Jüri Vips admits to having ‘over-pushed at times this year’

The Formula 2 Feature Race on Sunday, a fairly eventful race by Monaco’s standards, was won by championship leader Felipe Drugovich. ART GP’s Théo Pourchaire and Hitech GP’s Jüri Vips joined the MP Motorsport driver on the podium. Drugovich has now extended his lead at the top of the standings to 32 points ahead of Pourchaire. After the Feature Race, F1 Feeder Series and selected media spoke to the top three about their confidence at this point both in the season and in their careers.

By Tyler Foster

Drugovich at his peak

For MP Motorsport’s Drugovich, it has been a truly spectacular start to the campaign. He has already won more races so far this year than in his previous two Formula 2 seasons combined. Now with four victories in 2022 – including three Feature Race wins – and two pole positions, Drugovich evidently deserves all the plaudits.

The only question is, Can the Brazilian keep up this level of performance for the next nine rounds of the championship? He is certainly riding a wave of confidence and momentum at the moment and driving at a level above the rest of the field. We asked Drugovich whether this was the most confident he had ever been.

“Throughout my career, I might be at the peak of my confidence now. I think everything has gone overall smoothly this year. Not everything has gone to our plan, but … F2 is F2, and nothing goes as planned every time. I’m really happy and I’m really confident with the job I’ve done, and I think it goes on for the future as well.”

Drugovich’s decision to return to MP Motorsport this year, after racing with the team in 2020 as a rookie in F2, looks incredibly inspired at this point. Despite his success, he remains without any affiliation to any Formula 1 junior team.

Pourchaire has room to improve

For Pourchaire, last year’s Monaco Feature Race winner, it has been a strong start to the season with two Feature Race wins, putting him second in the championship. Despite his consistency, the Frenchman still believes that he has a long way to go to reach his peak, but he remains confident because of the knowledge that his team, ART Grand Prix, are performing well.

“I think I can do better. I’m not at my best for sure. In Barcelona, I missed the weekend completely. My teammate [Frederik Vesti] was faster than me, and that’s not normal. I can’t accept that. I will for sure improve myself. It’s only the fifth round in the championship. It’s a long way to go, and I am confident that we can win this title. I have one of the best cars, the best team for sure. This team is helping me, and I’m confident that we can win this championship.”

The 18-year-old has always had high praise for ART and the job they have done for him since he started competing with the French team in 2020 in Formula 3. Pourchaire has become team leader this year, and he fully trusts that they will be able to deliver him a car capable of winning the title this year.

Vips admits to over-pushing

Red Bull junior Vips has proven his natural talent in Formula 2, but he has also made several errors while in promising positions during races After getting pole in Imola earlier this year, the Estonian cost himself a shot at victory by spinning out from fourth place early in the Feature Race.

We asked him whether he tried anything different in Monaco that led him to score a double points finish.

“I would say definitely this year, I am the most confident I’ve been, but I think it’s also been an issue this year because I think it’s been a little too much this year. This year the car’s been unbelievably good all year. I realise I have such a good opportunity to win, and I’ve sort of over-pushed at times this year and made some very big errors that have cost us wins and podiums and so on,” Vips explained.

“I’ve had to sort of calm myself down, which worked this weekend because I was very conservative to be honest all weekend.”

In order to fight for the title, Vips will have to master his ability to control his raw talent. He is currently fifth in the standings with an already sizeable gap of 64 points to Drugovich. Next up in Formula 2 is another challenging street circuit: Baku, where last season Vips showcased his ability with a dominant double victory. He’ll be hoping to rediscover that form when the drivers return to action on the 10th of June.

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