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Carlin Leave Spa with Another Podium

Carlin claimed another podium with Yuki Tsunoda taking the win in the Feature Race at Spa.

Yuki Tsunoda has just been getting stronger and stronger as the Formula 2 season has unfolded and took an F2 Feature Race win at Spa. The Japanese driver set the scene with pole position and backed that up with a mature driver for Carlin.

While Tsunoda may not have finished first on track, a late penalty for Nikita Mazepin gifted the Carlin driver the win and helping his Championship cause.

Race two wasn’t as good for the Japanese driver as he was involved in drama on the first lap. Tsunoda was given a five-second time penalty for causing a collision with another driver which meant he was out of the points for the Sprint Race.

Tsunoda said: “Race 1, the start was OK and I managed to keep P1 in the first lap. After that, I had good pace and good tyre management. I started on the option, and quite a good stint made a good gap. When I came to the pit, I stopped a little bit late, and the situation was a little bit unlucky for us. When we finished the stop a car was coming past, and the mechanic had to hold me a bit before I could re-join good job; otherwise we would have had an unsafe release and a penalty. We did lose time, though, and maybe my stop position was not great, so I think we can improve on this for the next round.

“I was then in P2. I felt quite comfortable and confident in the car though so I just tried to calm my brain and focus to catch P1. Almost at the end of the race, I caught him and tried to overtake on the outside of Turn 5 a few times. You can see from the video that I was side by side with him, wheel to wheel, my wheel even a bit in front but he did not give me room. He just pushed me off, I had to go off track and re-join really carefully, so I didn’t damage the car. So, I was a bit frustrated, but finally, he got a five-second penalty. For me, that was fair. I think we had great race pace and did a really good job, so I am happy for that.

“In race two, the start was normal. I tried to overtake the car in front on the outside because there was only space outside, but there was a lot of cars inside so I realised it would be difficult to make the corner, so I went off track. I still gained position after Turn 1. I was side by side in Eau Rouge, so I lost speed, and I was overtaken on the straight. Then at Turn 5 a car went off track, re-joined unsafely at turn 7 and the car ahead of me had to slow, I braked but it is really hard to slow quickly enough, and I locked up my front, and I contacted the car in front, and he spun, and I got a five-second penalty.

“I think I was P10 in the first lap and finally crossed the line P7 with good pace. So, it was quite positive again. I think I have to be a bit more careful and learn to have better track position in the reverse grid race so that I can avoid problems like this in the future. All good learning for the next race.”

Fellow Red Bull junior and Carlin teammate Jehan Daruvala has a frustrating weekend in comparison, but he has hope that he can get back to where he wants to be in Monza.

Daruvala suffered a bad start in the Feature Race, losing a few positions and tagging his front wing. With his front wing broke and his tyre’s damaged he had to pit for a new wing. However, Daruvala, along with Carlin teammate Tsunoda, suffered from bad pit stops.

The Sprint Race was better for the Indian driver as he showed good pace but was unlucky with the timings of the safety cars. In the end, he finished 16th in the Sprint Race.

Jehan Daruvala said: “It started off quite well in free practice. Then in qualifying, obviously I was ninth, and Yuki was on pole, but it was a bit strange as I was losing a lot of time to him in the first and third sectors which was mainly on the straights. I think that he was a bit closer to the car in front, but I was pretty much losing four 10ths on the straights to him. So that was quite frustrating from my side.

“Race one, not a great start, I lost a few positions, and then I was unlucky, tagging my front wing in turn one. I broke my wing, and my tyre was damaged so I had to come in really slowly and change the wing. Then obviously I had a good speed after that. I was in clean air, and Yuki was upfront in clean air, and we got similar times, so the positive thing if I can take something, is the pace was good. The bad thing is I had a bad pit stop. We both had bad pit stops. Even though I wasn’t in contention mine was 10 seconds slower than his, so that wasn’t ideal.

“Then today the start was better, but I got boxed in at turn one. I overtook a lot of cars today; I had a lot better tyres but in the end, got tangled up in an incident. I went for a dive up the inside, and the guy moved over on the brakes, and I had nowhere to go and hit him from the back. I think it was a step forward in terms of aggression and overtaking cars. I couldn’t do anything when he moved over, I was a passenger after that. I had a massive lock-up and just brought the car home. The speed was good again today, the problem repeatedly is the start, yesterday in the Feature Race when it mattered more.

“I just need to put my head down, qualify in the top five or six and then you are always in the fight. Keep working hard.”

Carlin will hope that the next two rounds in Italy will involve more podiums and wins for the team and will want to carry on their momentum when Formula 2 returns in less than a week.

 

Let us know your thought’s on Twitter @F2inside  

Image Credits: (C) Formula Motorsport Limited

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