Thoughts from Aitken, King and De Vries
FIA Formula 2: Welcome to the press conference with the top three finishers in today’s FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race here in Monza. We are joined by race winner Jack Aitken for Campos Racing, in second place is Jordan King for MP Motorsport and in third place is Nyck de Vries for ART Grand Prix. Jack, your third win of the season. You made an incredible start to that race but then you were made to work hard for it after that.
Jack Aitken: Yeah. I think everyone knows that at this track the tow is quite powerful. I was maybe a bit naughty doing my weaving on the straight but I was just trying to break the tow and I was trying to make sure I was always stopping when people got close. I had a good fight with Jordan and got him under the virtual safety car which was a bit lucky, but our pace was really good. Sector 2 and Sector 3 we were always really quick, it was just that the tow was way too powerful to break it.
FIA Formula 2: We saw you had a fight with Callum Ilott at the end and then a very near miss into Turn 1. Did you see much of that from your perspective?
Jack: To be honest no because he was quite far back. I think he kind of just went for it because it was the last lap, and because I didn’t see him… Apparently he hit me but I didn’t see it. It was a bit of a long shot I think.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today. Jordan moving on to you. Second place and you were fight for the win for much of that race. Your second podium of the season. It was an eventful one for you.
Jordan King: Yeah. I think we generally had the pace to win today really. We were pretty strong. Obviously I got the lead but the virtual safety car ruined it for me. It went green on the exit of Parabolica so Jack had a nice run all the way through. That was a bit annoying. I’m a bit frustrated that we didn’t win when we probably should have, but it’s really good to be back up here. It’s nice for the guys because they’re all putting a lot of effort in.
FIA Formula 2: We saw in the closing stages that you were fighting with Nobuharu Matsushita as well who had a time penalty. Did you know about that and did that change the way you approached it?
Jordan: I did but I’d forgotten to be quite honest with you [laughs]. I was told that Nobu had a five second time penalty but I wanted to finish second on the road. I hadn’t really registered it. Sitting here with Nyck I suddenly realised and it clicked that it had happened. It’s all good.
FIA Formula 2: Well done today. Nyck, back again, but as Jordan mentioned there was a penalty that’s put you there. You were very nearly in the wall at Turn 1, just talk us through that moment.
Nyck de Vries: I don’t want to be too negative or pessimistic at the moment. Of course we are happy to be back on the podium. I think at the end of the day we probably, even though I made a mistake, made fewer mistakes than others out there today. I do feel that personally I don’t really deserve to be here today. Nevertheless, that’s racing and it came our way today. I think it was similar to what happened to Callum [Ilott]. The grip level is quite low, we run low downforce and you’re in DRS… The thing is when you’re behind someone you brake so much earlier than you actually want to brake. Obviously you’re trying to push and you want to get closer to your own braking points. I instantly locked up and there were cars in front of me so there was nowhere to go other than the grass. I was lucky to save it and I had a huge flat spot. A huge one! I was really struggling the last couple of laps but luckily it kind of recovered a little bit and I put some temperature back in in the last two laps. The pace was good enough to stay within the five seconds. I think the team deserve this. We came from a long way back after Friday night and brought back home some good points.
FIA Formula 2: We were talking about the tow and the slipstream earlier. Monza is very unique for that and you were quite often at the back, or near the middle, of that train that was trying to break the tow or pick up the tow… What’s it like racing here and trying to attack like that?
Nyck: The annoying thing about the Sunday race is that it becomes a train. That’s why you see a few incidents in Turn 1 because everyone feels like they want to make a move but it’s not really possible. There are cars in front and you can’t really attack the brakes, so it becomes a bit of a train and then you get a bit frustrated. You get impatient and you want to make up positions but I think Monza has given some very exciting races, both yesterday and today. I think it was good to watch.
FIA Formula 2: It was good to watch! Jack, just returning to you. I think with Sergio Sette Câmara’s retirement today that moves you up to fourth in the standings. What’s your target for the rest of this season?
Jack: Just to win as many races as we can and get as many points as we can. There’s four races left now, so definitely in the end part of the season, but our pace has been good. We just want to maximise it and we’ll see where we end up. Simple.