Louis Delétraz completed his 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship campaign with a pair of points-scoring finishes in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
The 21-year-old finished P6 in both the Feature and Sprint races at the Yas Marina Circuit and cemented a top-ten finish in the final F2 points.
Louis was close to the ultimate pace at the start of the race weekend, claiming P7 in Friday’s Free Practice session, and further improved the set-up of his Charouz Racing System car for qualifying, when he claimed P6 on the grid for Saturday night’s Feature Race.
The ADSS-supported driver continued his forward progress at the start of the 29-lap encounter, surging up to P4 on the run to the first corner. He remained P4 until lap eight, when he peeled into the pits to swap his super-soft Pirelli tyres for the soft compound.
“We improved the car from practice to qualifying and it was great to be running P4 so early in the race,”said Louis. “Unfortunately, I had some understeer after we put the soft tyres on and that restricted my pace.
“My P6 finish brought some good points for me and the team and a strong grid position for the Sprint Race. I’m happy with that.”
For the Sprint Race, which took place in hot and breezy conditions on Sunday afternoon, Louis started from P3 on the grid.
“The race itself was good for me but the start was really bad,” he explained. “There was a long wait on the grid and I had a high engine temperature. After that, my start was affected by wheel spin and that meant I dropped three places.
“Once the race unfolded, I was pleased with my pace and tyre management. Unfortunately, the Drag Reduction System (DRS) was broken from lap 5 or 6 and that made things difficult. I was catching George Russell and Nyck De Vries but there was no way to get past – that was pretty frustrating.”
Louis was satisfied to collect more championship points, but felt an even stronger result was possible.
“I think we improved the car a lot from the Feature Race to the Sprint Race and it felt good today. I think if I’d been able to make a better start, we could have gone far. As it was, I did the most I could without DRS,”he said.
“I definitely wanted more than P6 today but it’s good to end up with some points in the final races and to thank the team for all their hard work and determination during the season. It’s been an enjoyable ride and a pleasure to work with the Charouz guys.”
The FIA F2 season might be over, but the hard work doesn’t end there for Louis. On Wednesday, the Swiss driver will make his F1 testing debut with Haas F1 Team during the Pirelli Tyre Test at Yas Marina.