FIA F2: French Cool for Racing Kids at School


Interviews by Sergio Álvarez; spiritual guidance by Diego Merino; header image by Juan Manuel Gil / Agence Galeron.


P1, Sargeant (1:43.871); P2, Iwasa (1:43.877); P3, Vesti (1:43.900).

“I just got it!”

Logan Sargeant

Q: “Logan, P1 in France, you’re flying and frying ’em already! You said over the team radio that there was still lap time left on the table so where exactly around the track that lap time had escaped the table, could you please tell us?”

Sargeant: “Yeah, I made a mistake in Sector One, both in Turn Five and Turn Six and I thought that definitely cost me a pole position. But fortunately I just got it! And yeah, it was enough.”

He’s got the moves.

Q: “With the track temperatures going through the roof, well almost, how much tyre life did you have in those softs after your push laps?”

Sargeant: “Um, to be honest I was able to improve on the second push. The car felt good on both laps so I didn’t think it was too big of an issue. I thought it was quite consistent over the two laps.”

Iwasa: “Like Logan said, I didn’t have too many problems with the (track) temperature on the tyre in the qualifying. Although I didn’t push (too hard) on the second push lap, but still I think it was possible to improve. During the lap I didn’t feel the drop as well, I think with the soft tyre it was fine.”

Vesti: “Yeah, same as the other two said. I think we all expected a bit more degradation to be honest. At least at the ART we didn’t expect that the second lap was going to be that fast and everyone I think was faster or could’ve been faster (you can’t go faster than Pastor, son) which was surprising. And yeah, no big tyre wear.”

Little did Logan know that a clutch failure would put him out of the Feature Race, what a shame for LS. But we’re sure he’ll come back stronger for the next round. In fact, I’m betting some cash on him taking a win in Budapest next up.

Sprint Race

P1, Lawson (41:22.995); P2, Daruvala (41:26.201); P3, Pourchaire (41:27.547, with post-race time penalty drops to P7).

“I probably could’ve a done a better job as well on throttle.”

Liam Lawson

Q: “Liam, congrats on P1 today. You said the car was strong under the brakes in the Sprint Race, were you lacking in this area of performance at previous races?”

Lawson: “To be honest, no. I think the car has been very good on brakes all year and in general the speed has been very, very good. Y’know, I wasn’t sort of surprised too much by it, I’d say, but it’s definitely a strong point for us. I think today it was maybe exaggerated and even stronger than normal. I would say in general we are normally quite good on brakes which is a very important part. Whether you’re defending or you’re attacking, it makes a huge difference.”

Q: “Liam, do you believe that starting from the dirty side of the grid played a role in your slow start in the Sprint Race?”

Lawson: “Now that you mentioned it, potentially (yes)! I think also behind me, I think it was Jüri (Vips) that was behind me, he also had an average start. We both went backwards so maybe (it did play a part) a little bit. I think also the way we had set the clutch bite point as well was not quite right and I probably could’ve a done a better job as well on throttle. All round, I think nothing really helped it but obviously it can help depending on what side of the grid you start.”

Feature Race

P1, Iwasa (57:54.568); P2, Pourchaire (58:03.217); P3, Vesti (58:04.455).

“The undercut was amazing.”

Théo Pourchaire

Q: “Théo, a podium at home and in the Feature Race must feel amazing. With this strategy, with the early pit stop, when you went for it: did you see it as a big gamble or you felt it was the right thing to do and it gave you confidence to fight?”

Pourchaire: “Yeah, I was not happy when my engineer told me to box this lap, before Turn 8 he told me that and I said ‘why, why, why should we box’?! Because I think I was a bit quicker than Fred (Vesti) at this point (ah, racing drivers!), he didn’t have the DRS and I was catching him, but (it was) too difficult to overtake to be honest. My engineer told me ‘yeah, the prime tyres, mainly Drugovich is starting to be a bit quicker than us so we should box’ (aha, you can see that ART are still thinking about the championship and quite frankly, why shouldn’t they?) and the most important thing in the team is to trust each other. It’s important to work as a team and to understand everyone, the engineers are doing a very good job, today the strategy was on point. I cannot say anything else, I mean a big thank you and also (thank you) to the mechanics, they did a very good pit stop, then I did a very good out lap. It’s team work in the end, big thanks to them and we need to do more races like that.”

C’est ça, donc.

Q: “Did you discuss the possibility of an early stop prior to the race?”

Pourchaire: “Yes, there was two possibilities: to go very long with the options because they were not suffering a lot or to box a bit earlier if we are stuck in a DRS train like I was, I felt like I was a bit quicker on that tyre and I was losing too much time. So we tried to box, the undercut was amazing and I did some good overtakes as well when they had cold tyres. I’m happy with that and it was a good race in general.”

“It’s a cool track.”

Théo Pourchaire

Q: “Théo, given that there are rumours flying around that the future of this Grand Prix is in doubt, how would you present your case to the bigwigs of Formula 1?”

Editor says: just make it a standalone F2/F3 event, like Jerez a few years ago. And I want free access to the French wine and cheese in the paddock, please.

Pourchaire: “Whoah, I think I can say anything I want, I’m not taking any decisions. You know, it’s not my job but for sure I would like to keep this track on the calendar because it’s my home race and it’s a pretty cool event. It’s a cool track, you know, there is a lot of space for the fans, it’s very cool. I hope, I really hope, this track will stay on the calendar. Anyway, I can say anything I want, it’s not me taking the decisions.”

C’est cool, quoi.
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