Grégoire, on March 1, you stated that your one and only goal was to win the world title. Six months later, do you regret your words?
No, and I take full responsibility. If I had to do it again, I would say exactly the same thing. So it’s true, it’s obvious, things didn’t go as I had hoped. But I remain convinced of one thing: my Art Grand Prix team and I had the arguments and the means to win the title, at worst to finish in the top 3. Otherwise, until Monaco, that is to say a third of the way through the season , I score points in each race, I have two podiums, and I am perfectly placed in the race for the title.
“I finished 14th but, in my head, I’m convinced I’ll be in the top 5.”
It was after that that things got worse: 47 points in the first 6 races, 7 in the last 12…How can we explain such a decline?
In this sport, the result depends on several factors: there is the driver, of course, but there is also the car, the engineers, the mechanics; there are, last but not least, your opponents, on the track. During the first two rounds, in Bahrain and Melbourne, the combination of elements was rather favorable to me. The tide began to turn in Monaco, certain elements were unfavorable for me from that moment on. However, in F3 as in F2 or F1, everything must be 100%, otherwise you have no chance.
The final weekend, in Monza, perfectly illustrates your words…
Yes. In Monza, I didn’t make any mistakes, really, and my car was at the top. I had everything in hand to achieve a very good result. But the “other driver” factor, once again, worked against me. On Saturday, I was taken out by O’Sulivan, on Sunday by Bortoleto e, in both cases, just after signing the best lap. It’s frustrating, because I know I was capable of doing better, much better. I finished 14th in the World Cup but, in my head, I am convinced of being in the top 5. It’s the reality of motorsport, you have to accept it, even if it’s hard.
Did you make mistakes?
Yes, of course, I have my share of responsibility. In Bahrain, for example, I had the car to take pole position, but I only finished 3rd. At Silverstone, on a circuit that I know little about with these rapid sequences, I did not present myself at the top compared to many others who had taken the care to go and ride there for one or two days, unlike me. Again, I made a mistake, I think.
This 2023 season leaves a very big taste of unfinished, of course, but not everything is to be thrown away…
It’s certain. I won two podiums, and not just any podiums: a second place in Melbourne, on the other side of the world, and a 3rd in Monaco, on the most legendary circuit on the planet. In addition, I achieved pole position at Spielberg. It’s not nothing. We are talking about an FIA world championship, all the same, with only 30 drivers in F3, 22 in F2 and 20 in F1. There are very few of us who have the chance to ride in this category. The other positive point is the reliability of my car: Art Grand Prix, my mechanics, throughout the season, provided me with a car which has never broken down, which has never experienced the slightest Technical problem.
What form will your 2024 season take?
It’s still too early to tell. there, I am discussing with my partners various projects. I will know more in a few weeks.
Will we see Grégoire Saucy in F2 in 2024?
(He smiles) Once again it is too early to say anything. F2 would be the logical next step, that’s for sure. And I am sure that I could have a very good season in this category. But let’s wait.