s why, say, more people make mistakes.”

S(print)R1, Saturday

P1. Shwartzman | PREMA Racing

P2. Vips | Hitech Grand Prix

P3. Lundgaard | ART Grand Prix

Q: Jüri and Christian, after the SC period, did you find that following the car in front was a bit easier possibly because of the cooling down of the tyres?

Vips: “Um, for some reason I was really close to Rob (Shwartzman) on the SC restart and I didn’t really push particularly harder than I do normally. I dunno if it was just Rob not pushing enough for having his tyres not as ready as mine. I dunno why but yeah, at least Rob was a little bit easier to follow but then again: the closer you get, the worse the tyres overheat so then you have to back off again.”

Lundgaard: “I think Turn 1 is always a corner where you’re looking after the tyres, even if it’s a restart or if it’s, let’s say, a push lap. But I could clearly see that they were slightly quicker there than I was. But I would say the rest of the track we were fairly evenly matched.”

“To be honest, I didn’t really invent anything.”

Robert Shwartzman (that’s modesty right there!)

Q: Robert, as the driver who was heading the pack during the SC periods, how much effort did you put into thinking about your possible getaway tactics for the restart? Tanks.

Shwartzman: “To be honest, I didn’t really invent anything. I know that I had to just do a clean restart, don’t do any mistakes. There was a challenge because, you know, you have to brake for the last corner and when the tyres are cold and the brakes are cold, it’s quite easy to do a mistake and lock up. Like Jüri said, I wasn’t really mega quick in the last corner, I was just taking it easy and just to have a really good exit so I can have a gap. And that was basically my only target and all three race, like, starts/restarts I looked in my mirror and there was some gap enough for me to sort of not defend in Turn 3 to Jüri. I think my restart was pretty ok so, to be honest, I was pretty happy.”

SR2, Saturday

P1. Verschoor | MP Motorsport

P2. Armstrong | DAMS

P3. Ticktum | Carlin Racing

Q: Dan, On the final lap you were six tenths slower than Marcus (Armstrong, P2), did you decide to settle on the 3rd place instead and just bring the car home?

Ticktum: we covered that part in our DT Special on Sunday. Click the link, please.

“On the normal tracks we have a really good package. Just for some reason in Monaco and Baku we were really struggling. For sure, if you miss, let’s say, two rounds – and I’m not blaming it fully on the team, by the way, – six races, then obviously it’s hard to contend for the championship. Still, it’s long.”

Richard Verschoor

Q: Richard, what do you think that MP Motorsport needs to challenge more regularly for race wins in F2 and to even become a championship contender one day?

Having tweeted Sergio’s natural query given MP’s recent spike in form, the Westmaas-based outfit has come a long way since their early GP2 days, it ain’t easy to come, see and win in F2 just like that. More cool facts – check dis out: they seem to have Daniël de Jong as their MEDIA PR to boot. I never visited Westmaas, en passant. Should I? Oh, and we remember good ole Daniël from his GP2 days. Nice fella.

Verschoor: “Well, I think in general on the normal tracks we have a really good package. Just for some reason, we’re still looking into it, in Monaco and Baku we were really struggling. So we just need to look into that but for sure if you miss, let’s say, two rounds – and I’m not blaming it fully on the team, by the way, but we were definitely lacking pace compared to here. Yeah, if you miss two rounds, six races, then obviously it’s hard to contend for the championship. Still, it’s long.”

F(eature)R, Sunday

P1. Zhou | UNI-Virtuosi

P2. Ticktum | Carlin Racing

P3. Piastri | PREMA Racing

“We don’t have tyre warmers.”

Oscar Piastri (F2 going back to the racing egg and bold! #LeCostcutters)

Q: Oscar, you were talking about the difference in speed compared to Saturday’s races in your case, can you tell us more about how you and the team (PREMA) approach this situation to try and find the right answers and unlock the ultimate pace?

Piastri: “Going through a lot of data, basically. That’s it! I’ll obviously give my feedback to the team on what I felt was different and then they can try and work out in a whole bunch of numbers that are too complicated for me to try and work that out as well. Yeah, that’ll be basically it.”

Driving by the seat of his Alpine Alpinestars racing overalls then, mate. While PREMA boys and girls are busy doing the 2 + 2 = 4.39 calculations?

Q: Oscar, did you consider stopping as early as the pit window opened (by Ron Dennis) so as to avoid possible undercut from Dan (Ticktum)?

Piastri: “I mean, not really. Because we don’t have tyre warmers sometimes the overcut actually works a bit better because the other driver have to get their tyres up to temperature obviously, but I wasn’t massively concerned by that, but actually quite surprised that we lost so much in the pit phase. I wasn’t really that concerned. Zhou went a lap later than I did and he came out with the same margin basically, so I don’t think that was really the main reason we lost time.”

And this is your top five in the drivers’ standings heading into mighty Monza in September: Piastri 108 pts; Zhou 103 pts ; Shwartzman 91 pts; Ticktum 89 pts; Vips 85 pts.

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