Victor Martins is laser-focused this weekend at Zandvoort, with the disappointment of Spa-Francorchamps now well behind him.
The ART Grand Prix driver made the perfect start to a pivotal weekend, ending Free Practice top of the times by some margin. His 1:25.688 was three-tenths clear of his closest challenger in the form of Caio Collet.
With the Championship fight so close heading into the penultimate round of the year, Martins says that he has put to bed any worries and concerns arising from a tough weekend in Belgium, and is now fully invested in the weekend at Zandvoort and showing he’s back to his best.
“I’m feeling really good, I love the track here and the energy, even if it’s not for myself. I’ve waited all season to come here and have the chance to race here on track.
“I’m in the aggressive mood, I’ve already forgotten Spa and what happened there. I took the positives from there as well as what I had to improve, but all about results and performance I’ve forgotten about it. Now I’m here and P1 in Practice, I have the confidence. We have a good car so let’s go for it and go for the pole and some wins this weekend.”
The notoriously old-school layout of the Zandvoort track means there is little to no room for error for any driver on the grid.
As they push more in Qualifying, mistakes are more likely to crop up and could mean that an early banker lap becomes critical with the prospect of red flag stoppages curtailing the session or interrupting a hot lap.
Martins is confident heading into the all-important session, which could mean more than usual with overtaking so difficult around the narrow circuit and with the Championship so finely balanced.
“It’s one of the hardest tracks of the year to reach the limit and not go over it. But I like that kind of track, it’s challenging, and you make the difference. It’s more risky here, you come into a corner and approach it differently than the others. I’m feeling good on that side, I tried to build more confidence towards the end of the session. We did good laps and wasn’t really impacted by traffic so got some clean and proper laps. I think that’s helped us ahead of Qualifying.
“For sure it will be important to get it from the first push. But I need to be focused on the warm-up, step by step, then focus on the first push and build up from there. You know what you have in the car and know what you’re capable of doing and then you reach the limit. It will be important to put a lap together early in the session but I’m quite confident I have the pace and the car and we can do a good strategy to make it happen.”