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Megan White

Martins: F2 engineer initially gave cryptic message about Silverstone penalty

The ART rookie took his maiden victory on Sunday despite a five-second penalty after running wide while fighting DAMS driver Ayumu Iwasa for the lead on lap one.

Martins went on to cross the line seven seconds ahead of second-placed Zane Maloney (Hitech) to retain the win.

Speaking after the race, Martins said he hadn’t considered the possibility of a penalty until his engineer suggested he built a five-second gap as he had “mega pace.”

After further questioning, the Alpine junior discovered he had been penalised for what he said was a “racing incident”, but was able to build the gap by pushing “super-hard.”

Asked for his thoughts on the battle with Iwasa, Martins said: “I had a good temperature in the tyres, I think more than Ayumu, and I did a bad start. He was in front into Turn 1 and coming into Turn 3, braked really early.

“I knew if I was going around the outside I would just get the position, and honestly I think anyone was not deserving a penalty, him or me, it was just a racing incident on the first lap.

“I didn’t have the space to stay on the track so I just went off by just a bit and then I sent it into Turn 4 where he just also squeezed me.

Victor Martins, ART Grand Prix (Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd)

“That’s how it happened. But honestly, I wasn’t actually thinking about getting a penalty, it’s just at some point my engineer told me “let’s say we have mega pace so let’s try to take a big gap around five seconds”.

“And I said “what do you mean five seconds, I have a penalty?” and he said I was super quick and will get the gap. That’s how it happened.”

Martins said he knew he had great pace and would be able to build a big enough gap within 10 laps by staying consistent with his lap times.

He shared the podium with ART team-mate Theo Pourchaire, and said the team is doing “a super job” giving him a “great car.”

The 2022 F3 champion said the win had “opened the box” for more to follow and will give him “a new confidence” heading into the second half of the season.

Asked what he can now achieve, Martins said: “I always have the pace, I did already three poles, two in a row.

“So I have the car, I have the confidence, I have the people around me to do it and in the races for sure, this will give me a big confidence on how to do it.

“I don’t want to say there will be many more but I will do my best.”

Zane Maloney, Rodin Carlin (Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images)

Maloney had been running behind Martins for much of the race but was unable to catch the leader given his defence against then-third-place runner Arthur Leclerc (DAMS).

The 2022 F3 runner-up said he “knew he needed to push” and “should have done a better job to keep closer” to Martins.

He said: “I knew under the last safety car and then to be honest, when we went again I had Arthur [Leclerc] behind me, so I was more focused on keeping him behind on the option tyres.

“When I saw he started to drop, I saw Victor down the road and I knew I needed to push but I think he was a bit too far already.

“He had a bit more pace than us so once he got that gap he could extend it more and more.

“I knew straight away and should have done a better job to keep closer but small mistakes, I still need to do better.

“Happy with P2, of course, in the back of my mind I know I can do better each weekend.”


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