Louis Delétraz is hoping to use the thrill of finishing on the FIA Formula 2 Championship podium at the Monaco Grand Prix last month as the catalyst for more success when the series resumes at Circuit Paul Ricard in France this weekend.
With the F2 calendar giving Louis and his Czech-based team a four-week break from competition after Monaco, the ADS Securities-supported driver is eager to return to competition and build on his recent success.
“Monaco was an incredible weekend and that feeling is still very much in my mind. It was my first F2 podium and P4 in the Feature Race also helped us to put many points in the bag,” he said. “Now I want to carry on in this form at Paul Ricard. The Monaco success is really motivating and I cannot wait to get back on track and do it again.”
The 5.84km Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet features on the F2 calendar for the first time this year, but teams and drivers were given the opportunity to learn the track during a three-day pre-season test at the venue in March.
Driving the 2018-spec Dallara F2 car for the first time, Louis enjoyed a positive test and was consistently fast enough to seal a place inside the top-six times during four of the six sessions. His previous form and experience is something he’s hoping will benefit him this weekend.
“We’ve already done some good work at Paul Ricard during testing,” he explained. “Testing isn’t racing so this weekend will be different. But we’re confident and we know about the track we’re heading to.
“Paul Ricard is a track that I like a lot. I won the last time I raced there in Formula V8 3.5 and there have been some updates in certain sections that have made the track much quicker.”
This weekend’s pair of races in France marks the start of a run of three back-to-back events for the F2 drivers and teams. With races in Austria and Great Britain coming in quick succession after Le Castellet, Louis believes the upcoming sequence of races represents a crucial phase in the 2018 season.
“It’s really great to have three races after each other because you are hardly out of the car and always driving,” he said. “That’s three weeks of full push with many, many points to take. It’s a very important point in the season and Monaco has put a lot of positivity and motivation into the team.”
Louis’ Paul Ricard weekend will get underway with free practice (13.55) and qualifying (17.55) on Friday. Saturday’s Feature Race (17.45) will be run over 30 laps, while Sunday’s Sprint Race (12.00) distance will be 21 laps [times quoted are local].