It’s time for the man of the moment to take up the chance to pen his thoughts on seeing his dreams come true, as Victor Martins became the newest 2022 FIA Formula 3 Champion.
Leading the charge into a seven-way title deciding season finale in Monza, the ART Grand Prix driver had the weight of his own expectations on his shoulders. Whilst contact in the Sprint Race put him on the backfoot, he remained unfazed, fighting back into the points on Saturday and remaining calm under pressure to take home the glory in a nail-biting ending on Sunday.
Taking on the Guest Column duties, Martins reflected on an emotional weekend, the journey he’s taken this season and why even though the racing has stopped, the work certainly hasn’t!
ONE GOOD POINT – WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Clearly it was becoming the champion, that’s the good point of the weekend and of the season overall. To get it in the end from what I’ve been through this season, a lot of ups and downs, even during Monza.
It started well in Free Practice and in Quali also, but then I did a mistake in the Sprint Race, and to come back in the Feature Race to win the title, that was the good point. It was the main target and we achieved it.
ONE BAD POINT – CONTACT IN THE SPRINT RACE
I think it was the Sprint Race. I won’t put everything on myself, I don’t think it was 100% my fault in that incident, but at least I think I had the responsibility to avoid it, just to take more of a gap. I had space on the left.
I think regarding my position and where I was in the Championship in the last two races, I cannot take that much risk whilst racing, just centimetres away from another driver who I know is aggressive. So, I will say that was the bad point that I need to improve for the future.
WHAT I LEARNED – KEEPING MY COMPOSURE
I learned again that every single point is important in this Championship. Also, how to manage my emotions in the car with the team. I think it’s a really big advantage when you are one with the team, when you have the confidence with one another because then they can really help you. They can guide you in the way to get the Championship in the end.
Also, after the mistake I made in the Sprint Race, to maybe control more the others or at least be aware of what they could do and try to analyse more the drivers around me who I’m fighting with and regarding my position in the Championship. I learned mainly that on the weekend, and I will do my best to keep that for the future.
FANS MAY HAVE MISSED – TRACKING DOWN THE TRICOLORE
When I was crowned champion, the team was trying to get a French flag because we have a bit of a superstition. So, everyone, even me, I was not thinking about it. I think the team wanted to find one, but they also didn’t want to bring one from the workshop because of that and you always think if you bring it, it will not happen. We had to find one and I think someone in ART went to Alpine to get one. We were quite lucky they had one so I could use it and celebrate with it.
On my side, I have another example of that. When I prepared my bag for the weekend, I didn’t want to bring any clothes, any shirt for the night after on Sunday to celebrate because I also have a lot of superstitions – I thought if I brought one, then for sure, it would not happen. We finally did it and I used something else to celebrate with on Sunday night.
UP NEXT – AND RELAX...
Now that I’ve been crowned the FIA F3 Champion, it’s a big achievement. It’s what I've been fighting for since last year. I knew I had the potential to do it and I knew I had the team and the car. Also, I know I have the people around me - Alpine, my personal management, my sponsors, my family, my friends and we finally did it!
Now it will be a matter of getting a break, just resting a bit, release all the pressure and enjoy the moment. Then, I will go back to work quite quickly to analyse what I could have done better this year, in which areas, in which situations I could have done things differently. Also, with the team, I think it’s good to speak with them to know what we could have done better as a team.
I know I will become stronger and because of that I will become a better person and a better driver, but first some rest. Then, we will go back to work. We will see what will happen next and we will prepare as much as possible for next year.