Victor and Théo laid the foundations for a good weekend in free practice and then confirmed their potential in qualifying, recording 2nd and 4th places on the grid respectively.
o Théo moved up two places at the start and cleverly used a restart to take 4th place halfway through the race. He moved up into the top 3 with five laps to go but slipped back to 4th place by the chequered flag.
o Victor gained two places on the first lap before settling in for the next day, without making any mistakes.
o At turn 1, Théo was 4th behind Victor. On the 14th of 37 laps, he was one of the first drivers to pit and maintained a good pace while managing his tires.
o Victor tried to put the leaders under pressure and was the last of the leading group to make his pit stop on lap 24.
o Victor came out of the pits in 2nd position ahead of Vesti and Théo. On cold tires, he was unable to hold off the Dane, but resisted Theo, who ran wide and got marbles and dirt on his tires while trying to overtake his teammate.
o By the time he got his tires back up to optimum, Théo had lost two positions and took the chequered flag in P6. He remains close to Vesti in the drivers’ championship.
o Victor retained 3rd place, giving him his 7th podium finish of the year, a season record which he holds in a tie with Théo. He takes 4th place in the drivers’ championship.
o ART Grand Prix moves up into a tie for 1st place in the teams’ championship.
“Qualifying was a bit frustrating because my lap wasn’t optimum in terms of tire preparation and cleanliness. In the first race, the aim was to seize every opportunity without tempting fate, and to get a good understanding of the car and tire degradation in preparation for the feature race.
On Sunday, I didn’t get the start I wanted, Vesti got past me and I locked a wheel under braking. The team had a very good strategy and I came out of the pits ahead of him, but unfortunately my tires were cold and he overtook me on the outside. Théo and I were side-by-side in turn 4 and I just kept my line. Overall, it was a good race, the tire degradation was under control and with one more lap, I would have been able to attack Vesti. It’s very positive ahead of Spa.”
“Overall, it was a good weekend for the team, with both cars performing very well and able to fight for pole position and then podium places. At this level of competitiveness, small details can play a big role, and while everything went well for Théo in the Sprint race, with an excellent start and some fine overtaking, moves, on Sunday he was really unlucky with traffic.
Victor drove a solid race on Saturday, gaining two places. On Sunday, he missed his start and we decided to pit him late to try to do the overcut on Vesti. Once again, it was a close call, but sadly it didn’t work out. There can be no shame in losing by such a tiny margin. However, it’s a bit frustrating because Victor and Théo could have been aiming for 2nd place. The season is still long and the fact that we can count on two fast, reliable cars is an asset in our fight for both titles.”
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