Victor Martins’ commanding maiden Formula 2 pole in Jeddah was all about a brilliant first sector of the lap, but he is keeping “secret” why he was so fast there.
“I did a good free practice. I got some good feeling with the track straight away. I tried to push as much as I could without going over the limit, so then I could get some good confidence, good feeling with the car to give the team also good feedback,” he said after qualifying.
“And then I went to qualifying with high confidence in myself, knowing what to do and where to gain the time with the supersofts. I didn’t think, I just pushed, used the tyres well. I did a good warm-up, we did a good strategy also, and then it ended up by doing my first pole. That was an enjoyable lap.”
“In sector one I found something, even since this morning. I felt really, really good and really comfortable with the high-speed corners section. And then when I went out of turn 10, I was just like ‘you need to just be calm and finish the lap’, because that was feeling like a good sector one.”
On the lap that earned him pole, Martins said: “I would have liked to wear a heartrate monitor to see how high I was during the entire lap. It’s just like you are in the limit every time. You don’t have actually time to think. You just go instinctively into the corner and see where you end up.”
Describing the challenge as “trying to manage your emotion, because you need to go to the limits and that’s not easy”, Martins explained that “when the car moves, [you have] to trust the car that it will stay on the track and stay planted on the ground” to be comfortable on the limit.
Formula Scout asked Martins about his two-run strategy for the session, and his first experience of using Pirelli’s supersoft compound tyre.
“I think it’s about track time that you get into the quali. It was also my first time I was using the supersoft. So of course to get some feeling, to get some confidence with it was the target,” was his summarisation of the first qualifying run.
“It’s also a compromise that you need to get between the fuel you put in the car, the amount of laps you get and how you feel. In the end I think that was a good strategy we did. I didn’t finish my third lap [on run one], but I think I was well prepared to put everything on the first push in the second run. And that’s what we did, without any yellow or any red.
“Even though I had the red flag in the end on my second push, but that was already the pole on the first one. It played out really well for us.”