Home Featured Martins: being “really close to limit” meant I held back in F2 victory fight

Martins: being “really close to limit” meant I held back in F2 victory fight

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Victor Martins says managing his emotions was a key part of his rise from 10th on the grid to second in the Formula 2 sprint race in Jeddah.

“That was a difficult one, to manage my emotions throughout the race,” he said. “I did an okay start and I was P7 after the first few laps. We had a good pace to come back, and I wanted to take it lap after lap without doing too much, and think about a bit the tyres and take the opportunity when people will fight. And it’s what happened.”

Although Martins did set up several moves, he also benefited from others battling to make up positions, including his team-mate Theo Pourchaire wiping out himself and a rival.

“I took every opportunity I had in front, and then I just waited, and I got up to P2. And then at the end I could have done more but I was really close to the limit doing mistakes, so I just had to manage Jehan [Daruvala] behind me and stay in the DRS to help me in the straight.

“I think it’s a good comeback [from 10th]. We had a good pace, but I still need to understand a few things in sector two to be quicker tomorrow.”

To have passed Ayumu Iwasa for victory “would have had to take much more risk, and I didn’t want to”, admitted Martins. “I was communicating with my engineer about being calm and to not think too much.”

Finishing “P2 was enough” for Martins, who said it was “not the expectation” to make it into the top three from his starting spot and to be able to pull off such a result will be “good for the confidence”.

“I don’t remember everything that happened during that race. So many things were in front of me. I had to deal with incidents, with overtakes, but in the end I was just trying to stay in the moment, staying calm and it paid off.”

Martins credited his experience from FIA Formula 3, in which he was champion last year, and his off-season preparations for his mental management of the race.

“Prepare as much as possible, and drive in the moment instinctively [is key]. When you know what is the target, you always know and you do it naturally; if you need to be aggressive, if you need to be calm, if you need to be defending or not.

“And all those things, I got so much experience to do so many years in Formula Renault and then F3. I got a lot of maturity, I know how to manage myself, manage my emotion throughout the race.”

“Maybe in the past I would have tried everything to win the race, and I would have maybe had something bad.”

Martins is confident but wary for the longer Sunday race, having only completed one lap of his first feature race at Bahrain and is yet to experience pitstops in his career.