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Second-placed Martins delighted, doesn't think much about past Silverstone record

Written by Vyas Ponnuri

DIVEBOMB spoke to ART's Victor Martins after a stellar qualifying performance, which saw the ART racer net second on the grid, behind pole-sitter Isack Hadjar, and ahead of third-placed Dennis Hauger, who took pole last weekend in Austria.

A stellar lap in an utterly competitive qualifying session around one of the finest motor racing circuits saw the French driver net his second front row start for a feature race, having put in the second quickest time earlier this year around the streets of Monaco.

However, a prestigious Monaco podium wasn't on the cards, as the ART racer was slow to get away off the line, only recovering to take home a couple of points in the end, while teammate Zak O'Sullivan's late gamble paid off, and he took the team's first victory this season.

While a sprint race victory in the following round at Barcelona washed away some of the pain of a difficult start to 2024, there's no doubt Martins would've expected a fairly stronger showing, having impressed many during his rookie season.

However, he comes to a venue of past success this weekend. Martins triumphed in the feature race in 2023, taking a victory from pole-position. Despite being slapped with a five-second penalty for passing Ayumu Iwasa off track on lap one, Martins was able to stretch out his gap to seven seconds to Zane Maloney in second, enough to take victory in the feature race.

As tempting as past records and fortunes can be, Martins doesn't look back into the past to remain confident.

"I will say, many times I've been at the front, battling everywhere for pole position, victories, so I've always started the weekend with high confidence, that I will turn things around," Martins responded to DIVEBOMB during the press conference.

Martins then references his rookie season form, speaking of his trio of pole positions at Jeddah, the Red Bull Ring and at Silverstone from last year.

"In Spielberg, I qualified on pole by over two tenths, and even in Jeddah, and a few other places, like here also (in Silverstone), I was on pole, I won with a five-second penalty," - the Frenchman said.

Martins hinted at avoiding entering a weekend with too much confidence, instead focusing on maximising his package week in, week out.

"So every time, I came with confidence, I came with certainty that we will turn things around. Sometimes we didn't, so it's just to not come with too much confidence, because in the end when you change the car, everything can change.

"It's about maximising everything you have, if in FP (free practice) you are not there, then you have to change the approach, to keep calm, keep working with the team, giving them the right feedback, and then go to quali (qualifying) and push, 100%."

Martins believes he doesn't think much about past history and what happened the last time he visited the circuit during a season.

"For sure I came with confidence. I was capable of putting it (the car) in the front (of the grid), like today. So definitely I don't focus too much on what I have done last year, because this year is different." - Martins said during the press conference.

There's no doubt Martins wouldn't be thinking too much of what he did last year around the mighty Silverstone circuit, as its a sea change this year, with Formula 2 drivers racing the new generation of Formula 2 cars this season.

Martins starts second for the feature race on Sunday, alongside Campos racer Isack Hadjar. Will the Frenchman be able to repeat his success from last season, and take an important feature race win on Sunday? Tune in for the race on Sunday to find out.


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