Thoughts from Jack Aitken, Nyck De Vries and Jordan King
FIA Formula 2: Welcome to the press conference for the top three finishers in today’s FIA Formula 2 feature race here in Azerbaijan. We are joined by race winner Jack Aitken of Campos Racing, in second is Nyck De Vries from ART Grand Prix and third is Jordan King for MP Motorsport. Jack, your second win at this level and you were made to work hard for it from P8 to P1 – extra points as well for the fastest lap in the top ten, just how good does that feel?
Jack Aitken: Yeah it is awesome. I had my first big result in F2 here this time last year and that was hard work as well, so Baku is just a bit of a funny track for me. I got a good start and then obviously for the latter half of the race I had Nyck behind me pretty much the whole way and I was just making sure I kept that gap on DRS.
FIA Formula 2: The two of you were treading very quick lap times before the last safety car and then it all seemed to hinge on those restarts. How under threat did you feel both from Nyck and everyone behind?
Jack: It is quite hard to tell to be honest, because here especially with it being a street circuit, it’s very hard to keep the breaks and tyres up to temp, so I think everyone is a bit edgy going into those restarts and I didn’t want to have a silly mistake or anything like that. In the end, it looked like on cold tyres we were actually really quick, because that is when I overtook Nyck and then on the restarts we just pulled away.
FIA Formula 2: Well congratulations. Nyck, moving onto you, a great first part of that race, but it looks like your race hinged on that pit spot?
Nyck De Vries: Yes, we lost out a little bit on the pit stop and then we were in threat from Jack when we came out of the pits, but to be honest, I think that we have got to be fair and say that they were just a little bit stronger than us today. We were quite strong on the middle part, but I think that we were very similar and then after the restarts, I think they were just a little bit better than us in switching everything on. I think that considering everything that happened today, we have just got to take P2 and be happy with the points that we scored today.
FIA Formula 2: I mentioned the pace that you and Jack were showing in the middle of the race… How hard were you pushing once you got into second place and how much risk were you taking in trying to chase him down?
Nyck: I think it was both really. I mean of course you have to push, but I think we were both kind of in control, or at least we like to think we always are in control. How close you are to the limit sometimes happens quicker than you expect, but no, I think that we were both quite comfortable and we were looking strong in comparison to others, but they were just a bit better than us today.
FIA Formula 2: Thank you. Jordan, moving on to you. On team radio you called it a proper comeback getting that third place, are you delighted to be picking up a podium this early in the season?
Jordan King: We made it difficult for ourselves… Well, I made it difficult for myself. I had a terrible start and got collected at turn one, so within a few 100m, I was already in 18/19th place. It was great fun, but also quite stressful at the same time to come through the field, so really I am just happy for myself and the team, because a lot of effort went into the winter to be quick. To do it coming from the back of the grid is great and really rewarding, but hopefully we don’t have to do that again and have people crash into us.
FIA Formula 2: Is this one of these venues where even with a difficult start, you still feel like there are plenty of options on the table and lots of opportunity?
Jordan: I think that is the beauty of Formula 2 really. The cars are close and between the front and the back of the grid there are only a couple of seconds, so you can really race with each other. Here provides different opportunities as well and you see in every category that races here, it always throws up good racing and the battles go on for a long period of time, so there’s always a lot going on. Luckily, I came out on top of the most of the rounds that I fought with people, so yeah it was very rewarding and I definitely had a big smile on my face when I crossed the line.
FIA Formula 2: Well done. Jack returning to you, we have seen some double winners here in Baku before: Antonio Giovinazzi, and Charles Leclerc having a very strong two races, how optimistic are you of attacking from P8 again tomorrow?
Jack: I think that unfortunately a lot of it is down to luck. I think that we have got the pace to do it and me and Nyck were both very quick today, and maybe we had the slight edge. It can be so crazy in the midfield area, so if I get a clean start, maybe, but it is really hard to say.