Isack Hadjar put together a solid, debut FIA Formula 2 weekend with Hitech Pulse-Eight, bringing home points for the team.
His weekend wasn’t off to the best of starts after Friday’s qualifying session but in reality, he wasn’t too far off the pace, despite qualifying 14th.
“Qualifying felt really tough on the first set of tyres extracting most of the grip. So I was quite far back on that first run, but on the second run, I think I managed to do a strong lap with a big step of nearly 1 second compared to the previous run, so I was happy about that.”
“The most frustrating was to hear that I was only 3 tenths off P3, knowing I didn’t do the perfect lap. But anyway, pace was missing in the car, so we will analyse and make it better next time.”
Saturday’s Sprint Race was tough for the young Frenchman as he was awarded a 10-second stop-go penalty for a starting infringement. The race was also Safety Car free (which is very strange for F2!). This meant that it was even harder to recover his race since nothing bunched the pack back together.
“Having a penalty before even starting the race for something out of my control was really frustrating regarding the pace I have and the opening lap I did, so after boxing for a stop and go, that was it basically. Really frustrating.”
Sunday’s Feature Race saw a change in fortune for Hadjar. He put together a great race while being involved in an intriguing battle for sixth place between himself and multiple drivers. He also managed to avoid the carnage which saw Frederick Vesti, Victor Martins, and Dennis Hauger retire from the race.
“We committed to a different strategy to the guys around, starting on Option tyres and betting on a strong first stint, which we had. I had a good start but had to avoid chaos around the outside of Turn 4, so if I had chosen the right side of the track, I felt I could’ve gone to the top six immediately.”
“Then after a great PIT STOP for the team, I went long game on the prime tyres and it paid off at the end, overtaking a few cars to finish P7 from 14th on the grid. Overall we need more pace but I am happy with the job I did.”
Overall, Hadjar had a good weekend, despite the factors which were ultimately out of his control.
Image: James Gasperotti