Switzerland’s Louis Delétraz was denied the chance to fight for FIA Formula 2 Championship points at Monza in Italy this weekend after suffering with a lack of top speed.
The ADSS-supported driver was happy with the set-up and handling of his Charouz Racing System machine from the moment he took to the ultra-fast circuit on Friday afternoon.
But a lack of speed on the all-important Monza straights became apparent during qualifying as Louis could only place his car P10 on the grid for Saturday’s Feature Race.
His hopes of a good result during the 30-lap race were then dashed on the second lap when a rival drove into the side of his car at Turn 5, pushing him off the track and through the gravel.
The impact damaged the right-rear tyre on Louis’ car and, with the pit lane not open for another four laps, he had to drive for longer than he wanted on ruined rubber. That meant he lost time and dropped to P18.
When he was finally able to get into the pits and swap to fresh medium compound tyres, Louis fought back impressively and a succession of neat passing moves allowed him to recover to P13 at the finish.
“When you only have the speed to qualify in P10, that makes the race difficult because that’s the part of the grid where the problems usually are,” Louis reflected.
“Unfortunately, I got taken out on the second lap and that ruined my race. I had good pace after that but it was impossible to catch up the time.”
Starting from P13 on today’s Sprint Race grid, the 21-year-old once again found it difficult to move forward without the top speed some of his rivals enjoyed. He did however, manage to claw back two positions as he completed the race in P11.
He said: “Today’s result confirmed my problem again. When you’re losing two or three tenths of a second each lap because of the engine, you get stuck in your position and it’s hard to move forward.”
With four weeks until the penultimate round of the F2 series in Sochi, Russia, Louis is hoping a solution can be found so that he can finish his season in point-scoring form.
“I hope things will be sorted out for the next two rounds,” he said. “It’s frustrating that I finished fourth twice at Silverstone a few weeks ago and now it’s hard to break into the top-ten.”