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Martins Formula 2
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 18: Second placed Victor Martins of France and ART Grand Prix (6) attends the press conference after the Round 2:Jeddah Sprint race of the Formula 2 Championship at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 18, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

F2: Martins surprised by Sprint Race podium

Just three races into the 2023 season Victor Martins has two podiums and a pole position

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ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins finished second in today’s Sprint Race after starting tenth.

Martins Formula 2
Martins (left) on the podium after finishing second in the Jeddah Sprint Race (Image Credit: Joe Portlock – Getty Images)

An impressive showing in Friday’s qualifying session in Jeddah put rookie Martins on pole position by over seven-tenths. But for the Sprint Race, that meant he had to start from tenth on the grid.

That wouldn’t stop the French driver from taking his second podium of the season, coming through to finish second right behind race winner Ayumu Iwasa.

In the press conference after the race, Martins revealed that he hadn’t been expecting a podium, as his focus was already on starting from pole for tomorrow.

“First, I’m really happy about the comeback,” Martins told FormulaNerds. ”Because that was not the expectation from our side. We wanted to learn as much as possible for tomorrow’s race so we were not expecting any podium or any comeback like that. 

“So for sure that is good for the confidence, but then I have seen quite good interesting things on the balance compared to the others around me, where we are stronger, where we need to work for tomorrow. I think that’s the most important, to just become stronger and stronger session after session, and that will be the goal for tonight: to analyse everything and then go again tomorrow and take the win.”

Performing as a rookie

Just three races into the season, Martins has already secured two podiums and a pole position. It’s not necessarily a surprise to anyone to see him doing this well, he is the reigning Formula 3 champion after all. 

But some rookies struggle more than others in Formula 2, often regardless of their Formula 3 results.

FormulaNerds asked Martins after the race whether or not he was worried about performing as a rookie going into the season, and how it felt to be doing so well.

“I try to focus on myself, to not see what others are doing,” he commented. “It doesn’t mean because a driver is not doing well that I will not do well. I think I try to focus on myself.

“The first few laps I did in Abu Dhabi last year in F2 I felt super well in the car directly, with ART also. So then you try to keep that in mind during the winter, work on the good things, improve yourself as a driver where I could have done better last year. Then you work out in the sim, you do the pre-season test which went well also, and then you go weekend and weekend.

“For the moment I feel really really good, so I will continue like that, to push hard, work hard again, analyse everything, and be stronger every time.”

Martins will have another chance to be on the podium in tomorrow’s Feature Race, when he’ll start from pole position. Will we see the ART driver take his maiden win just two rounds into his rookie Formula 2 season?

Feature Image Credit: Joe Portlock – Getty Images

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