Jüri Vips has said that he has completely changed his mentality after the disappointment of his retirement in Imola. The Estonian qualified P2 in the fourth round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship in Barcelona and will take a different approach into Sunday’s Feature Race.
Vips was on pole position for Imola’s Feature Race but spun out and retired, leaving title rival Théo Pourchaire to vacuum up the points he had squandered.
Reflecting on his performance during the post-Qualifying press conference, the Hitech driver announced how he plans to capitalise on his impressive one-lap pace.
“[I am] very strong in Qualifying, but in the Feature Races, I just need to take a step down. F2 is always going to be hectic; Pourchaire has now won two Feature Races… by just having a clean race… surviving it. That’s going to be the objective in the Feature Race; I’ve completely changed my mentality after the mistake in Imola.”
This weekend’s Feature Race represents an excellent opportunity for the title hopeful to gain ground on drivers above him. Pourchaire and Felipe Drugovich qualified seventh and tenth, respectively and could see their lead over the rest of the field reduced.
Despite starting on the front row of the grid, Sunday’s Feature Race will be far from straightforward for Vips:
“It’s going to be a long Feature Race… in F2, anything can happen. It’ll depend on how much chaos there is up front and also how the pit stops go.”
With Formula 2’s 2022 format offering 25 points for a Feature Race win and just 10 points for a Sprint Race victory, Sunday’s racing firmly takes centre stage on a race weekend, while drivers can afford to take more risks on Saturday. Vips’ new approach to the Feature Race will certainly not apply in the Sprint Race:
“Tomorrow the approach is to be very aggressive. Starting from where I am, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to be patient and wait around, so I’ll be going for moves.”
The Red Bull Junior driver enjoyed his first F1 weekend session appearance earlier in the day during FP1, taking Sergio Perez’s seat. He seemed unfazed by the transition from F2 to F1 and will have impressed Helmet Marko and co. after missing out on pole by just two-hundredths of a second.
Image: Red Bull Media House