Louis Delétraz crowned an impressive FIA Formula 2 Championship weekend in Monaco by finishing P2 in Saturday’s Sprint Race – missing out on victory by only 0.059s!
The Swiss driver, a podium finisher at the corresponding event in 2018, was in imperious form on the 3.33km street circuit.
P8 in Thursday’s practice session set the tone for a positive weekend and a P5 lap time in the ADSS-supported driver’s qualifying group secured a P10 starting slot for Friday’s 42-lap Feature Race.
In a chaotic encounter that was red-flagged at mid-distance so officials could clear a pair of tangled cars at La Rascasse, Louis delivered a mature performance to finish P8 – a position that was adjusted to P7 following a post-race disqualification for another driver.
“It was very messy in the race, but I think we did the right strategy and maximised the situation we were in after the red flag,” Louis explained. “It was very positive to be doing purple sectors on the timing screens after we switched to the prime tyre – everything was working really well and that gave me confidence for the Sprint Race.”
Louis’ Feature Race result placed him second on the reversed grid for Saturday’s second race. With overtaking opportunities so limited at Monaco, Louis executed a formidable start to protect his position off the line and settle into P2.
Despite a pair of Safety Car periods that closed the field back up, Louis’ excellent pace allowed him to pull clear of Guanyu Zhou who momentarily threatened behind. Thanks to Louis’ good work, the end of the race proved to be a straight dice between him and Anthoine Hubert.
The final three laps were thrilling as Louis applied immense pressure and tried to force his rival in to making a mistake. However, the width of the circuit ultimately conspired against him.
There was late drama as Louis got a much better exit from Turn 19 and managed to draw alongside Hubert in the drag race to the chequered flag, but the deficit was slightly too much and he was edged into P2 by a slender 0.059s.
“I got a great launch off the line but Anthoine also got a good start so I had to take up P2,” Louis said. “I struggled to get my tyres up to temperature and to get a good balance in the opening stages but my car got better and better throughout the race and I managed my tyres well.
“The final three laps were exciting as I pushed Anthoine. I could see he had run out of rubber but he defended well.
“I’m pretty happy to get my second Monaco podium in a row and this weekend’s results get us back where we belong after a couple of troubled events.
“The important thing this weekend is that I drove fast, clean and without any mistakes, and that the team did a fantastic job as well. It was a strong weekend for us.”
This weekend’s strong results handed Louis 18 championship points and he now sits P8 in the drivers’ title standings, ahead of the French Grand Prix weekend in four weeks’ time.