Louis Delétraz scored his first point of his FIA Formula 2 Championship career at the Hungaroring on Saturday, but the Swiss driver admits that qualifying has been letting him and his Racing Engineering team down this season.
Delétraz started the Feature race down in fifteenth, just ahead of team-mate Gustav Malja, and he admitted to struggling to get the best out of the Pirelli tyres when it matters, which leaves him with too much work to do on race day.
“The feeling in qualifying was that I was pushing hard and doing a good lap, but then I saw the time and it wasn’t good,” said Delétraz. “I think it’s clear to everyone that the car doesn’t allow us to get the grip out of the tyre.
“We’re not using the tyre properly and we don’t have the grip level to go quicker.”
Delétraz finally secured a first top ten finish during Saturday’s Feature race, profiting from a post-race time penalty for Sean Gelael, and although he was not overly excited about the result, he hopes it is a breakthrough result for the 2016 Formula V8 3.5 series runner-up.
“Unfortunately, the prime tyres didn’t hold as long as everyone expected in the heat and we had some very quick rear degradation,” said Delétraz. “But I managed to find some good pace on the softer option tyre and could fight back and claim my first point.
“It’s not something I’m getting hugely excited about because I want a lot more points. But it’s a start and a step forward.”
Delétraz gambled on a pit stop during a virtual safety car in Sunday’s Sprint race in a bid to score points, switching from the Medium to the Soft compound for the final, but despite having a quick car over the final few laps, he came up short in twelfth.
“When we saw the VSC, there was an opportunity to try some soft tyres,” said Delétraz. “I came into the pits and changed.
“As it turned out, I didn’t gain or lose anything but we had to try something and it was nice to get the six laps at the end on the softs to push to the limit and overtake on the inside, outside and brake late. That was a good feeling.”