Louis Delétraz saw the Formula V8 3.5 championship slip out of his grasp on Sunday as the Swiss driver saw Tom Dillmann come from seventh on the grid to win race two at the Circuit de Catalunya to pip him by seven points.
The Fortec Motorsports driver had given himself a great chance after taking pole position, but a series of issues – starting with a sluggish getaway – put paid to his chances, and with Dillmann taking his AVF by Adrian Vallés machine to victory, Delétraz was forced to settle for the runners-up spot in the championship.
“The only result we couldn’t do anything about was Tom winning and it was incredible how everything went wrong for me in the race – the start, the pit stop and the understeer,” said Delétraz. “We tried our absolute best and I don’t blame anybody. Tom had an amazing race and everything went in his favour.
“I did all I could this weekend. I caught and passed Tom in yesterday’s first race and then I put the car on pole for today. I was convinced there was a big chance to be champion but today was crazy and I don’t think anyone expected the race to turn out the way it did.”
Delétraz revealed that he had not expected to be challenging for the championship in his rookie season, and felt it was an amazing season in Formula V8 3.5 for the Renault Sport Academy junior.
“Nobody was expecting me to fight so hard against a driver that is eight years older than me, has raced for two seasons in GP2 and has lots more experience in Formula V8,” said Delétraz. “Thanks to the awesome guys at Fortec – we can be very proud of what we’ve done in 2016. It’s been an incredible experience and I’ve really enjoyed working with some amazing people.
“I’m also very grateful to Renault Sport F1 for their support this season. They’ve helped me to develop my skills in 2016 and I think that showed in my results on track.
“For sure, it’s hugely disappointing to miss out on the overall championship today, especially after all we did during 17 other races, but this is an experience I’ll learn from. I’m determined about that.”