After a somewhat shaky start by their own standards to the Formula 2 season, Prema have shown that they clearly are still championship contenders having achieved a solid double podium in the Sprint Race at Imola. Following the race, F1 Feeder Series and selected media spoke to the Prema duo of Jehan Daruvala and Dennis Hauger about their confidence.
By Tyler Foster
With the Prema team showing solid pace throughout practice, they had their best qualifying performance of the season so far, finishing fifth and eighth. This meant that Daruvala would be starting third for the Sprint Race, while Hauger would start sixth.
Even though Daruvala had managed strong results so far this year, Hauger had been unable to score any Sprint Race points prior to this weekend.
After reverse-grid pole sitter Logan Sargeant had a disastrous getaway, both Prema’s took advantage and moved up to second and third early on. While it looked as though Daruvala may have had the opportunity to fight for the win, an overtake never seemed viable for the Indian driver and the Prema’s remained in position for the rest of the race.
Speaking to the duo after the race, F1 Feeder Series asked them how this combined result for Prema may improve their confidence individually and help propel their season as a team.
“I haven’t really lacked any confidence”, Daruvala answered. “Obviously in Bahrain I made a mistake in qualifying, I was out of sync. In Jeddah, I had a problem with a broken part on the car so I couldn’t maximise that. We still came from fourteenth to third, without any safety cars so we had a lot of pace there.”
“Yesterday in qualifying, just looking at the driving between me and Dennis [Hauger], the car was good enough to be on pole. From that side I’m not worried at all. From my side, I just need to cut out the mistakes in qualifying. I’m a bit too eager, sometimes I attack the entries too much and make some mistakes. I’m confident that if I cut out the mistakes we can be starting further ahead which will make the racing much easier.”
With Daruvala in a championship year, he is making no mistake about his prospects for this season with his aim remaining solely on fighting at the front in every race. Meanwhile, his rookie teammate Dennis Hauger has struggled comparatively to get to grips with the F2 car and tyres since graudating.
When F1 Feeder Series exclusively interviewed Hauger a few weeks ago, he admitted that it hadn’t gone to plan as of yet this season. Speaking after the race, it seemed that he has finally found that confidence in the car that he had been looking for before testing.
“For me, it’s been more of a building process as well during this season as a rookie. Getting that last test in Barcelona, I think it clicked a bit better going into this round.”
“Obviously, I want to keep building that up. It is a really different type of driving style than what I’ve ever done in any car, so it is a bit of a different way of getting around. That’s been a bit of a process going in this season. It feels like it clicked more this weekend, so hopefully we can keep that going and make another step tomorrow.”
Header photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool
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