One podium and 13th in the championship, that’s all Christian Lundgaard has after three rounds. Baku was the latest bump on his road to Formula 2 glory.
Things aren’t going ART GP’s way this season. Yes, Theo Pourchaire has been putting in some great performances in his debut year like the Monaco win, but the French driver broke his wrist in a collision and might miss next round.
And then there’s the curious case of the second ART seat. In the past there was always one driver performing, while the other one trundled around in the back. Almost without exception. When Nyck de Vries took the title with the team in 2019, his team mate Nikita Mazepin finished an embarrassing 18th in the championship. Or take last season when Christian Lundgaard won twice and finished 7th in his debut season and Kiwi Marcus Armstrong managed only a third of Lundgaard’s points total.
That’s what makes Lundgaard’s start to his 2021 Formula 2 campaign so weird. From a stellar debut season to just three points finishes in nine races. Baku was supposed to be the turnaround. The Danish Alpine junior was confused after a bad Monaco round. “I honestly do not know what to say. Monaco is always special and it is a special track to drive on, but this round is just for the sake of forgetting”, he says. “There was just nothing that went my way this weekend. I just think I should go home and sleep the disappointment out and then there is full focus on returning stronger at the next round in Baku.”
With Baku approaching, Lundgaard felt a little refreshed. “I have put Monaco behind me. It was a big disappointment and I needed to get away from motorsport for a few days, so I went home to Denmark and had fun with family and friends and got my thoughts to another place. It can not go much worse than it went in Monaco, so now it’s just a matter of looking forward. I’m totally ready for the weekend and I’m really looking forward to this track. We have already walked the track and It’s a race track! There are some really fast sections combined with some with narrow passages.”
But Baku wasn’t better, it was almost just as bad: two retirements and a 7th in the first race. This time Lungaard sounds more dejected. “Nothing went our way this weekend. I pushed as hard as I could and gave everything I had, but I could not find the speed in the car. I lacked grip in the front end and it was hard to carry the speed into the turns. Not a problem you want on a street circuit where the walls are close. We struggled to find the solution, and we did not succeed, so now we have to go home and look at a lot of data to find out what we can do better next time.”
Lundgaard and ART have until July 17th to find out what’s going wrong. That’s when the next round at Silverstone takes place.