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Stanek proud of “defending skills” that earned Melbourne F2 win

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Roman Stanek’s defensive driving earned him the win in Formula 2’s Melbourne sprint race after Isack Hadjar was penalised post-race for an incident at the start.

The Trident driver started from reversed-grid pole position, but a slow getaway meant he immediately fell behind Campos Racing’s Hadjar. Thereon, Stanek’s race was a display of defending manoeuvres. He first had to cover the attacks of Hitech GP’s Paul Aron, then Invicta Racing’s Kush Maini and eventually MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger on the last lap.

After the race, Stanek expressed concerns about his lack of pace, but showed himself proud of the performance that earned him his maiden F2 podium appearance – which would later be upgraded to a victory.

“I struggled to be on the pace like the other cars. So I was defending a lot,” he said. “I think I showed enough my defending skills. I probably can write on the paper the whole front wing of Kush Maini because he was almost the whole race behind me.

“Definitely we had a poor start. But then I managed to keep my nose clean, defended, and we have to work a lot for tomorrow. Because tomorrow is the race where I start P10, is the race where there is the pit-stop, and definitely we need to work because we were lacking a lot of pace today.”

The Czech driver also detailed the tactics that allowed him to stay ahead of much faster cars.

“I was really trying to focus on the exits because here DRS is quite powerful and you need to have a good exit. If you do a mistake or you have a bad exit, then most likely the guy who has the DRS is going to pass you. So I focused there, and it seemed like it worked,” he explained.

“But we have to work hard in order to be able to – I don’t want to say bounce back because P2 is satisfying – but the pace obviously compared to Isack and compared to Dennis that came in the last lap like a rocket, we have to work a lot.

“I don’t know if I was lacking, if their car was better or I was worse,” he added in reply to Formula Scout. “But definitely overall, we were lacking the pace. I was struggling to even keep up with Isack after the safety car restart. So it’s something that we really have to work on because to be honest, I don’t think I’m that far from Isack’s driving.”

Stanek confirmed that this year’s struggles “are very different compared to last year”.

“Obviously, it is a different car and the way of driving the car changed quite a lot. So, this car changed quite a bit. This car is much more direct. It feels like a lighter car.”

Despite the difficulties, he assured that he fully trusts his team and believes there is a lot of potential to move forward in the order.