Tyres biggest talking point leading up to F2 season opener

We’re less than two weeks away from the long awaited Formula 2 season opener at Bahrain. And while most of the drivers had a satisfying pre-season test, the tyres are not the easiest to get to grips with (no pun intended).

DAMS driver Marcus Armstrong looks forward to the season, and knows his fortunes can turn very quickly. “It was a very intensive test,” he said. “It’s great to be in a team with people who want to win as much as I do. Even without considering the times, I’m happy with what we did, although we know things will be different on race weekends. My experience from last year has taught me that it takes very little to change the pecking order, but we look in good shape in all situations. In qualifying, we’ll have to adapt to the grip level on track which will be different every time, while we will face a new situation in the races as there’s a bigger difference between the Option and Prime tyres. I think it will be interesting and this test was a great help in getting a better understanding of the two compounds.”

Last years revelation Robert Shwartzman is also pleased about the test, but the Prema driver has his concerns over the tyres. “Overall, the test went pretty well. My performance in qualifying runs wasn’t bad, the potential is there but we still have to improve in a few areas. I am pleased with my performance on the race simulations, although the new hard tyres are much more complicated to use than the previous generation, as they have less grip, so it’s harder to control when they start to degrade. I think we got close to our limit and we know what we need to do to the package, so I can’t wait for the first race weekend. I’m ready with fresh positive energy to try and be a front runner right from the start.”

Oscar Piastri will make his debut in F2. “Overall it was a very positive preseason test, and we learned a lot. Qualifying performance looks reasonably strong, while in terms of race pace, I’m still adapting to Formula 2 and its variables. I did my first two full feature race distances and we kept improving, so I’m excited for the opening round of the season.”

HWA Racelabs Matteo Nannini is confident he will do well in his debut season and is looking forward to his first race. “I’m heading into the first race of the season with more confidence and a positive mindset, bearing in mind that there is still a lot of work to do” he said.”

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