Confidence around the Monza circuit is high for Victor Martins after finishing second in the Italian Grand Prix Sprint Race.
The Frenchman was quick from the start of the weekend, finishing Practice fastest and setting the fastest time during Qualifying. Although that quickest lap would be deleted, it was a warning of his pace.
Starting sixth in the Sprint Race, he demonstrated that speed once again to climb up to P2, lighting up the timing screens along the way.
After the race, he said: “The grip and braking was good so I had confidence there. The pace was really good at the start of the race, I was pushing a lot and seeing opportunities.
“I had confidence lap after lap, but the last safety car broke my momentum and rhythm.”
The ART Grand Prix driver drew level on points with Jack Doohan to sit fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, thanks to several sublime late-braking moves going into Turn 1.
Despite that deleted time during Qualifying, he starts Sunday’s Feature Race in fifth. Should he put on the same overtaking display again, he might be challenging for the win again.
He said: “If my start is good I can win. I can improve a few things, but with a good start we will be fighting for a podium – or maybe more.”
The Alpine Junior driver was heaping the pressure onto race winner Frederik Vesti during the closing laps, but the Dane was able to hold on to what could be a crucial win in the title fight.
Current Championship leader and Martins’s team mate Théo Pourchaire starts the Feature Race from pole position. Should Martins demonstrate that same pace again, he could play a big part in the title fight.
Image: Formula Motorsport Limited