Louis Delétraz made a strong start to his 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship campaign in Austria this weekend, scoring points and an impressive podium at the Spielberg circuit.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced the season into an extended winter hiatus but Louis and his Charouz Racing Team were fired up for the first race weekend of 2020 – kicking off a programme of eight events in just a 10-week period.
Louis lined up in P10 for Saturday afternoon’s 40-lap Feature Race and his ferocious approach on the opening lap allowed him to move up to P8.
The Swiss driver filtered back into the thick of the action after losing some time during his mandatory pit stop and remained in the hunt for the podium positions, before eventually crossing the finish line in P7 and securing six points.
“I had a good start and took two places. The pit stop wasn’t the fastest but these things happen, I’m not worried about that,” the 23-year-old said.
“I made up some positions on pure pace later in the race and, despite some struggles with the tyres, we held on. We did a safe strategy, and securing a top-eight finish was important for Sunday’s Sprint Race reverse grid.”
Louis started the second race of the weekend from P2 on the grid and remained relentless in his pursuit of leader Felipe Drugovich, at one point setting the fastest lap of the race.
However, he wasn’t quite able to overhaul his Brazilian rival during a race that was interrupted by the Safety Car on four occasions, and completed the distance in a strong P2.
It marked the sixth F2 podium finish for Haas F1 Team reserve and test driver, Louis. It also guaranteed him another 12 points – taking his weekend total to 18 and moving him into P5 in the early drivers’ points standings.
“We weren’t 100% in Saturday’s race and we made it better on Sunday, so we know where we can optimise this going forward,” Louis explained.
“It was fairly smooth and I don’t think we could have taken more points than we did.
“It was really nice for the team, everyone worked so hard to get the cars ready, and I think we reacted well from where we started. For me, it’s a good start of the season.”
Louis will be back in action in Austria this Friday for the second round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship, as the series supports Formula 1’s Styrian Grand Prix.
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