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Enzo Fittipaldi Zane Maloney Rodin Carlin Baku F2

F2: Fittipaldi on ‘frustrating’ Melbourne but ‘looking forward’ to ‘tricky’ weekend in Baku

Enzo Fittipaldi switched teams to Rodin Carlin for his second season of Formula 2 after a strong rookie year with Charouz Racing

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Formula 2 returns for the fourth round of the 2023 season in Baku and FormulaNerds spoke to Enzo Fittipaldi ahead of the weekend about bouncing back from his double DNF in Melbourne. 

Enzo Fittipaldi Rodin Carlin Baku Melbourne
Enzo Fittipaldi of Rodin Carlin on track during Qualifying ahead of Round 3:Melbourne. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

After a few weeks off, motorsport is back with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend. As well as Formula 1, the feeder series of F2 is also returning after three rounds.

So far this season, Formula 2 has seen five different drivers take a race victory and three different drivers achieve pole position. Whilst the likes of Ayumu Iwasa, who now leads the championship, has had a strong start to the season, others have unfortunately not been as lucky.

For Enzo Fittipaldi, the current season hasn’t gone the way he wanted. 2022 was a strong rookie season for the Brazilian after he finished eighth in the championship. However, in 2023, Fittipaldi sits in 14th on only nine points.

The first two rounds saw Fittipaldi finish inside the top 10 in all but one race. But sadly Melbourne was a different story after the Carlin driver was forced to retire from both the Sprint Race and the Feature Race.

FormulaNerds spoke to Fittipaldi in a Virtual Media Roundtable about the difficult weekend in Melbourne and how he bounced back from the double DNF.

“It was frustrating”

Speaking to FormulaNerds on his unfortunate weekend last time out for F2, Fittipaldi said:

“We had a difficult weekend in Melbourne. It was frustrating but obviously, I learn from the mistakes I made on the Saturday and Sunday.

“We had amazing pace that weekend so it was frustrating that I couldn’t show the pace we had.”

Across the Australian Grand Prix weekend, Fittipaldi’s teammate, Zane Maloney, was able to score points for the team. The Bajan driver finished in P5 in both races.

Enzo Fittipaldi and Zane Maloney of Rodin Carlin in Baku Melbourne
Zane Maloney and Enzo Fittipaldi of Rodin Carlin and the Red Bull Driver Academy at Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

However, despite Fittipaldi having a tough weekend, he was ready to come back fighting. Fittipaldi told FormulaNerds that he and the team were already focused on Baku straight after round three had finished. He said:

“But we came back home and already the next day I already turned the page and was fully focused on the next race weekend, which is here in Baku.

“I did a lot of simulator work at Red Bull and with Carlin as well so we’re really prepared for this next race weekend. I’m really looking forward to it, new opportunities, really looking forward to having a good weekend.”

The 2023 season is only three races in. For the Formula 2 championship, there’s still 11 more rounds to go, including Baku. Fittipaldi told the media present in the VMR that being only three rounds in means there are still “a lot of points on the table”.

He continued saying that because of this he just needs to “reset and have a clean race weekend in Baku” to show what he and Rodin Carlin can do.

Challenges of the weekend

FormulaNerds also asked Fittipaldi about the Baku street circuit. The Brazilian raced on the streets of Azerbaijan last year in his rookie season and finished sixth in the Feature Race.

When speaking about the challenges of the circuit, Fittipaldi told FormulaNerds:

“I mean for everyone this track is a really difficult track. It’s very high speed, a street circuit. So not only for me but for everyone, it’s going to be very tricky.

“I think for a lot of people, it’ll be very easy to make mistakes, especially in qualifying to get a clean lap in. So I think in general it’s going to be a really tricky weekend.”

Baku is a notoriously difficult circuit. Overtaking isn’t as easy here as it is at others and the streets of Azerbaijan can be unforgiving.

Heading into the weekend, Fittipaldi is very much feeling positive. The Carlin driver is coming from a “messy” couple of races in Melbourne, but hopes to have a “good, clean weekend” in Baku.

Rodin Carlin are currently sixth in the Teams’ Championship, seven points behind PREMA Racing. Will the British team be able to move up the standings, and will Fittipaldi be able to demonstrate his strong performance in Baku?

Headline Image Credit: GettyImages

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