Ralph Boschung was back in the top 10 in Formula 2 qualifying at Monza thanks to a “bold” strategy he proposed to his team.
Although he qualified in seventh place at Spa-Francorchamps, the Campos Racing driver considered this as his first proper top 10 appearance since the second round at Jeddah, as not everyone was able to complete a timed lap before the rain hit the track at the Belgian round.
“Obviously, it’s been a while since I’ve been in the top 10 in quali,” he told Formula Scout after qualifying 10th at Monza, taking reversed-grid pole for Saturday’s sprint race. “Especially doing it the way we did, it’s a testament to how the car behaves.
“I think we do have a really good car because we did the lap without any tow. I was very happy with the way we took the strategy with the team. So all in all, I’m quite happy. Obviously, I still need to do the job tomorrow, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
Boschung went out on his own on both sets of tyres. Whereas he was down in 15th place once the first runs were completed, he then moved up 10th place. He benefitted from the fact that most other cars battled for track position and didn’t manage to get a clean lap, something he had foreseen.
“Actually, I was the only one telling them in the meeting before the quali that we should go out alone and do clean laps. But they were not entirely sure that that was the way to go. Then once we saw the mess in F3 I told them ‘look, when we go out, we just go out alone and do our laps’. That’s what we did. So they finally agreed with my decision; it was quite bold, but it paid off.”
After starting the season in great form with a sprint race win and a second place in the feature race at Bahrain, Boschung has struggled to maximise his package as his fitness isn’t at 100%. However, he is determined to end what could be his final F2 season – although a decision hasn’t been made yet – with strong results.
“I think [this year] we improved our race pace,” he said. “I showed it in Bahrain, in Jeddah; there have been some good races.
“I think the tyre deg will not be an issue. Obviously, the main straight will be the biggest factor with not having any tow if I still have the lead. So the ideal plan is to try and have a good start and try to pull a gap of at least 1.8, 1.9 seconds in the first lap and then try to manage the gap. It’s going to be very hard to be honest in Monza. In Bahrain, I did it and then I could pull away, but in Monza it’s completely more tricky.”