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Martins aiming for feature race win and to use late-braking moves again

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Victor Martins came from sixth to finish second in Formula 2’s Monza sprint race, and pulled off multiple late-braking passes into turn one to move himself up the order.

He starts fifth in today’s feature race, so will he be able to use the same trick to make up ground or will rivals have realised his preferred overtaking technique?

“I will say for sure, most of the drivers, maybe today, they look at the race, they look at the replays, for sure – I do [too]. So if [I was] a driver [who] is doing that, for sure I will try to learn from it, see if it’s possible on my side,” said Martins yesterday.

“Of course, I was the one doing the move today, so I believe I will have the same car, the same grip to do again tomorrow. But then let’s see. Maybe they will know I will come, so they will defend.

“I will decide in the moment, adapting to the situation, if I can with the grip I have and the balance.”

Despite catching out multiple rivals, Martins’ race was more difficult than it looked.

“We had a bad start, so I went down to more than P10 before turn one, then there was a bit of a mess so I managed to recover it to P7.

“Until the first [safety] car came out, I was already like right behind [Isack] Hadjar. I think I already had a good pace, so I knew I was going to be able to come back, and then with a great, great pace, great opportunity into turn one, and a good braking, I would say that the grip and the braking was really good. So I had confidence there, and I could overtake the guys into turn one and come back to P2.”

Martins reckons “if my start is good” then he can win the feature race, which is nine laps longer than the sprint and includes a pitstop. However Martins’ inability to pass Frederik Vesti for the sprint race win made it look like end-of-stint pace may be an issue for him.

“I would say the pace was really, really good at the start of the race. Of course I was pushing a lot. I was seeing some opportunities. You have the confidence lap-after-lap. You build it, you do a move, then it gives you even more, and then you push,” he said.

“I feel that the last safety car breaked a bit the momentum and the rhythm, or at least mine. And then after, until the end of the race, I was just trying to push, I was trying some some lines, some things to see for tomorrow and also if I could make a difference into Parabolica or different corners. But in the end, Fred was quick enough to keep the lead.”

Martins reassured that “I don’t believe the pace was less good in the end” given he was “trying different things compared to the beginning”.