Round 2 of F1 Academy commences in Valencia this week as the 15 drivers take on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, with one day of testing followed by three action-packed days of racing.
PREMA Racing’s Marta García will look to extend her lead at the top of the Driver’s standings after an impressive performance at the Red Bull Ring saw her win both full length races.
Amna Al Qubaisi, driver for MP Motorsport, is chasing García down after winning the Reverse Grid Race 2 and taking a podium in the final round. Rodin Carlin will be looking to bounce back after they were disqualified from the qualifying sessions in the first round, following an unintentional technical infringement. With Abbi Pulling set the fastest lap time in both qualifying sessions in Spielberg, hopes are high that the team will compete for the podiums this week.
On the Grid – Marta García, PREMA Racing
“After the double win in the first weekend, I am obviously feeling good! However, the excitement has gone down already, and we are focused on my home track of Valencia. I am really happy with how we went on the Red Bull Ring, but we need to keep working.
“I’m really excited to be racing in Valencia, I only live about 30 minutes away from the track. It is very technical with a mix of all types of corners, slow, medium and fast.
“Spectators will get the chance to see the whole race from the stands because it is like a stadium, with Turn two in particular being the best overtaking spot to watch.
“Coming from a double-win at the Red Bull Ring last weekend to my home race, of course I want to win. It is never easy, but let’s do our best and get as many points as possible across the weekend!”
On the grid – Chloe Grant, ART Grand Prix
“The first weekend in F1 Academy gave me a bunch of mixed feelings but the team and I definitely learnt a lot. Qualifying didn’t exactly go to plan, especially as I am usually quite quick in the rain. But as I haven’t driven in it for quite a long time, I just didn’t have quite the confidence and it was the team’s first time ever running this type of car in the wet, so it was a big learning curve for everyone.
“I’m definitely looking forward to Valencia, a track I have never driven on before. But it's incredible being part of this competition. I feel like there are a lot more overtaking opportunities than at the Red Bull Ring, but I am hoping the tyre degradation as high as it was in Barcelona pre-season testing.”
“I’m hoping we can get the car correct for Round 2 so we are much more confident going into the race weekend. We would like a much better qualifying, realistically Top 8, but I would really want to qualify in the Top 5.”
Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director
“After the season-opener at Spielberg, the F1 Academy will race in Valencia on a track that is mainly used for motorcycles but has also been a Formula 1 winter test venue in the past. The track is four kilometres long and consists of nine left-hand and five right-hand corners. This succession of tight turns requires a good rotation at the apex, which sometimes risks compromising corner entry stability, forcing the engineers to find the best compromise between lap time and consistency throughout the race.
“The compact layout, the relatively old asphalt and the many sequential corners mean that the tyres have little chance of recovering during the lap, as the only significant straight is at the start-finish. We're expecting high track temperatures, which can affect tyre performance. Drivers will have to manage the degradation and possible overheating on the left side. The Ricardo Tormo circuit has strong kerbs, especially at T1, T6 and T14, which need to be taken into account when warming up with cold tyres. During the test day, with partly cloudy conditions, we recorded good performance from the tyres, with constant grip and low degradation.”
2: Valencia is the home track for two drivers – Campos Racing’s Nerea Martí and PREMA Racing’s Marta García.
7: There were seven different podium-sitters last time out at the Red Bull Ring, which is almost half of the grid.
27: Marta García had a strong Round 1 and leads the driver’s standings by 27 points going into Round 2.
10: MP Motorsport’s Hamda Al Qubaisi made up ten positions from the back of the grid in Race 2 to finish in fifth place.
1.1: The top three drivers were only split by 1.1s in Race 3.
5: All five teams scored points in Round 1.
Where to Follow
You can stay up to date with everything happening in the F1 Academy paddock with our round-by-round highlights programme, which includes race footage and exclusive behind the scenes content from our drivers and teams.
The 15-minute programme will be made available to all F1 Academy rights holding broadcasters by the Wednesday following race events. You’ll also be able to watch the programme on F1TV and F1 Academy and F1’s social media channels.
On a Monday following the race weekend, a race highlights video will be made available across F1 Academy and F1 social media channels, YouTube, and F1TV.
Across the race weekend, you can also follow the official F1 Academy Twitter channel for live multi-media updates from the track, including text commentary, imagery, clips from the race and post-race interviews from our drivers.