Louis Delétraz returned to the FIA Formula 2 Championship podium at Silverstone in Great Britain this weekend, scoring an impressive P2 finish in Sunday’s Sprint Race.
The 22-year-old targeted a strong second half of the 2019 season as he arrived at the home of the British Grand Prix – and he got his mission underway in fine style aboard his ADSS-supported car.
Driving at one of his all-time favourite circuits, Louis was immediately on the pace and scored a strong P5 during Friday afternoon’s qualifying session.
“Quali was good and gave us a strong start to the weekend which is so crucial,” Louis explained. “We made the tyre work well and I put a good lap together. The session was extremely close as I was only one tenth off the front row.”
Saturday’s 29-lap Feature Race proved to be an encounter where it was hard for Louis to make progress up the leaderboard. But his pace was still rewarded with a solid P7 finish, six championship points and a front row start for the reversed-grid Sprint Race.
“I had good pace but there wasn’t a lot happening because the tyre degradation was pretty stable,” the 22-year-old said. “Unfortunately, when Nyck de Vries overtook me I lost some time and a couple of places. I was hoping to keep it where I started but it wasn’t to be.”
A confident start under grey clouds on Sunday morning enabled Louis to leap into the lead of the Sprint Race and he immediately established a commanding three-second advantage over the chasing pack.
A brief safety car period erased the Swiss driver’s lead, but a succession of fastest laps once the track went back to green meant Louis again enjoyed a comfortable lead in his Carlin machine as the race reached mid-distance.
Although he was consciously trying to save his tyres in the closing stages, Louis couldn’t match the pace of rival Jack Aitken and the Briton squeezed into the lead with a brave pass at Brooklands.
Louis had to be content with P2 – his second podium finish of the season – and another 12 championship points which took his weekend haul to an impressive 18.
Louis said: “I had strong pace and was managing the gap nicely. I don’t know where jack found his extra speed but he was a lot quicker in the final laps. I didn’t have the pace to keep him behind.
“But I’m very happy with another podium and to bring Carlin some success at its home race. Based on this weekend, I think things are looking very positive for the upcoming F2 races.”
With Silverstone bringing a run of three race weekends in four weeks to an end, Louis now has a three-week break until the F2 series resumes in Hungary on 2-4 August.