Frederik Vesti is on for “the biggest day of my career” as he tries to overcome a 16-point deficit to championship leader Theo Pourchaire to become the 2023 Formula 2 champion.
The Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior arrived at Yas Marina Circuit 25 points down, but victory and fastest lap in the sprint race reduced the gap to the Sauber junior, who finished seventh. In the fight for the teams’ title, Pourchaire’s ART Grand Prix squad leads the Prema outfit Vesti drives for by 17 points.
On Saturday, Vesti explained how he has picked himself up from the disappointment of the previous round at Monza and is now ready to deliver his “drive of the year” to bring the crown home.
“Honestly, it [becoming champion] will mean everything to me,” he said. “I’ve given my absolute everything this year. There’s been a lot of ups, and a lot of downs as well.
“My win in Monaco stands out as the highlight, and then the three feature races in Spa, Zandvoort and Monza, just destroying my championship lead. It’s been really painful, and after Monza I just went home, barely spoke to anyone for two weeks and was just very sad. But that’s also where you become tough, and if you can get over it, you also get stronger. And I’ve certainly done that.
“I’m just excited for my future and excited to move on. It’s not over yet. Tomorrow is a big day for both me and Theo. And I’m excited to fight with everything I have.”
He then added: “After Monza I wouldn’t say that I felt like I lost it, but I was definitely, I had a lot to go through in my mind. And once I got through that, I’m not too worried anymore. It would mean everything for me to win it. But I already feel like I’ve taken all the hard times after Monza, so whatever happens tomorrow I’m proud of what we’ve done and I think that gives me also the freedom to attack tomorrow and not worry about what will happen if I finish second.”
Vesti is ninth on the grid for the title-deciding feature race, with Pourchaire down in 14th.
“Obviously starting from P9, I need a good race and I’m confident we can do it on pace and a very strong race from my side. But that will take probably the drive of the year, which I’m confident I can do,” said Vesti.
“On the other hand, a feature race in F2 is crazy, and as we know, many opportunities can happen on the strategy, safety cars, etc. So I’m really optimistic, I have nothing to lose tomorrow, I’m here to win. I will do everything I can to achieve that,” said Vesti, who has not thought yet about the next step in his career.
“I’m fully focussed on F2 and then tomorrow is probably the biggest day of my career so far and I will focus to just push tomorrow and get it done.”