Home Featured ART GP: Start of season will be crucial to Martins’ F2 title ambitions

ART GP: Start of season will be crucial to Martins’ F2 title ambitions

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

ART Grand Prix team principal Sebastien Philippe says the start of the season will be crucial to the title ambitions of his Formula 2 driver Victor Martins.

The Alpine junior became Formula Renault Eurocup and FIA Formula 3 champion with the team before stepping up to F2 with it last year. He took one win, and a tally of eight other podiums as well as three poles and six fastest laps helped him come fifth in the standings. That made him the top rookie, and the highest-placed returnee for 2024.

With that in mind, and the fact that Formula 1’s silly season for 2025 is already underway, Philippe was asked in a pre-season media session if there was added pressure on Martins to perform this year, and to make an early impact in the season.

“Yeah, of course,” said Philippe. “When you are starting the second season in F2, you always have pressure, because it’s the moment where you need to deliver. Now it’s part of the game and he needs to cope with this pressure. I think at the moment he’s quite relaxed, quite confident in what he’s capable to do.

“Of course the start of the season will be crucial because after the first few races, there will be a kind of a gap of one month. So it’s quite important to start from Bahrain in front, but the competition will be hard and there will be some other contenders. So let’s try to focus on learning this new car first and see how it goes.”

On what Martins will have to do differently to 2023 in order to fight for the title, Philippe added:

“For sure last year the speed was there. If you look at the second half of the season, consistency was much, much better. We had too many mistakes last year on his car, coming from the team first and also from Victor, who I think was trying too much at some points.

“But I mean, we just have to finetune every area comparing to last year, to keep the same type of performance, just to be a bit more opportunist in some situations. We lost so many points in the first half of last year. But it’s just fine-tuning, I think. We are close to be able to deliver well.

“But again, I will say there will be some good contenders, it will be a big fight, I think. So just to make sure that we are consistent and try to avoid as much as possible mistakes from both the team side and to the driver’s side.”