Interview with Christopher Zanella
1 June 2011 – After completing a double victory last time out in France, 21-year-old Christopher Zanella now leads the Formula 2 standings. Four races into the 16-round series, the Swiss driver shares his thoughts ahead of Belgium.
This year is your first season in F2; did you think you would be leading the series at this stage?
I always hoped I would do well, but I never thought it would be this good. I never expected to be leading the series at this early stage but I'm very happy that I am. I thought I would have to fight in more races to get to this point, so this is really good for me.
You hadn’t won a race since 2008 in the Swiss Formula Renault Championship, so how did it feel to secure your first F2 victory?
To win the race was a great feeling for me and unbelievable given that I had a really bad start. I dropped down to fourth and tried to stay with the others and then tried to close the gap lap by lap. Then I overtook one after the other and that was really good. It was a hard race, especially at the end when you're alone and you start to have some thoughts, and that's very dangerous!
How did it feel to then be on pole and go on to win the second race at Magny-Cours as well?
I was actually a bit surprised to be on pole for Race 2, as the lap where I used my overboost wasn't perfect. It was a great feeling, though, especially after securing my first win - everything just seemed to be going right.
You've driven both Formula Renault and F2 single-seaters before; how does the 500-horsepower F2 car compare to those?
The F2 car is certainly more technical compared to anything else I've driven, such as the F3 car. It's very different but I enjoy driving it a lot - particularly the increased power!
You're competing in F2 whilst also still undertaking your college work. How hard is it, juggling the two?
It's very hard doing the two. I study Mechanical Engineering at college and have two months left on the course. It's really hard to train and concentrate on F2 and also study for my exams. After winning twice at Magny-Cours I had to drive home straight away after the race to get some sleep ready for college the next day!
F2 travels to Spa soon for the next rounds of the series. Are you looking forward to the track and do you think you can win there as well?
Yeah, hopefully. I'm really looking forward to Spa, it's a great track. I raced there in 2008, so I know it well. It's really fast, which I love!
Interview provided by the official Formula 2 website