Switzerland’s Louis Delétraz maintained his excellent point-scoring form in the FIA Formula 2 Championship as he raced to P4 and P5 finishes at Silverstone in the UK this weekend (6-8 July).
Friday’s hot and sticky qualifying session returned a P4 grid position for Saturday afternoon’s 29-lap Feature Race.
With track temperatures measuring an incredible 52°c, ADS Securities-supported Louis started the race on soft rubber before darting into the pits on lap 7 to switch to the ‘prime’ hard compound.
As the pit stop phase equalised, Louis found himself just outside the podium places. His hopes of climbing higher up the leaderboard were not helped by a couple of Virtual Safety Car (VSC) periods that Louis felt cost him some time and put him under unnecessary press from the drivers behind him.
That meant the 21-year-old found himself embroiled in a fierce three-way battle for P4 as the race neared its conclusion. With Ghiotto holding the position and Markelov looming large in his mirrors, Louis needed to plan his attack carefully.
Setting the fastest lap of his race on lap 26 enabled him to close on his Italian rival and he coolly nipped past at Turn 15 (Stowe Corner) on the final lap to take P4 – and a welcome 12 championship points.
“I was really happy with P4 but the circumstances of the race didn’t help because I seemed to be losing a lot of time with the VSC,” Louis explained. “That put me behind Ghiotto. He was defending hard on the final lap – sometimes maybe too hard. But I was quicker and better on the brakes at Stowe and I went past. It was a timely move.”
Starting Sunday morning’s Sprint Race from P5 on the grid, Louis made an impressive start in his Charouz Racing System car and quickly moved up a position.
As the race order stabilised, Louis looked to close the gap to the podium places but he wasn’t quite able to match the ultimate pace of the leading trio.
That meant his focus switched to securing as many points as he could and his determination was rewarded on the final lap. Piling the pressure onto de Vries, Louis executed another neat pass at Turn 15 (Stowe Corner) to seal P5.
Sunday’s Sprint Race success earned Louis another 6 championship points, taking his haul for the weekend to 18. Crucially, his strong results at Silverstone enabled him to move up two places in the drivers’ championship standings during one race weekend – from P10 to P8.
“I’m pleased with P4 and P5 finishes and it’s a positive feeling to get back to scoring some good points after the disappointment of Austria,” he said. “That was always my objective and it was nice to enjoy some good racing at such an amazing track.
“With the run of three back-to-back F2 races now complete, we have a bit of time before the next race in Hungary (27-29 July). That will be a good time to recharge the batteries and make sure we’re ready for the final five races of the season.”