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‘The more rain the better!’ - Zak O’Sullivan and Pepe Marti share their thoughts ahead of Silverstone

Written by Ellie Nicholls, Edited by Tarun Suresh

Silverstone marks the start of the second half of the 2024 season | Image Credit: Formula Two

As Formula 2 heads into the second half of the season, anticipation is higher than ever — drivers and teams finally getting to grips with the new car, and everyone desperate to prove themselves at any cost.

The iconic nature and challenge of the track as well as the high probability of unpredictable weather means that the weekend is filled with the promise of great racing. With a talented field of drivers, including three British home heroes, separated by such fine margins, there is everything to play for in Silverstone.

Ahead of the weekend’s action, ART driver Zak O’Sullivan and Campos’ Pepe Marti spoke about their performance so far this season, and how they aim to come out on top at the home of British racing.

O’Sullivan and Marti reflect on the highs and lows of the season so far.

It has been a season of highs and lows across the field, and Pepe Marti is one of the many drivers who has had to learn very quickly how to remain positive despite any setbacks- having dropped from second in the championship to 12th since Bahrain. 

‘You know, I’ve had moments in the past where I’ve been really close to quitting motorsports,’ admitted Marti. ‘I’ve had maybe two weekends go my way out of eight- so that’s one in every four.’ 

‘You just have to be patient, you have to be willing to wait. There’s this saying I like: good things take time’

Marti experienced some difficult luck last time out in Austria, including a penalty that demoted him from the points, and an incident between the Spanish driver and his Campos teammate Isack Hadjar that appeared to cause tension between the pair. 

However, Marti cleared the air surrounding their relationship, sharing that everything had been discussed during a debrief, and that he is determined to focus on the positive takeaways instead.

‘Obviously, I was on the receiving end so I wasn’t too happy about it.’ revealed Marti. ‘But I know that I finished P4 in that race and there was the pace for more, so that is what I have kept my mind on since that day.’

Marti will be hoping to turn his season around, continuing his recent strong form in Silverstone | Image Credit: Formula Two

O’Sullivan has had a similarly difficult start to the season despite his Feature Race victory in Monaco and currently sits just 11th in the championship. However, expressing the same optimistic outlook as Marti, the ART driver spoke about how his team are working hard to return to the front of the grid. 

‘I think both Victor and I are united over a common goal, and that is to improve this team,’ said O’Sullivan, ‘because we both want to win, you know?’

‘When we reach the track we are fully focussed on our execution because that is the one thing we can control.’ 

As both drivers acknowledged, this season is far from over, and there are still plenty of opportunities left for both teams and drivers to prove themselves - one of those being this very weekend in Silverstone.

O’Sullivan had a strong start to the season with reigning champions ART Grand Prix, but since then has failed to find consistency | Image Credit: Formula Two.

O’Sullivan and Marti about Silverstone, and what it takes to succeed here.

Both Marti and O’Sullivan have been successful in the past at Silverstone, having claimed podium finishes at the circuit in Formula 3. Considering the experience they have with this track in other categories, the drivers gave DIVEBOMB an insight into how they can perform strongly this weekend.

‘Prior experience helps you a lot,’ explained Marti, ‘because you don’t have to improvise what kerbs you take, what kerbs you don’t take and you know more or less what the car allows you to do. [This means that you can] be three, maybe four tenths quicker.’

Obviously, being rookies neither of the pair has driven Formula Two machinery at this track before, which you may expect to put them at a disadvantage. However, Zak O’Sullivan suggested their one ‘saving grace’ is that the cars are new this year, offering a more even playing field for the drivers. 

Both Marti and O’Sullivan also expressed the importance of qualifying at Silverstone, as it can be difficult for drivers to overtake on this track- particularly if they find themselves stuck in a DRS train.

Wet weather is forecast to influence this week’s action | Image Credit: Formula Two

What the races may lack in overtaking action, however, the current weather forecast suggests could be made up for in the arrival of the Great British summer weather — rain.

A lack of wet weather running so far this year - the rain appearing only in Bahrain and during free practice at Monaco — adds another layer of unpredictability and excitement to this weekend.

‘Rain is always welcome. It’s always an unpredictable aspect of a race weekend, which I think everyone would welcome.’ said O’Sullivan. ‘The more rain the better, I guess.’

Marti expressed a similar sentiment, sharing that he has always felt confident in wet conditions throughout his racing career.

‘I love wet weather driving, I’ve always been a fan,’ said Marti. ‘I’m confident in my skills, confident driving in the wet and comfortable that the car the team will give me is strong in the wet. So yeah, excited for it.’ 

Anticipation is clearly high for both the drivers and motorsport fans as we head into the weekend- be sure not to miss what is shaping up to be an action-packed, drama-filled weekend in Formula Two.


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