Silverstone, United Kingdom
Silverstone brought it’s unpredictable weather as usual with the rain trying to make an appearance at every opportunity. After being on top in free practice Charles Leclerc continued his claim of pole positions by taking his 6th consecutive pole of the season on Friday afternoon with a 1:38.427.
The Qualifying session saw Leclerc take the initial provisional pole, but it became a battle with Norman Nato and Oliver Rowland who tried their best to match the Monegasque driver. As the clock counted down it was Leclerc who lit up the time sheets with purple sectors and claimed the 6th consecutive pole for this season after a stunning performance. For Antonio Fuoco, he had an unfortunate qualifying which was cut short after getting held up on his flying laps.
At the start of Race 1, Leclerc stormed off the line instantly creating a 2 second gap to Nato. Constantly setting fastest laps, nothing could stop the Ferrari backed driver. After a quick pit stop and coming out the pit lane in P5 he cruised to the finish overtaking each car with ease before yet again creating an even bigger gap of 8.8 seconds to Nato in P2, crossing the line to take his fifth win of the season. For Antonio Fuoco it was a difficult race after being forced to start at the back of the field, the Italian managed to gain a few places into P17.
# 1 – Charles Leclerc
“We got a good start and the first lap was also pretty good. We were fast on the option tires and we had quite a big gap when we pitted for primes. We had a problem which was a bit scary as I saw some smoke behind. Nothing happened afterwards though and there were no messages on the steering wheel. We will have a look to see what happened. After that we were fast on the prime tires too. At the beginning I took my time because we knew that there would have been graining problems if we pushed too hard from the beginning. I knew that Norman was pushing behind me but I stayed calm until I could start to push again because the car was great and then I began to open a gap again. It was a really good race, probably the most positive of the season as it shows the steps we did. I’m very happy about how it ended up today.”
# 2 – Antonio Fuoco
“We started far down the order after yesterday’s qualifying and in the first stint with the option tires it was tough to complete six laps with so much degradation. Once back with the prime tires I felt the same feeling of yesterday with the car and we don’t know why. We will have to check everything again but I don’t know what to say, it feels impossible being 2 seconds off the pace. Let’s hope for some improvement tomorrow.”
With 150,000 spectators expected at the home of British motorsport, all eyes were on the future Formula 1 stars, for the sprint race of the FIA F2 Championship. Charles Leclerc started in P8 due to the reverse grid after his feature race win on Saturday, Antonio Fuoco started P17. At the start Leclerc jumped up two positions to P6 before starting a long battle with Sergio Canamasas for P5. On lap 12 Leclerc made the move on the Spaniard before setting the fastest lap of the race with a 1:43.219. After catching Artem Markelov for P4 with a 0.3 second gap, the safety car was deployed. With one lap remaining, the restart occurred and Leclerc was unable to hold off Canamasas causing him to lose the position crossing the line in P5. For Antonio Fuoco the majority of his race consisted of putting pressure on Callum Illot, but at the restart the Italian managed to jump up five positions to finish a positive P13.
Looking onto Budapest which is in two weeks 28-30th July, Charles Leclerc firmly holds onto the Drivers Championship with 188 points, 67 points ahead of Markelov.
“It’s been a great weekend with Charles being on top for every session, starting with an outstanding qualifying time then a phenomenal race win. I have to congratulate the entire team, they clearly prepared a fantastic car and Charles has clearly maximised it to it’s full potential. We also had a double 1-2 win in Mugello with the Italian F4 team, which has topped off an already great weekend nicely.
Team manager René Rosin
“We are delighted with Charles’s performance this weekend after taking another pole and feature win, as well as taking fastest lap in the sprint race. It sets everyone up with a positive attitude as we head to Budapest in two weeks before the summer break.”
# 1 – Charles Leclerc
“The day was good until the last lap, it’s a bit of a shame that I was passed by Canamasas, but it was great until then. I think we killed a little bit the tires in the first part of the race to try and catch up from quite a bad start, but then the pace was amazing and that’s a great thing to take away to Budapest. Too bad for the safety-car that cost us the chance to get on the podium because we had a cool down lap on the tires before pushing again, but we’ll see in Budapest.”
# 2 – Antonio Fuoco
“I think this has been the worst weekend of the year for me as I have been struggling since practice. Today in race 2 it seemed a bit better, but in the end it was almost impossible to recover as it’s just too hard to overtake when everybody is on the DRS. I managed to gain four spots at the re-start after the safety car but still not a positive weekend overall.”