Frederik Vesti drove “as quick as possible without making mistakes” from sixth on the grid for his first Formula 2 feature race win in Jeddah.
“Yesterday we had a good race which gave a bit of confidence. We scored our first points for the [season],” he said. “But I would say I was not 100% confident because we were not on pole, we were not in the front.
“I had a lot of work to do to win this race. But as we got going, I got a really good start and could actually see we really had good potential for this race. We had a good pitstop and good pace, we were able to pressure Martins to make a mistake. He spun, I got the lead, and kept it.”
On the way to victory, Vesti passed Prema team-mate Ollie Bearman after he had to back out of a move on poleman Victor Martins.
“That came a bit out of nowhere,” Vesti said of the pass. “I knew they were going to fight quite hard and Ollie would definitely not just give up and let Victor overtake. He got pushed wide a bit, and then ended up with a tough fight, and I came past him. He left me good room and it was a fair fight.”
After finishing sixth from ninth on the grid in the sprint race, Vesti’s feature race plan “was to go as quick as possible without making mistakes”.
“In Jeddah, it’s 28 qualifying laps. It’s flatout pretty much all race. You kind of lose rhythm if you don’t keep pushing, and my engineer was also pushing me. Even though I had a five second gap, he kept me pushing quite a lot because if you lose the rhythm and you’re not pushing, it’s easy to make mistakes, especially on a track like this. So he kept pushing me for 11 laps, and we kept pretty much the gap all race.”
Vesti also spoke about the significance of victory, and of being back again with Prema.
“[Victory] is a big confidence boost because we didn’t score in Bahrain,” he said to Formula Scout. “I don’t think that reflected our performance, because we were P5 in qualifying. We were clearly in for good points before I made a mistake.
“To win here gives a lot of confidence and I think it shows that I can bounce back even though we had a difficult weekend like we had in Bahrain. So to bounce back like this gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year.”
He added: “There’s no doubt coming back to Prema was with the main focus of getting the good team around me that I had back in F3. My engineer Pedro [Matos] is still my engineer in F2, which is amazing. I have a really close bond to Prema, and they definitely get the best out of of me.”
“Certainly the team gives me the confidence I need to secure wins like today.”