After a busy weekend last time out in Barcelona, Jüri Vips came away from Round 4 in the Formula 2 Championship having scored no points. One week on and we are awaiting Round 5 at Monaco, where Vips is looking to bounce back and have another strong qualifying performance. Speaking to F1 Feeder Series and selected media, Vips told us about his hopes for this weekend.
By Tyler Foster
Starting on Friday last week, Vips made his first FP1 appearance in Formula 1 in the RB18 for Red Bull. With this session coming between his F2 practice and qualifying sessions, it was even more impressive that the Estonian was able to jump back into his Hitech GP car and secure second in qualifying.
Despite this great start to the weekend, things only got worse from this point onwards. It was a small mistake in the Sprint Race that led to him beaching his car in the gravel and then a poor decision to pit early in the Feature Race resulted in Vips falling outside of the points from second on the grid.
To come away from another good position with zero points may put pressure upon Vips to perform strongly this weekend in order to claw back some of the points in the championship fight. However, the 21-year-old is not worried about the pressure and is excited for the opportunity of the back-to-back.
“I think it’s really good that we have Monaco straight after, because after you have a terrible race you just want to jump back into the car and get some points. I think it’s good that we have a race weekend straight after a bad weekend in Barcelona.”
The Estonian currently sits ninth in the standings with 30 points and is already 56 points behind the leader, Felipe Drugovich. Vips has impressed in qualifying this year but not been consistent in scoring points across the races. After a pole in Imola and a second-place start in Barcelona, Vips will certainly be among the favourites for pole on Friday in the Principality.
Hitech GP strong
Last year, Vips had a decent performance in Monaco, scoring a podium in the second Sprint Race and a further two points finishes. He was also the fourth quickest in qualifying with Hitech. We asked him whether Hitech were naturally strong around Monaco and whether they could improve from last year.
“I think last year was very, very strong. I don’t think we showed our full potential last year in qualifying because everyone found like a second each push lap, and most people did three push laps but I only got two because of a miscommunication. I was P1 after my first and second lap so I think things were looking very good, we just didn’t get the third push lap in. If we can do it in the first year, then I think we can do it in the second.”
With the weekend schedule changing in Monaco for Formula 1, the F2 sessions for this weekend will be as follows (based on local CEST times). Qualifying will be around midday on Friday (with the drivers being split into two separate groups to avoid traffic incidents) and finally the Sprint and Feature Races will remain in their Saturday and Sunday slots.
Last year, it was ART GP’s French phenom Théo Pourchaire who dominated the streets of Monaco, with a Pole Position that saw him nearly half a second quicker than his nearest rival and followed this up with his first Feature Race victory.
Who will get the all-important pole for Monaco in 2022? Don’t miss out on the best Formula 2 qualifying of the year on Friday.
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Header photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool