Vesti: qualifying key to ‘hopefully fight for the championship this year or next year’

Frederik Vesti has had a turbulent last few sessions on track in Formula 2. After missing out on Friday’s Free Practice at Circuit Paul Ricard, the Dane pulled a surprising third out of nowhere during qualifying to pick up where he left off after grabbing his maiden pole in the last round in Austria.

By Tyler Foster

Speaking to F1 Feeder Series and after the qualifying session on Friday evening, Vesti explained how he made up for lost time on track as well as why he has been so consistent in qualifying recently.

The Mercedes Junior started on pole for the first time in F2 in Austria last time out, but fell victim to tough weather conditions and track limits during the Feature Race and subsequently missed out on any points, finishing P14. With this opportunity gone, the focus shifted to this weekend’s round in the south of France, where ART would look to provide their drivers with a car to fight for pole once again.

Things got off to a tough start for Vesti, who seemed to be suffering from an electrical fault, failing to complete a single lap in Free Practice after pulling over halfway through his installation lap. This usually is not a good omen for drivers in feeder series, as the limited practice time restricts their ability to catch up on the other drivers. Despite this, Vesti managed to qualify third with an impressive performance just a few hours later.

After not doing Free Practice, it’s difficult to really let’s say go for pole position

Frederik Vesti

“I hoped that I could do well”, said the 20-year-old Dane, “but I would be happy to be in the top ten. After not doing Free Practice, it’s difficult to really let’s say go for pole position but the track is not the most difficult to get used to, so I know the track quite well. It gave me the belief that if I got a good first run in, it would be possible to make it happen on the second one, which is what happened.”

He went on to say that due to the good running and data that his ART teammate, Théo Pourchaire, got from his Free Practice session, it allowed Vesti to apply the exact same setup and use that to help catch up on his missed track time. Obviously, Vesti was very comfortable in the car as well as with the track layout as he qualified ahead of his more experienced teammate and local boy Pourchaire.

Consistency is key

With Vesti having achieved another top-3 start for Sunday’s Feature Race, he is now showing the sort of pace that we would expect of a Mercedes Junior. His recent performances in qualifying have been consistently strong and we asked him about that.

“For the consistency this year, I think it’s for the first time in a long time if you look back at the previous seasons that actually I’ve done a consistent amount of [good] qualifying. This is very good and what I need to bring in to the future to hopefully fight for the championship this year or next year.”

Meanwhile, Williams Academy driver Logan Sargeant continued his current form of two consecutive Feature Race victories and scored his second pole position of the season on Friday. After starting the season with promise, we asked the American whether his recent improvement in results has been more down to his raw talent or his hard work over the season.

“Well I’d hope both. I’m not too sure, I’ve definitely been working hard at it. As I’ve previously said, the start of the season was shaky and there was a lot of things that I needed to get on top of and that did require some harder work, but I feel like I’ve ironed those things out and I’m just really confident in the car and all the procedures and things I need to do.”

Header photo credit: Formula 2

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