If he does not yet feel pressure, Victor Martins knows that a presence in F1 will depend on the F2 title

After a difficult start to the season, Victor Martins has already lost ground in the championship. With 12 rounds still to go, the Ile-de-France native is not yet sounding the alarm but is aware that his F1 chances depend on only one thing: the champion title.

Published on 21/03/2024 à 11:02

Gonzalo Forbes

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If he does not yet feel pressure, Victor Martins knows that a presence in F1 will depend on the F2 title

© Photo Dutch Photo Agency / DPPI

Victor Martins knows it. This start to the 2024 season is far from his expectations. Very far indeed. Among the big favorites for the succession of Theo Pourchaire on the list of F2, the ART Grand Prix driver started his second campaign on the wrong foot. There's this new car that he and his team haven't been able to quite get right yet. Also bad luck like this retirement in the Main Race in Bahrain after an electronic cut. But also personal difficulties, particularly in terms of race pace.

After two rounds (Bahrain and Saudi Arabia) and therefore four races, the protégé ofAlpine presents a clean balance sheet. Not the slightest point while some contenders started strong like Zane Maloney (Rodin Motorsport), double winner in Sakhir and in control of the championship with 47 units. A bad start which inevitably puts a damper on the ambitions of the Habs even if they do not want to persist in their fate for the moment.

« If I'm completely honest, I would say that this start of the season could impact my title chances, he initially says with a calm air. But if I think too much about what happened in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia, I won't go anywhere. I'm not making excuses, I'm just trying to understand. It's about continuing to work, communicating well with the team, being honest with ourselves to determine what we can do better on both sides, both mine and the team. You have to see how to use it all well.

I'm not worried. There are still 12 rounds to go. The path is long. I have to see this as a 12 round championship and not 14. We will have opportunities. Last year, I didn't start the season well with a few mistakes and I didn't have many more points than at present. We will get there. I really have confidence in the team and in myself to turn the tide."

Victor Martins in search of confidence

It is therefore not time for panic on Victor Martins' side. And for good reason. The ART Grand Prix driver is no stranger to this type of situation. For his rookie campaign last year, he hardly had a better start to the season. Certainly he had been more successful with 17 points after 4 rounds but bad luck had accompanied him for a long time. Like a sense of deja vu for him who then managed to get back on track, finishing 5e in the championship with 150 units, signing a series of 15 consecutive races in rewarding positions (1 victory, 7 additional podiums and a pole position). However, in 2024, he is aiming for the crown rather than entry into the Top 5 but he is aware that by regaining confidence he will be able to turn things around as he did before.

« The main element (to regain confidence) is to be able to ride, he confides. Right now, coming to Australia is more important [to me] than thinking about the championship and the title at the end of the day. This obviously remains the ultimate objective but for the moment it is about having fun behind the wheel, having fun but also trying to do better (compared to the start of the season).

All this happens by coming here (in Melbourne), work with the team, share good times with them, regain self-confidence, good communication, be honest with ourselves to understand what we need to improve. Do we need to make a big change? Is it one small step or small elements that we need to connect? Should we take another direction? So. I'm confident, happy to be here, to drive and I can't wait to start the weekend, hoping for a good one. »

A walkabout never hurts. © Photo Dutch Photo Agency / DPPI

Dreams of F1 but…

Calm despite a nightmarish start to the season, Victor is nevertheless lucid. This situation does not work in his favor as he always dreams of F1 and while the pilots Alpine, Esteban Ocon et Pierre Gasly are at the end of their contract. Far from ideal for a repeater when you know the importance of a second exercise in the anteroom of the premier category.

Far from the mark after two meetings, Australia then appears as the first port of call to move forward in order to still dream of the title. If he claims to only think about Melbourne and not necessarily beyond, Martins knows that a large part of his future is at stake now because a new misstep could very seriously compromise his dreams of reaching the elite in 2025.

« I would say I will only get an opportunity if I do a good job in F2, he points. So it will depend on the results I get. (during the year) and what I will show. Nothing more. I don't see an opportunity coming to me if I don't succeed in F2.

I don't focus on it (F1) For now. I'm just trying to do the best job possible in my second season to show my potential. I know that if I do it well and achieve the goal we set for ourselves, I will definitely have a chance. I don't see how I wouldn't have an opportunity in F1 if I achieve the goal set. Everything will therefore depend on the results and the objectives that I achieve. In my case, it's about fighting for the title and obviously winning it at the end of the day. In all honesty, this is not the case at the moment but we have to stay focused. But at the moment, I have no pressure. 12 rounds left. » Certainly, but not many jokers anymore. It's up to him to show that he has the shoulders to get out of this negative spiral and get back into the title race, the one that could open the doors to F1 for him in a few months.

Eyes fixed on the horizon… and F1? © Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency / DPPI

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Gonzalo Forbes

In charge of promotion formulas (F2, F3, FRECA, F4...). Carried by the grace of Franco Colapinto.

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1 Comment (s)

Yves-Henri RANDIER

21/03/2024 at 12:03 a.m.

Even being 2024 Champion in F2, having a seat in a Alpine in 2025 is not guaranteed, especially since current performance is not encouraging at all!


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