Louis Delétraz secured a pair of top-six finishes as the FIA Formula 2 Championship resumed at the iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.
A year on from the tragic race weekend that claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert, the Formula 2 field paid fitting tribute to the late Frenchman by putting on a pair of enthralling races in Belgium.
Louis started Saturday’s Feature Race from P8 on the grid and a rocket-like first lap propelled the Swiss driver up to P5, firmly among the leading group.
The 23-year-old made further progress prior to the pit stop phase, running an Option/Prime tyre strategy, and swift work by the Charouz Racing System crew left Louis in contention for the podium.
He then jumped up one more place to secure P4 at the chequered flag – and secure 12 more championship points.
“It was very close in qualifying – just four tenths to pole, but P8 wasn’t exactly what we were aiming for,” the Haas F1 Team test and reserve driver said.
“I had a very good start to the race, gaining some positions, and I saved my tyres well. We also chose a great strategy and the guys did a fantastic pit stop.
“We were fighting for the podium the whole time, so the race pace was strong – and once again if we started a little bit higher up the grid we’d be able to finish in a better position. But P4 is definitely good.”
That result placed Louis P5 on the grid for Sunday’s Sprint Race and, in a frantic encounter, the positions altered on each lap.
Louis found himself as high as P2 and as low as P8 as the drivers went wheel-to-wheel. When the dust settled, Louis was classified in P6. The result gave him an additional four championship points.
“I had another good start in Race 2 and got up to P2 but straight away I felt I had no grip,” he explained.
“The tyres were not working, and I really didn’t have good pace, unfortunately. The cars behind me were able to pass me quite easily, which is very frustrating, and with the lack of grip we just finished where we had to – I couldn’t do much better.”
Louis leaves Spa-Francorchamps P8 in the F2 Drivers’ Championship on 81 points, with the next round – the eighth of 12 – taking place next weekend at Italy’s high-speed Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
“Going to Monza should suit us,” he said. “We can hopefully find a good top speed and push for the maximum results.”