Credo were invited to view the Formula 2 car at Virtuosi Racing’s headquarters in Attleborough before it started its journey to Bahrain ready for testing in a week’s time.
UNI-Virtuosi had another fantastic season in 2020 finishing in second place in the Formula 2 Championship. They are aiming to build on this success again this season. In the previous two years in F2 the team has secured eight pole positions, 26 podiums and eight race wins, earning second-place finishes in the teams’ championship both years. The team enters its third year with a strong line-up of Felipe Drugovich and Guanyu Zhou.
We wanted to find out more… so we asked Team owner Andy Roche his thoughts on racing during a pandemic in 2020, what’s new for 2021 and his hopes for this season ahead!
Credo: Last year must have been difficult with the compressed calendar, strict social distancing rules and Covid-19 testing, but you performed brilliantly, claiming as many pole positions as the rest of the field combined and finishing second in the team championship standings. What’s your ambitions for this year?
Andy: “Yes, last year was very difficult and it was great that we had such a successful championship, obviously next year we need to win the drivers and teams championships, finishing second for two years in succession hurts a little so next year we have to win.“
Credo: You’ve retained Guanyu Zhou for the 2021 season, to race alongside a new driver, Felipe Drugovich. What made you choose the two of them to represent UNI-Virtuosi?
Andy: “Well with Zhou it was an easy choice, he has been with us for two years so we know each other well, can hopefully hit the ground running and he can be winning races from the start. I had been watching Felipe through 2020 and he had some spectacular drives, he is obviously very talented and in his second year of F2 I hope he will be ultra-competitive ,with these two drivers I hope we can have a real shot on both titles.”
Credo: I understand there are 3 races over the weekend this year, what impact will this have on the team?
Andy: “This will obviously make the weekends busier but I don’t think it will impact the team too much, its just a question of being organised.“
Credo: What effect did the lack of crowds have on the drivers? With the Governments roadmap leading to all restrictions being lifted in June, there will no doubt be a sell out for the Silverstone event, that must be really exciting for the team.
Andy: “My feeling is that the lack of crowds had little affect on the drivers, when the lights go green they aren’t thinking about anything else other than the race, of course it did reduce the amount of media activities the drivers had to do over the weekend so I don’t think they were that unhappy about the crowd situation.“
Credo: What changes have there been to the cars this year?
Andy: “Other that the colour scheme nothing has changed from last year.“
Credo: What’s your secret for working so well together as a team?
Andy: “Consistency, communication and a good mix of experience and youth.“
Credo: The question everyone wants to know – how quick can your team change a tyre?!!
Andy: “Ha, well in practice we regularly see changes in the 3 to 4 second bracket but realistically in the race situation it is generally a little slower, in the 4 to 5 second region.“
Thank you Andy for that great insight into running a Formula 2 team. It sounds like you have everything in place to have another successful season, and we agree with you here at Credo, you deserve further success in 2021 and we will all be watching cheering on a local success story!