Having not just scored his first points of the season, but also his first two podium places of 2019, you’d imagine France would have been a round to remember for Pedro Piquet? Not quite - the Brazilian says he is already trying to forget it.

Piquet was the only non-PREMA Racing driver on the grid to topple the unyielding machine of Jehan Daruvala, finishing between the Indian driver and his teammate Robert Shwartzman on the podium in Race 2. This followed a similarly successful Race 1, where he finished narrowly behind them in third.

Not one to get carried away, the 19-year-old wants to quite literally take the season ‘one race at a time,’ insisting he will be quickly moving on with his eyes set firmly on Austria.

“There's a lot of races close together, so it's a case of forgetting what happened, focus as much as possible on the next event, and try to get the maximum number of points and bring the result home,” Piquet stated.

The only two drivers to have beaten Piquet in France - Daruvala and Shwartzman – have proved imperious so far this season, claiming all four race wins between them. In Le Castellet, it was Piquet who came closest to the PREMA cars and a stern overtake of Daruvala in Race 2 proved that Trident have the pace to match the Championship’s in-form team.

Though he initially lost second to the Indian, Piquet reacted in style and hauled himself back above Daruvala with a clean pass down the straight, which the Brazilian points to as further proof that his team have the speed to compete at the top end.

Despite his pace, the necessity to manage his tyres would play a part in the race, forcing him to back off during certain periods. “We had a good start,” he continued. “The warm up was really good with some very good first laps, and immediately as I saw the three guys in the front fighting, all rookies. I knew to back down a bit because especially here the Pirelli tyre really goes away.

“I backed out a bit and unfortunately Robert Shwartzman passed me. In the end we were maintaining the tyres and we could overtake the rookies in front - Peroni and Tsunoda. After that I was trying to keep up with Robert but Jehan Daruvala was really fast in the middle of the race and he overtook me.

“I tried to close into the DRS and in the last two laps I could overtake him because the car was much faster than his at the end of the race.”

It’s a far cry from the disappointment that he suffered in Round 1, when he finished as far down the grid as 26th in the first race, before a marginal improvement on the Sunday, when he ran home in 16th.

This followed a frustrating series of tests, with the Brazilian admitting that they weren’t in the best of shape coming into the 2019 campaign. Piquet pointed towards the hard work of his team as to the reason why they made such a dramatic jump in the six weeks which separated Barcelona and le Castellet.

“I'm really happy for the team,” he continued. “Because, we started the year on the back foot, not only in Barcelona but also in the tests. We were struggling a lot but now with the work of the engineers and our team manager we improving the car quite a bit and we can see that in the races we have the same pace as the PREMAs. I'm really pleased with the weekend.

“We improved the car a lot. In the end we were really fast and also in the beginning of the race we had the speed too, which is what I worked for.”

The result propelled Piquet as high as fifth in the drivers’ standings, on 27 points, ahead of the next round in Austria this coming weekend.