Jüri Vips

Great Super Formula pace stalled at Suzuka for Auer and Vips

#50 Lucas Auer (AUT – B-Max/Motopark Honda/M-TEC HR-417E)
Qualifying: 3rd – Grid: 3rd – Race: 11th
Super Formula Championship position: 9th – 14 points – after 7 of 7 races

#15 Jüri Vips (EST – Mugen Honda/M-TEC HR-417E)
Qualifying: 19th – Grid: 19th – Race: 18th
Super Formula Championship position: debut in 7th of 7 races

Both Lucas Auer and Jüri Vips showed superb speed in the Super Formula final round at Suzuka. Unfortunately Auer stalled from P3 on the grid and fellow Red Bull Junior Vips stalled at his pit stop, both significantly effecting their results.

Austrian 25-year-old Auer was in great form in Qualifying, 2nd fastest in Q2 he was 3rd in Q3. Vips was learning in his debut and the almost monsoon rain in Friday's Free Practice did not help. The 19-year-old Estonian was 19th in Qualifying but 4th fastest in Free Practice on Sunday morning.

Auer fast but fraught

"It's a great shame about the start, that ended the race effectively," explained Auer. "We had it all set up well, for the clutch and everything but there was a lot more grip than we expected and it stalled."

"It had been a very good weekend. We had the data from the first visit to Suzuka and as we hoped, that helped. The team did a great job with it and we were very strong in Qualifying."

"We had good race pace and came back a bit, we had good strategy but of course it was very tough having such bad track position from the start," said Auer who was last off the line.

"It's difficult to say what might have been," concluded the disappointed B-Max/Motopark driver.

Vips learning all the way

"It was a great weekend, of course coming here was more about learning than the result and I certainly learnt a huge amount, faster every time I went out and it was all a great experience," enthused the F3 regular.

"Sure it was a shame about the pit stop, it was my first and I had practiced quite a bit to get the entry right, it was that I was more worried about but then I blew the exit, just a rookie mistake."

"P4 in the Free Practice this morning really got my hopes up but then I chatted with some of the guys who brought me back to earth and explained that it didn't mean so much," he added with his broad grin.

"I enjoyed the race, the first five laps on the softs were fun but then the performance dropped away. Then on the medium the pace was quite good again but I need to learn more about how much you need to manage the degradation and how best to do it with these tyres." He ran as high as 5th on strategy and speed.

"It's all learning, the team were fantastic, helped me all the way and a big thank you to them for everything," concluded the Mugen driver, appreciating being part of the Honda Formula Dream Project.