Interviews by Sergio Álvarez; spiritual guidance by Diego Merino; header image by Sergio Álvarez.
FIA F2, Hungary, Qualifying
P1, Iwasa (1:27.930); P2, Armstrong (1:28.311); P3, Drugovich (1:28.340).
Q: “Ayumu, P1, what a brilliant result! Please, can you tell us whether your lap in qualifyng was set-up specific or are you confident of maintaining this pace throughout the Feature Race?”
Iwasa: “I’m not sure! Maybe in the race we’ll need to manage the tyres with less pace. I’m not sure about the race pace but I think even for me, I was surprised about the gap behind me. Maybe I could put together (a lap) quite well and the car was very quick. I think in the race it should be very difficult, especially in the Sunday race with tyre management, especially the softs and even mediums because in the Free Practice I was feeling quite… well, not the bad feeling but quite a big job through the session so I think we need to think about it and hopefully I’ll be fast in the race as well.”
A: “Guys, could you tell us how you train in order to prepare yourselves for the summer races that are run under some very hot conditions?”
Iwasa: “To be honest, I’m not sure. I think it should be difficult (in the hot conditions) but not a lot to say.”
Drugovich: “I’m pretty sure Marcus thinks he’s Chris Froome, that’s how he gets through this heat!”
Armstrong: “I’m definitely not Chris Froome! Well, sometimes me and Jehan Daruvala, we live quite close to each other, so we’ll go to either his place or my place and we’ll sit in the sauna for a couple of hours. He’s always trying to lose weight, I’m always trying to gain weight so it’s the two opposites but that’s how we train to deal with the heat. Aside from that, training is part of my life, it’s more of a lifestyle choice than racing-related to be honest. And I think that Formula 2 is so physical no matter what and I think that every driver is very well prepared, especially at this point in the season. To be fair, when I was in New Zealand, we have a sauna and I usually put my gym bike in the sauna and do 20-30 minutes in there. It’s a bit counterintuitive because in F2 you just need to be brusquely strong because we don’t have power steering like in F1. When I’m in London it’s just generally gym work and every morning for two to three hours it’s just strength training. But my passion is endurance, like Felipe was joking before. I thought I was Chris Froome about three years ago when I rocked up to Austria in 2020 but since then I’ve realized F2 is a very different animal to endurance sports and you need to be strong.”
Drugovich: “For the heat, first of all, I don’t suffer too much! I grew up in a very hot place so that’s fine to be fair. I try to train, I try to keep a good training regime but obviously doing endurance sports, some cardio and some strength as well. But nothing special.”
FIA F2, Hungary, Sprint Race
P1, Doohan (45:42.642); P2, Vips (45:47.917); P3, Fittipaldi (45:48.967).
Q: “Enzo, more podium champagne for you, you must be feeling pretty awesome, even if you’re not on the top step. Please tell us if you suffered from front tyre degradation as much as Vips was suffering while trying to catch up to Jack. How did it go for you?”
Fittipaldi: “Yes, I did! I think in the first couple tries (to get close and overtake). To honest it was in the beginning of the race where the fronts were really dropping off. I just think I had a bit more pace than Vips in the beginning but then right afer that first kind of look to try and make a move into Turn One, he picked up the pace. I thought I was gonna have another opportunity the lap after but he was already a bit further away. So I wasn’t really front-limited, it’s just that Vips wasn’t up to pace yet.”
Q: “How strong do you expect to be in the Feature Race when dealing with the soft tyre degradation and tyre management?”
Doohan: “I don’t think we have really extracted the performance of them yesterday but I think maybe it’ll be quite strong over a race distance. It’s really up in the air, we’ll have to wait and see. Also, I checked the weather and tomorrow it looks like a bit wet so it could put a bit of spice into it and we all like a bit of that. I’m hoping it should be good, we showed strong pace today on the medium. The softs should be the same.”
Vips: “I think the soft tyres they behave very differently to the mediums and hards. You have to set the car a little bit differently to be fast on the softs. We learned quite a lot from today and we have a good indication of what to predict but you never know. I think we could see quite a mixed race tomorrow if it’s dry, if it’s wet, well, you never know. Even if it’s dry, it’s going to be quite difficult to make the softs last but also the mediums had quite a lot of degradation today. I think whoever can take the softs further, can have quite a big advantage.”
Fittipaldi: “I think tomorrow it’s going to be a long race. Strategy is going to be important here because tyre degradation is very big in Hungary. I think whoever can do a longer stint on the softs is going to have a big advantage and also there could be a chance of rain tomorrow. Whenever there’s a Safety Car, it changes things up a lot. Tomorrow it’s going to be an action-packed race. I mean all Feature Races this year have been very chaotic and kind of fun to watch and also to drive. Yeah, I’m just looking forward to it.”
