Interviews and photos by Sergio Álvarez; spiritual guidance and header image by Diego Merino/Clarksport.
Question to top 3 in today’s qualy: “Many congratulations, guys. With these high temperatures that we’re feeling in Barcelona, how much tyre deg and tyre wear are you expecting towards the end of the race?”
Jack Doohan, Virtuosi Racing, Pole Position, 1:28.612: ”Yeah, I’d say we need to look after the tyres to ensure we don’t hit the cliff before the end of the race but also to not be too conservative because we don’t want to end with still more left. I’d say the end of the race is going to be quite on the margin, it’s going to be on the limit like any time when temperatures are definitely high. It’s going to be crucial to keep the tyres in a good window.”
Jüri Vips, Hitech Grand Prix, P2, 1:28.635: “Yeah, I think especially like if you’re starting sort of further back and you’re more prone to fighting wheel to wheel, I think it’s going to be very, very difficult. Especially in the Feature Race because I think it’s like 36-37 laps (37 Laps, 172.975 KM as per F2) and everyone – it’s not a prediction or anything – everyone is going to pit on lap 6 on option (tyre) because this is just a terrible tyre in the race run and then we’re gonna have 30 laps on the prime (tyre) with very hot conditions and that’s gonna be very tough. Even at the test (here in Barcelona) when it was lower temperatures, people were already struggling and that was y’know driving alone. If you’re in a racing situation then following other cars and fighting wheel to wheel is going to be very tough to survive, let’s say.”
Frederik Vesti, ART Grand Prix, P3, 1:28.852: “The same as the other two were saying; it’s going to be difficult, for sure. We did testing here some time ago and I think track temperature was 15 to 20 degrees lower than it is now in this weekend. Even then it was difficult. Which means this weekend it is going to be a challenge. It will be interesting because we obviously want to fight, we want to go for the win and overtake but at the same time we need to manage it all the way to the end. It’s going to be also driving with the head for a lot of the race, I’m sure about that.”
PS Wow! But what a weekend for Felipe Drugovich: two out of two race wins. Swept it clean, he’s the F2’s Kyle Busch! As MP Motorsport’s PR dude by the name of Daniël de Jong (rings a bell, innit?) so rightly pointed out, “for the first time in the current F2 era, a driver won two races in one weekend”. Massive, massive. Mega.
It’s a mighty achievement this, it’s pretty much on the same level with Russell v Verstappen battle in the Spanish GP. We do hope F1 teams sit up and take notice of FD’s beautiful driving/racing/winning game. With one and slightly older Felipe out of the picture, a new Felipe would be a welcome addition to the grid.