Louis Deletraz moved into second place in the Formula V8 3.5 standings after a runners-up spot and a fourth place at the Red Bull Ring last weekend.
The Fortec Motorsports driver and part of the Renault Sport Academy line-up secured his maiden pole position in the championship on Saturday, but a sluggish start meant he was forced to climb back from fourth to finish second, but despite passing both Tom Dillmann and Egor Orudzhev, was unable to do anything about race leader Matthieu Vaxiviere.
“Overall it’s been a pretty good weekend,” said Deletraz. “We showed we had the pace, and my first pole position on Saturday was a really positive step.
“Unfortunately I paid the price for a bit of a slow start in race one which dropped me down to fourth. But I’m satisfied with the fight back to P2 – especially on this track where it’s really hard to overtake.”
Deletraz was on course for another podium during Sunday’s second race in Austria but was unable to better fourth after being jumped in the pits by both eventual race winner Aurélien Panis and by championship leader Dillmann, having already been behind final podium finisher Matevos Isaakyan from the get-go.
“P2 in qualifying was another good start and we kept that in the early part of the race but the pit stop cost me about one and a half seconds,” revealed Deletraz. “After that, I really had to fight to keep my position.
“I was in front of Aurélien Panis before the pit stop but I came out behind him. Later I had to fight with three other cars who came out in front of me. I got back up to P4, and stayed with the pack, but I couldn’t overtake.”
Deletraz was happy with his weekend at the Red Bull Ring, but felt the pace was there for even better results than a second and a fourth. He was also happy to find himself back in second place in the standings, although he is 40 points behind Dillmann with three rounds and six races to go in 2016.
“We can still be pretty happy. Running P2 and P4 is still a good weekend but I know we had the speed to be better,” said Deletraz. “It’s also good to be back in second place in the standings. It’s a close fight and our goal is to keep climbing higher and to win the title.
“Overall I think we closed the gap some more here. The team and the car are working well, we just lost it a bit on the strategy. Since the last round we have worked hard to get the speed and I think it’s encouraging for the rest of the season.”