Emotional Vesti grabs F2 pole in Monaco: ‘I was almost crying’

After switching from ART Grand Prix to Prema for 2023, Mercedes junior Frederik Vesti has started the season showing consistency and pace. Having scored an impressive Feature Race win earlier this year in Jeddah, Vesti has given himself a chance of repeating this in Monaco, after securing his second career Formula 2 pole on Friday. The 21-year-old spoke to Feeder Series and selected media about this momentous achievement.

By Tyler Foster

Red flags have dominated the Formula 2 weekend so far, with both qualifying group sessions being cut short as a result of incidents. This resulted in some drivers failing to get in their final flying lap and handing the advantage to those who had set strong early push laps. The best of those was from Vesti, who finished ahead of the ART duo of Victor Martins and Théo Pourchaire. Speaking on the team radio, the Prema driver was clearly elated, stating that “this is the best pole of my life.”

“Every time I tried to think about it, I was almost crying,” Vesti said after qualifying. “I really tried to just enjoy the moment with all the team. Looking back at what we just did, it means so much to me. Pole position means so much to me.”

The Danish driver had previously achieved pole as a rookie in last year’s event at Spielberg in Austria. Unfortunately for him, he failed to capitalise on this and was scoreless across that weekend. However, Vesti confessed that since then, he has had his sights set on mastering the streets of Monaco.

“Well if you had asked me before the season, if I wanted one pole, I would definitely choose Monaco. I’m really happy to take this one. It just shows the improvement I’m making and the direction it’s going. Very happy to make this step.

“I’m extremely happy, the lap was obviously good. I was trying to push as hard as I could, but still managing the pressure and not making mistakes, because around Monaco you cannot go all out every single corner. You need to put the lap together and do a clean qualifying to be fast. It requires also a lot of push and taking some risk, but we managed to do the pole and it just means everything to me.”

The two extra points for pole help close the gap at the top of the standings, with Vesti just a single point away from current championship leader Pourchaire. The Frenchman has so far managed to achieve a top-three finish in all five qualifying sessions this season. As a pair, Vesti and Pourchaire spent last season together as teammates at ART Grand Prix, where the Dane was a rookie in F2. Prior to this, he was with Prema in Formula 3, and since moving back to the Italian giants, Vesti has admitted that it is “a huge advantage” for him.

While his focus will most certainly be on converting his pole into a second feature race victory of the season and possibly taking the championship lead, Saturday’s sprint race offers an opportunity at extra points. Discussing the rest of the weekend, Vesti suggested that the driver’s mindset will change as they prepare for the races.

“It’s slightly different in the races because in quali and free practice, you just want to push as hard as you can and get a very good lap time in. In the races, you need to manage. If you crash, you don’t win; you don’t score points, so you need to stay on track. That will change the mindset of everyone I think, but you still need to push. We are here to win and make good overtakes.”

Header photo credit: Prema


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