Zane Maloney finished second in Formula 2’s feature race at Silverstone from seventh on the grid, but had mixed feelings about his best result yet.
The Rodin Carlin driver was unable to benefit from a five-second time penalty handed to race winner ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins as he took the chequered flag just over seven seconds behind the Alpine junior.
It was Maloney’s third podium in F2, in a rookie season that has been full of ups and downs and points in only six out of 16 races so far.
“After yesterday, I wasn’t expecting much,” Maloney said after the feature race. “I was just going to go into the race and push as hard as I can and see what pace we have. Straight away from the beginning, we had great pace so I knew we could do something in the race.
“It’s great to get a podium, to be back up on the podium after two very difficult rounds. It’s giving me good confidence and the team good confidence going into the next rounds.”
On lap 19 of 29, Maloney was in second place behind Martins and ready for a safety car restart. He knew about his rival’s penalty and was determined to stay within five seconds of him. However, he soon found himself under pressure from DAMS’ Arthur Leclerc.
“There was Arthur behind on the option tyre, so I had to defend from him a little bit and that messed the rhythm up,” Maloney explained.
“But generally, just a few too many mistakes, a few hairy moments which allowed Victor to run away with it. Of course, I’m happy, but again, I could have done a better job in that last stint. There was more in the car and, and more in myself. A bit annoyed about that. But that’s life and we work for the next one.”
The Red Bull junior reckoned that his battle with Leclerc ended his hopes of staying within five seconds of Martins, which was required for victory.
“When I saw that he [Leclerc] started to drop, I saw Victor down the road and I knew I needed to push, but I think he was a bit too far already. He had a bit more pace than us today, so once he got that gap, he could kind of extend it more and more.
“I knew if I don’t get the best three or four laps in my life, he’ll get the victory. So once it was at 4.6 [seconds], then I knew that he had more pace in general. So it was just small mistakes from when he was two seconds ahead and once he got that gap, it was kind of over.”