With two consecutive race wins in Barcelona over the weekend, MP Motorsport’s Felipe Drugovich became the first driver since Davide Valsecchi in 2013 to win both the Sprint and Feature Race at one round in Formula 2/GP2.
By Tyler Foster
This achievement is historic and has occurred in the weekend prior to the round at Monaco. Speaking to F1 Feeder Series and selected media, we asked the top three drivers from the Feature Race in Barcelona about their excitement for Monaco.
Drugovich’s Double Delight
After a difficult qualifying, in which Drugovich was tenth, the Brazilian was handed a three-place grid penalty for the Sprint Race as a result of impeding his championship rival Théo Pourchaire on his flying lap. Despite this setback, he started alongside Pourchaire on the second row and had an excellent getaway, taking the lead into turn one and never looking back. He comfortably dominated the Sprint and took his second win of the season.
For Sunday, he started tenth but was once again exceptional to work the soft compound tyres to their limit, extending their stint before pitting. He then seemed a man on a mission with fresh rubber and pounded in the laps while overtaking from ninth all the way to victory and his second Feature Race victory of the season. This extends his lead in the championship to 26 points over Pourchaire.
Leading the Championship into Monaco
After three rounds it’s time to move to Monaco for next week’s Round 4 of the F2 season. With it comes the two races that all the drivers want to perform in and that bit more pressure for what is considered the crown jewel of Formula 1 and Formula 2. Any driver wanting to catch the eye of F1 bosses and academies will need a strong performance in the principality to attract attention.
For Drugovich, he didn’t get the opportunity to race in Monaco when he was last with MP in 2020 as it wasn’t on the calendar. However, he did race there with Virtuosi Racing last year and actually managed a strong podium in the Feature Race, finishing third. After his win on Sunday, Drugovich spoke about his feelings regarding everything Monaco.
“Yeah, I’m really excited. Monaco for me last year has been great. We just need to keep on working on that. MP didn’t have as much experience there as Virtuosi or whoever, but I’ve been talking to the team a lot and trying to prepare as much as we can to get in the best form.”
“We are just thinking about points in the championship, so we need to have a safe weekend and try to score as many points as we can. I’m really confident for the rest of the championship, I think this really shows our potential. One of my concerns at the beginning of the year was if we would be consistent or not from every type of track, and that’s been showing we can be consistent and hopefully it’s the same thing in Monaco.”
Doohan excited for Monaco
Two-time pole sitter this year, Jack Doohan, has got a lot to be proud of. He is Formula 2’s best qualifier this season and has shown pace at every circuit so far. However, converting grid position into points has been the issue for the Australian. With a solid P2 in the Feature Race in Barcelona, this may finally be a turning point for his season.
Moving forward, as a rookie Monaco in F2 will be completely new for Doohan and he certainly can’t wait.
“It’ll be my first time in Monaco so I’m really excited. It’s going to be an awesome experience to race round the streets of Monaco. I just want to continue this racepace form. Hopefully I can continue my qualy form and be in another position to score good points next weekend. I need to stay clean and be smart and get through the weekend, I think that will be the main thing.”
Perfect timing for Vesti
Finally, the driver who scored a maiden Formula 2 podium alongside Doohan on Sunday was Mercedes Junior, Frederik Vesti. The 20-year-old Dane finished third in the Feature Race in Barcelona after an impressive qualifying and consistent racepace. Once again, this may be a turning point and there’s no better time to head to Monaco than when you’ve broken your duck in F2.
“From my side there’s no doubt that going onto the podium here in Barcelona and doing a good qualifying as well gives me a lot of confidence, and that’s very important going into Monaco and Baku next; two tracks I’ve never been to before. So, just generally really happy with that and we’ll see what Monaco brings. ART was very strong their last year, so I’m excited to go and it’s going to be an incredible experience.”
Formula 2 never disappoints when in Monaco, and once again there is a whole host of drivers who believe that it will be their time to shine on the streets of the principality come next weekend. One thing is for certain, the drivers aren’t short of excitement to blast their way around the historic layout.
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Header photo credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd