- Bad luck did not prevent PERTAMINA PREMA Theodore Racing from showing interesting potential in Circuit Paul Ricard, as the FIA Formula 2 Championship got back on-track in the frame of the F1 Grand Prix of France, but nonetheless, the first day of action for the series in Le Castellet did not bring the expected results.
In qualifying, Dutchman Nyck De Vries was in the hunt for pole position but suffered from a technical issue with his car displaying “throttle pedal safety mode” that deprived him of what would have been a clear shot for P1 while on his second set of tires. Nyck, who was second after his first run, will be forced to take-off from the fourth row on the grid despite two really quick split times.
On the other hand, Indonesian Sean Gelael displayed potential and put together a good improvement from practice. Unfortunately, he was following his team-mate when the issue occurred, which cost him time. Gelael eventually finished P12 and will start tomorrow’s feature race from the sixth row on the grid, relying once again on a quick and consistent pace.
Fastest lap: 1:45.721
“Qualifying was not bad, even though Nyck, who was running in front of me, accidentally changed my last couple of corners. The issue cost him pole while it cost me maybe a couple of tenths. We could have started in the top-10 and made it easier for the first race, but I think we are in a better position to fight among the top-8 from P12 compared to what we were used to. Hopefully tomorrow, with the pace we had in the last few races, we will fight for the top-8.”
Nyck De Vries
Fastest lap: 1:45.269
“Today we did everything we could have done. Maybe we should have done better on the first set, but we were very close and I boxed after my first flying lap because I felt that something was already wrong with my throttle. With the following set, in my first push, everything was good and we were running ahead of Russell who took pole. Unfortunately, then we lost throttle in the last sector, which was something out of our control but still disappointing. We will just have to try to make the most out of our race tomorrow.”