FIA F2, Hungary, Feature Race
P1, Pourchaire (58:56.681); P2, Fittipaldi (59:00.322); P3, Iwasa (59:02.608).
Q: “Ayumu, we can see you’re slightly disappointed to miss out on the win, but a podium result in Formula 2 must surely feel good? Do you think your problems at the race start were related to additional pressure of starting on pole?
Iwasa: “I didn’t have a lot of pressure at the start. Of course, I wanted to have a good start but I just made a mistake with releasing the clutch. To be honest, I didn’t have any big pressure, it was a small mistake, not a huge mistake because other cars had a better start that me, compared to many others it was not so bad. I just need to improve small things.”
FIA F3, Hungary, Qualifying
P1, Smolyar (1:32.740); P2, Maloney (1:32.866); P3, Bearman (1:32.872).
Q: “Alex, you’re the man in Hungary, cograts on pole for the main race on Sunday. Please tell us how confident were you on keeping P1 after you had completed your run and everybody else was still on flyer?”
Smolyar: “Um, I was very calm but because I knew that everyone already either started their lap or, for example, Victor (Martins) was already in Sector 3 when there was a red flag. I knew some guys were already pushing while I was still warming up, so for sure my tyres were better than others. I knew that even if we go, I had more chances to do (a lap) but I still had to deliver so it was not like I was sitting on a sofa or something. I still had to focus and keep my head down so probably (I was feeling) not too calm but I still had to focus a lot.”
Q: “We hear there’s a rain forecast for the Sprint Race. What are the procedures that your teams and you are going to implement and why?”
Maloney: “I think there’s a big chance of rain, of course. For us, it doesn’t change anything, we just need to do the best job possible in all conditions. Coming into the weekend, we’ve also prepared for the wet. The goal is to do the best in any conditions. I’m sure the team are working on the car and how to have it (set up) for the wet tomorrow, if it is wet. And then obviously, hopefully, Sunday is dry and we can push hard.”
Smolyar: “Yesterday my manager told me I should put it on pole because Saturday it’s going to rain so you need to be able to pass some cars. I don’t think he believed in what he said yesterday. If it’s gonna rain, it’s much better. We already had a wet race in 2020, I know more or less what to do. It’s better than just driving behind someone for twenty-something laps so I’m also waiting for a rainy day tomorrow.”
Bearman: “Yeah, I think the rain has been forecasted for quite a while so everyone’s prepared. Wet or dry, we’ll be giving it our maximum tomorrow.”
FIA F2, Hungary, Sprint Race
P1, Collet (37:34.616); P2, Colapinto (37:43.405); P3, K. Maini (37:44.310).
Q: “Caio, P1 for you in the Sprint Race, you must be feeling great to be on the top step of the podium. Could you please expand a bit on how to manage the tyres in these tricky conditions?”
Collet: “First off, I was searching for water (on the track) quite early on in the race. I think as soon as the Safety Car came out, I was already trying to cool them down and also just driving clean, without any wheelspin or big oversteer. I think this is a key point. I was also managing with my team, trying to see where there was water on track because they could see better sometimes than me when I’m in the car. And that’s it, mainly that. I think we had a pretty good set-up today so that hepled quite a lot as well.”
Q: “Guys, which corners were the trickiest ones in the beginning of the race? Thanks.”
Maini: “I would say the chicane, there’s just no grip there. So Turns 6 and 7. From the braking all the way to the apex, it feels like you’re on ice. I’d say definitely the chicane.”
Collet: “I think overall, the dry line is always a little bit tricky at the beginning of the race for you to see where the grip is and try to avoid the rubber (marbles) from the dry line. This was quite the key. So I’d say Sector 2 because there’s a lot of corners that are back to back. If you’re on the right line there, it’s where I was making a little bit of a difference in the beginning compared to Colapinto. I’d say it was the trickiest part for me.”
Colapinto: “In my opinion, it was the last sector. I was struggling with traction and in the low speed there was really low grip. They were catching me quite a bit in the last sector and then having of course the run down to Turn 1 and Turn 2 – that’s where I was struggling the most to get the right line and the grip out of the corner. Traction was quite tricky for us, so I’d say the last few corners, really low speed and they were quite wet. We were struggling a lot with the rears as well. It made it quite tricky there.”
Q: “What’s your take on the standing start today vs a rolling start? Would a standing start have pleased you more?”
Colapinto: “Yeah, definitely. I thought were gonna do it but unfortunately (we did) not because we did not drive before during the weekend in the wet. I think it would have been a really nice opportunity as well to have a few more fights and overtakes.”
Maini: “Ah, you can’t change it so I’m just gonna say no comment to that. They made the right decision.”
Collet: “C’mon, say yes!”