F2 Sprint Race review: Spielberg, Austria 2018


01 July 2018
Moving up to P3 in the teams' championship is something we're immensely proud of

“Moving up to P3 in the teams' championship is something we're immensely proud of”


Team owner, Antonin Charouz  

A point-scoring performance at the sixth round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship in Austria this weekend (29 June – 1 July) has lifted Charouz Racing System up to an impressive P3 in the Teams’ Championship standings.

The Czech squad traveled to the Spielberg circuit fresh from securing its fourth podium of the season at Le Castellet in France – courtesy of Louis Delétraz – a week earlier.

Although an F2 rookie, the team continued its impressive point-scoring form during Saturday’s Feature Race as Antonio Fuoco shone during the frantic 40-lap race. Starting from P13 on the grid, the Italian dropped to P17 when he was forced to make an un-planned pit stop early in the race to replace a damaged front wing.

But that signalled the beginning of a remarkable fightback from the Ferrari Driver Academy pilot. Having managed his Pirelli tyres superbly, Antonio was the fastest man on the track for the final phase of the race and that allowed him to catapult from P17 to P3 at the chequered flag. That gave him 15 championship points.

Team-mate Louis enjoyed less favourable fortunes during the Feature Race. He too had managed his tyres exceptionally well and was poised to launch an attack on the podium places when his car was cruelly struck down by an engine problem. He retired from P8 in the pit lane.

Sunday’s Sprint Race gave the team it’s second point-scoring result of the weekend as Antonio cooly progressed from his P6 starting position to finish P4 after 28 laps of the 4.32km circuit.

That gave him another 8 championship points – a return that confirmed the team’s move up to P3 in the teams’ standings (out of 10 teams) with a three-point cushion over DAMS Racing.

Louis suffered further disappointment in the Sprint Race, meanwhile. Having gained two places on his P16 starting position, the Swiss driver was pushed wide as he battled for position with a rival at Turn Four. That caused the rear of his car to slide on the kerb and gravel and Louis was powerless to avoid contact.

The impact damaged the front wing and broke the tow on his car. He retired with three laps remaining.

As well as elevating Charouz Racing System into P3 in the F2 teams’ standings, this weekend’s results have also moved Antonio into P6 in the F2 Drivers’ Championship. Louis remains P10.

Charouz Racing System will complete its current run of three back-to-back F2 races at Silverstone in Great Britain next weekend (6-8 July).

Team owner, Antonin Charouz, said: “Moving up to P3 in the teams’ championship is something we’re immensely proud of and I think we can be pretty happy with our work this weekend in Austria. The bitter part is what happened to Louis. He drove well, so it’s hard to take when you are hit with an engine problem in the first race and then you’re pushed out in the second race. We’ll work together to put this disappointment behind us before Silverstone.”

Team principal, Bob Vavrik, said: “The Sprint Race was tough because all the other teams learned from our excellent tyre management yesterday. We’re pleased to get a P4 finish and some more points from Antonio. Louis was unlucky again and we’re sorry for that. There was no way he could continue with the damage he picked up. Silverstone will be a perfect opportunity to bounce back and I’m sure he will.”

Antonio Fuoco said: “It’s normal during the second race that everyone learned from day one. I think we had a good, clean race today and took our chance to score some points. P4 was the maximum we could get. Scoring 23 points from the weekend is quite good but we need to keep working hard to maintain our momentum. For sure, we need to work on qualifying for the race because starting higher on the grid makes things easier for the weekend.”

Louis Delétraz said: “Today’s result is tough to take. I was one of the few cars to make any progress through the field and my tyre degradation was looking great for the rest of the race. In the end, we were one of the quickest during the whole weekend. Although we didn’t get the results we deserved, it’s definitely a boost to know that we have the pace to constantly fight for podiums. I want to make that count at Silverstone.”

Moving up to P3 in the teams' championship is something we're immensely proud of

“Moving up to P3 in the teams' championship is something we're immensely proud of”


Team owner, Antonin Charouz  
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