MEDIABALAP.com – FIA Formula 2: Welcome to the press conference for today’s feature race here at the Autodromo di Monza: joining us this afternoon is Tadasuke Makino from RUSSIAN TIME, in second place is his teammate Artem Markelov, and in third place we have Alexander Albon from DAMS. Congratulations Tadasuke: that was a fantastic race to come from 14th on the grid for the win, and leading home a 1-2 for RUSSIAN TIME. How does it feel?
Tadasuke Makino: To be honest, I have no words! I started P14, a difficult position but my start was really nice, and the option tyres meant everyone else was struggling but my tyres were really nice! I think lap 3 or 4 I passed Artem, and then after that I just controlled the pace: my car felt really good, and the team did an awesome job. I just can’t believe it!
FIA Formula 2: You passed a lot of cars in the opening laps: do you have a favourite overtake?
Tadasuke: I don’t know, but it was a really fun time! My start was really nice, and this was a big point for this win, I think.
FIA Formula 2: Coming to you Artem, a great drive by you to round out the 1-2, a strong points finish for the championship and just before your home race: how was it for you?
Artem Markelov: I’m pretty surprised with this result! After Spa we were under big pressure for a podium, but we made good pace in free practice and in qualifying we were fighting for the top 3. I had a really nice start, passing 2 cars, Sergio was in the pitlane before the start so that gave me a position too, and after that I was trying to control the tyres but after 3 or 4 laps they were just gone. First the front tyres went, and then I was struggling with the rears when Tada overtook me on the straight: he was just pulling away and I thought ‘okay, maybe later I can start to fight’! [laughs] Then it was the pitstop and I had to fight for a few laps to get the position back, but a big thanks to the team: they did a really big job for us here.
FIA Formula 2: What are your expectations for the Sprint Race tomorrow?
Artem: I hope I can get the same start as Tada today! We’ll be hoping to get a good start and take some positions before corner 7, and then trying to save the tyres until the end.
FIA Formula 2: Alex, you said yesterday that you will need to be more aggressive to fight for the championship: is this the new Alex?
Alexander Albon: Not really, no! I think the race pace was pretty good today, Artem was a bit quicker than me, but it was good fun and I really enjoyed it. I still have to finish in front of George and Lando, they were I think 4th and 6th so it’s maybe not the gap I wanted but it’s a step forward, and we’ve really found something with the car: we seem to be more consistent with our race pace, and we used to have 1 good day and not really know why but now it’s starting to make more sense. Hopefully we can keep this for tomorrow, and to the end of the year.
FIA Formula 2: You and Artem had a good fight early on: was there every a chance you could have overhauled him today?
Alexander: There were a few chances: one time he went deep into turn 4 and I thought it was my chance, and I wanted to put it around the outside and I passed him and thought ‘this is it, I can pull away now’, I did what I thought was a good sector 2 but I looked in my mirrors and Artem was right behind me! [laughs] In the end I could have finished ahead of Artem if things went a little differently, but both these guys did a really good job and it was hard to finish ahead of them today, so we’ll try again tomorrow.
FIA Formula 2: Tadasuke, reverse grid tomorrow: are you looking forward to it?
Tadasuke: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully a good start again, and then maximum push again tomorrow! (fiaformula2.com/ARL/WTO)