Louis Delétraz will head into his second FIA Formula 2 Championship season with confidence after a positive pre-season testing programme with Charouz Racing System in France and Bahrain.
The Swiss racer started 2017 with Racing Engineering before a mid-season switch to Rapax but struggled to break into the points early on, but improved significantly as they year went on, culminating in a best finish fourth in the Sprint race in Italy.
Heading into the season-opener in Bahrain, Delétraz is hoping to give the Charouz Racing Systems outfit a great debut, with the Swiss racing believing that a strong race in the desert can lead into a strong year overall.
“The key to success in Bahrain will be putting everything together, not making any mistakes and managing the tyres and degradation during the daytime races,” said Delétraz. “You have to be 100% focused to perform at the maximum. That’s my target so I can make the best possible start to my season.
“I think Bahrain is definitely one of the toughest circuits. It brings the highest tyre degradation, the warmest weather and it’s also really hard for the car, engine, systems and the guys in the Charouz pit box. If you can do well in Bahrain, you can do well for the rest of the season.”
Despite having a strong-looking pre-season, Delétraz is cautious to expect it to translate into a strong start to the season, particularly with the calibre of drivers on show in 2018, but he hopes that he can run towards the front of the field with the former World Series Formula V8 3.5 team Charouz.
“We had some good testing but you cannot take that and stop working,” said Delétraz. “You have to keep pushing and always wanting more. If you want to win, you have to keep working hard and not let anything go away.
“We’ve used the time between the final test and the first race to the maximum and we’ve analysed every bit of data and information so we can improve the weak points and make ourselves even better for the race weekend.
“I think we’ve found some interesting things and we’ve made some correlations on the simulator to get those things confirmed. I think we’re ready for the season to start and I cant wait to see where we are on the track.”