FIA Formula 2 championship leader Frederik Vesti took 10 valuable points for his title campaign in the drizzly Barcelona Sprint Race.
The Danish driver’s win never looked in doubt after he got past Amaury Cordeel and Jak Crawford in the early stages of the race.
He attributes the preparation from F2’s mid-season test at the Spanish circuit one month ago as a helping hand in finding out how much he could push.
“We did really good testing here one month ago and we did a full-race run, which is very helpful for the drivers. So I had a lot of confidence going into the race. [Today] I wanted to quickly reach P1 and try to pull a gap.
“It’s risk-taking, in the end: How late do you dare to brake? How much risk do you dare to take.? I think I found, roughly, a good balance today.
The Mercedes Junior leads the standings with his PREMA team equally as high in the Team’s championship, and he’s confident with the car’s Barcelona performance in the final laps.
“I knew I had a pretty good car on slicks, so I tried to get up to speed quickly and adapt for the different conditions.
“To be honest, I was just focussing on myself. Trying to warm up my brakes and tyres as much as possible. I could feel they were quite ready. Obviously I didn’t know the performance of the other guys behind.”
Although the race finished on dry tyres, most running was on Pirelli’s full wet tyre, with intermediate rubber not an option for Formula 2.
Vesti explains that tyre management played its role in the race, and although he thinks he would’ve stayed out on track if not for the safety car, he was thankful for the pit stop.
“I wouldn’t say my tyres were in great shape. But neither were the other drivers. I think we were pulling a gap.
“[There were] seven laps to go — I’m pretty sure we would’ve finished it quite easily. “My rears were struggling, so actually getting that pit stop was quite nice to have a safer race, let’s say.
“I don’t think [I would’ve pitted] because it wasn’t drying that quickly. The gap to box, etc., would just be very big.
“And just the risk of warming up the tyres would take a few laps as well. So I think the safe thing would just to stay on the wets.”
Crawford’s contact with Vesti on the opening lap ended the American’s race, something Crawford thinks was 50/50. Vesti was inclined to agree, concluding that: “It’s difficult. We touched each other.
“He was more unlucky than I was. I was lucky enough to continue. We were side by side and we touched, that’s about it.”
Image: PREMA Racing