New FIA F2 format “made for Baku,” says Lundgaard

The new FIA Formula 2 format is “made for Baku” and won't be detrimental for drivers who qualify at the front, according to ART Grand Prix driver Christian Lundgaard.

Louis Deletraz, CARLIN leads Juan Manuel Correa, SAUBER JUNIOR TEAM BY CHAROUZ

The Alpine F1 junior said he thought the new format, introduced this season, would “really work”, adding that “the track gives you the opportunity to start P10 and still be able to win just by the track characteristics and the racing it produces.”

The new format sees Friday’s qualifying grid reversed for the first race on Saturday, with the top ten of that race reversed for the second.

Asked what his expectations were of the circuit, Lundgaard said: “I think this new concept is basically made for this track.

“I think Monaco is a special weekend in general, I think if you look at all formats I don’t think it changed much compared to this year, Monaco is such an iconic track.

“I think Bahrain as well, I’m not too sure about Silverstone, but I think Baku is a circuit where this new format will really work.

“You can be P1 or P2 in qualifying and start P9 and P10 for the first race but still fight for a win.

“I think it was in 2016, the first year they did GP2 here, where Giovinazzi won both the races, there you’ve got a pretty clear answer.

“If it’s possible for one race, it’s possible for the sprint race at the end.”

He added: “The track gives you the opportunity to start P10 and still be able to win just by the track characteristics and the racing it produces.

“Different tracks it’s difficult to say [whether the new format will be better].

“Going into the weekends when we do all our prep it will be more clear for us, as we’re not focused on them weekends yet.

“I’m sure there will be tracks where it will be quite positive as well, but I think Baku is a quite clear one.”

Lundgaard, who is currently 12th in the drivers standings – 52 points behind leader Guanyu Zhou - but finished seventh last year, said he “always considers the title reachable” despite having not scored points since the first event of the season in Bahrain.

He said that “with the new format this year, it can be a bit of a lottery, but I need to do my best and the best that I can do, and I think Baku is a good circuit to do it.”

He added: “I always consider [the title] reachable. We’ve still got six rounds to go, a lot can happen.”

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DAMS driver and Williams F1 test driver Roy Nissany said the new format will “definitely be interesting” around the streets of Baku.

He said: “I always think about it in terms first of Monaco, as it’s kind of a gift – you qualify P10 and suddenly you are on pole, and you just have to keep your car on track, so maybe it’s not the purest racing you can expect.

“And then here it becomes really interesting.

“I’m not sure how much pole to P5, let’s say, makes such a difference – maybe in the sprint races more than the feature race, and obviously the format was built to not have such an advantage in the feature race of course, but it will definitely be interesting. Only the races will properly answer this question.

“I think it’s going to be great for youth fans, for the younger generation, it’s going to bring a lot of action, and for us the objectives stay the same – look ahead, push and do our best.”

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