Nyck De Vries qualifies second for Racing Engineering today at Monza.

Nyck De Vries qualifies second for Racing Engineering today at Monza.

01.09.2017: It was overcast today at Monza with a threat of rain in the air for the Friday morning forty-five minute Practice session of the ninth round

It was overcast today at Monza with a threat of rain in the air for the Friday morning forty-five minute Practice session of the ninth round of the 2017 FIA Formula Two Championship with air and track temperatures of 22° and 25° respectively.



Pirelli are supplying their P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft compound tyres for the third race weekend in succession following Hungary and Spa Francorchamps and for Practice the Racing Engineering drivers, Nyck De Vries and Gustav Malja, were using the medium compound.



As the cars took to the track a little rain began to fall, just enough to make the track slippery but not enough for wet weather tyres and Nyck was immediately on the pace going fastest on 1:32.416 with Gustav right behind on 1:32.722.



Nyck’s next fastest lap saw him improve to 1:31.514 to lie second, Gustav was also lowering his lap times with a 1:32.095. With just over twenty minutes of the session completed Nyck and Gustav returned to the pits for some set-up adjustments and they returned to the track with twenty minutes of the session left.



Nyck did a single installation lap before returning to the pits as Gustav also returned to the pits after a couple of laps on the now dry and sunny Monza circuit and the track temperature had risen to 32°. Nyck was back on track with just six minutes to go and Gustav followed two minutes later but a Virtual Safety Car period meant that neither man improved leaving Nyck in 5th and Gustav in 14th.



The 30-minute afternoon Qualifying session saw the weather much improved with air and track temperatures of 27° and 36° respectively and all the cars were now using the soft compound Pirelli tyres as they took to the track.



 Nyck’s first flying law was a 1:31.466 for second fastest while Gustav was 10th on 1:31.944. After a cooling down lap Nyck improved his time! to 1:31.071 to remain second. After ten minutes both Racing Engineering cars pitted for some set-up changes and a new set of soft compound tyres.



Both men were back on track with eight minutes remaining but a spin from Jeffri caused a red flag and all the cars returned to the pits.



The session resumed with just six and a half minutes still to go and with all the cars leaving the pits together it would be hard to find any empty track with so little time left. Any chance of Nyck or Gustav improving further was prevented by another red flag so Nyck finished in 2nd and Gustav 17th.



Tomorrow’s Feature Race will see Nyck starting from the front row of the grid and with an excellent chance of taking his second victory of the year while, for Gustav, it will be a hard battle to get into the points but Monza does offer a number of overtaking opportunities and the young Swede will be as determined as ever. !



  
Sebastien Viger - Technical Director
:


"This was an encouraging day here in Monza with both drivers being happy with the balance of their cars straight away. We managed to keep Nyck at the top of the time sheets all the time in qualifying and he managed to be less than a tenth of a second away from the pole without using any tow, so there are good possibilities for tomorrow.



On the other car, we had a more troubled session. Gustav was not able to translate the positive feelings he had during free practice into the qualifying result. All in all, we can see some drivers in unusually positions at the end of qualifying, so we are all set for an interesting race tomorrow afternoon.”
 




Nyck De Vries:



"Obviously in Spa we needed a bit more time to prepare everything at the track to get it all ready, but this weekend we were better prepared. Knowing each other better after one race weekend, we were more ready to spend the weekend together and this made me feel more comfortable.



I think we were competitive straight away in free practice, but I had a bit of traffic and didn’t put it all together, but the potential was there. It’s always difficult in Monza with people looking for tows. But we were confident ahead of qualifying, I was very close to Nobu, who did a strong first lap, on my first run in qualifying.




We were there to fight for pole position and I really believe it was possible today but there was a red flag interrupting our plan. However, this was the same for e! veryone, so it was a one lap shoot out at the end of the session.




I am a bit disappointed as I significantly improved my sector 2 time, but left too big a gap to the car in front of me, so lost the tow, and lost too much time in sector 1 and 3. So we are P2 in qualifying, which is a great result and I am happy with that - for the team and myself. But I think we were there to fight for pole today, so there is a bit of disappointment as well.”
 



Gustav Malja:



"This was a quite messy session for me, I didn’t quite manage a lap on my first stint, made a big mistake and struggled to get a good feeling in the car. The car was alright, but I could not use it to its full potential. It was a difficult session for me, which we will analyse now with the focus on tomorrow’s race.”




- Ines Koschutnig - photos FIA F2

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01.09.2017 / MaP

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