Louis Delétraz maintained his streak of top-10 finishes as the FIA Formula 2 Championship reached its mid-point at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend.
The Charouz Racing System driver, a double podium finisher so far in 2020, sealed another top 10 grid position for Saturday’s 35-lap Feature Race at the home of the Spanish Grand Prix and ran the conventional Option/Prime strategy, as searing track temperatures wreaked tyre wear havoc.
Unfortunately, a late Safety Car period disrupted the order and Louis was on the wrong side of the strategic split, leaving him P10 at the end – albeit just four seconds behind the podium positions after a frantic final lap dash to the chequered flag.
That result placed Louis P10 on the grid for Sunday’s 26-lap Sprint Race and in a relatively processional encounter the Haas F1 Team test and reserve driver gained a spot to classify P9.
“Frustratingly, we couldn’t extract as much from the car as we wanted to in qualifying,” Louis reflected. “We still have to work on our one-lap pace because our consistency is not the problem – we are just a bit too slow.
“In Saturday’s race the strategy was good for us, but starting from where we were it was difficult to really attack. You’re always in traffic, and the timing of the Safety Car was very bad. But that can happen and for us it was just unfortunate.
“I made a good start during today’s race but I couldn’t really save the tyres as we were in the pack and when that happens it makes the degradation higher.”
With six rounds of an anticipated 12-event calendar now completed, Louis knows where the focus needs to lie if he’s going to add to the 65 points he’s already scored in 2020.
“We still have to understand more about the tyres – they play a big part this year and I think every team is struggling with certain aspects,” he said. “The behaviour of the rubber can be strange so it’s very tough to get a handle on. But it’s up to us to understand it.
“Of course, we were still in the top 10 throughout the weekend at Barcelona but we were at the wrong end of it. We want to aim for the top and more success like we have found at other races this season.”
Louis now has a week off and will resume his F2 programme when Formula 1’s official feeder series visits Belgium’s Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on 28-30 August.
Image: © Dutch Photo Agency