Thoughts from Matsushita, Ghiotto and De Vries
FIA Formula 2: Welcome to the press conference with the top three finishers in today’s FIA Formula 2 Feature Race here in Monza. We are joined by race winner Nobuharu Matsushita for Carlin, in second place is Luca Ghiotto for UNI-Virtuosi Racing and in third place is Nyck de Vries for ART Grand Prix. Nobu, it’s your second Feature Race win of 2019, just talk us through it from your perspective.
Nobuharu Matsushita: First of all I’ve had a really good car for the weekend, from Free Practice and Qualifying. Unfortunately I made a mistake yesterday although luckily I was P5 in the end. I had a good start and I think I was P3. I didn’t push too much, Guanyu [Zhou] made a mistake in Turn 1 so I was P2 after that. Callum [Ilott] was pushing very hard and I knew it was going to be difficult at the end of the race so I was waiting. Then he was pushing behind me but I just concerned myself with looking after my tyres, as always. At the end of the day it was a good strategy.
FIA Formula 2: As you say you got past Callum in that first stint. Once you were in the lead did you feel like you were in control or were you wary of Luca on the alternate strategy?
Nobuharu: Yeah, [laughs] I was surprised that Luca was behind me, I don’t remember what lap, 26 or 27, but I was like ‘wow, Luca has mega pace!’ I tried to keep calm, and I think I did that. I didn’t make any mistakes so that was good.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today. Luca, moving on to you. Thirteenth on the grid to P2 but with a slow pit stop in there, does it feel like a race victory got away from you today?
Luca Ghiotto: Yeah. I just keep thinking about it, the picture of the mechanic and the gun not working is in my head. It’s part of motorsport. I think we lost a lot of time. I don’t really know how much, but enough to probably be close to Nobu on the last lap especially as we were going two seconds a lap faster at the end. But we couldn’t do anything about it, so I’m happy with P2. Of course I would have liked to win, especially as it’s my home race. The fan support is great here, but we just missed that little thing. There was a tiny mistake on my side yesterday, just a little problem today and it makes quite a big difference in the end.
FIA Formula 2: As Nobu mentioned, you showed great pace in today’s race. Obviously overtaking is possible here at Monza so does that bode well for tomorrow, starting from where you will be?
Luca: I started on the alternative strategy today so I had a bit of an idea let’s say of what tomorrow is going to be like. I’ve already started on the yellow tyres. It was quite tough [laughs], so I don’t think tomorrow is going to be easy. We have to see. It’s going to be a long race. I think it will be one of those races where you don’t know what’s going to happen until the last corner.
FIA Formula 2: Thank you very much. Nyck, moving on to you. Last on the grid to the podium today. Is that a result you’d have taken this morning?
Nyck de Vries: Certainly. Without doubt. Yesterday was obviously very disappointing. I think we had the package to really fight for pole when it was dry. The wetter conditions made it a little bit more challenging for everyone and a bit more unpredictable. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough fuel in the car so we got disqualified, but everyone makes mistakes. It’s part of racing. We’re here as a team, we take it as a team and today we fought back as a team. I’m certainly proud of how we came back and kind of saved the day.
FIA Formula 2: You started on the softer tyre as well, and you were right in the think of the action there. There was a couple of times where you had to take evasive action at Turn 1. Just talk us through your race from inside the cockpit.
Nyck: There was a lot going on, especially in the early stages. I think we went three wide into Turn 1 and I think my teammate tapped [Giuliano] Alesi and they were coming towards me. I tried to avoid them so I put two wheels on the grass and then I couldn’t slow down. I was approaching the cars ahead of me very quickly, so it was a bit of a hot moment. On the other hand, when you start from the back you also need to attack. There is no time for waiting around and we needed to attack. I’m happy that we succeeded today. Thanks for the team for giving me an amazing car.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today. Nobu, just returning to you. A similar question to the one I asked Luca. You showed good pace today and although you’ll be starting from eighth place is this a circuit where, even in the Sprint Race, you can move forward?
Nobu: I think so. From P8 it will be all about the start I think. Then tyre saving will also be key. But yeah, I have the chance to be back on the podium tomorrow.