THOUGHTS FROM VESTI, POURCHAIRE AND PIASTRI
FIA Formula 3: Hello and welcome to the press conference with the top three finishers in Race 1 of this weekend's FIA Formula 3 Championship round at Monza. We are joined by race winner Frederik Vesti for PREMA Racing, in second place is Théo Pourchaire for ART Grand Prix, and third is Oscar Piastri, also for PREMA Racing. Frederik, your second win of the season, and from ninth on the grid as well. Just how special was that race?
Frederik Vesti: It was a crazy race. My start was good, sort of, but I lost two spots in the first lap just from racing. From then on, the car felt really good, and I think nearly every lap I passed someone. When the Safety Car came, I saw myself in third position, and I could smell the win. I was just pushing from then.
FIA Formula 3: We heard a radio message that you were pretty happy with a Safety Car, but just before it there was a bit of an incident with Liam Lawson. Just talk us through that battle from your perspective.
Frederik: I was fighting with Liam, he definitely didn't want to give up that position, and I had... Basically, he squeezed me off track. I had to abort and jump over the kerbs and he then went off. In the end I think it was a racing incident. I don't think anyone... It was just him pushing me off. I was on the outside, but he didn't really leave me the space. It's racing. That's how it is.
FIA Formula 3: The Stewards looked at and they said there was no need to investigate that one. Well done today. Théo, moving on to you. You lost pole position yesterday, started from sixth, and then you were in the lead by Lap 4. Are you happy with this result, or frustrated to finish second?
Théo Pourchaire: Both I would say. In my heart, I was the pole-sitter. I did a super lap yesterday, everything was good. Then, there was the penalty. It's like that. From P6 I finished P2 today - it's a good result for sure. I'm a bit frustrated because Frederik was super-fast at the end. He passed me, and with the DRS and everything I tried to come back, but I was struggling with the rear tyres. I did the best job possible today. The car was good. Congrats to Frederik and PREMA because they were really fast.
FIA Formula 3: You were under pressure for quite a lot of that race, also from Jake Hughes at times. When the Safety Car came out, did that cost you the win, do you think? Were you comfortable before that?
Théo: I think so because I was a bit faster than Jake for sure. Then, after the Safety Car, the rear tyres were not super good and Frederik was a bit faster than me, or at least on the same pace. With the DRS he could overtake, so it's a bit of a shame about the Safety Car, but it's like that. P2 is a good result, so I'm happy with that.
FIA Formula 3: Thank you very much. Oscar, this is your first Race 1 podium since Silverstone, and you did it from 15th on the grid. Just how fun was that race?
Oscar Piastri: It was definitely a lot of fun. Obviously, qualifying 12th yesterday and then getting a three-place penalty which I felt like I didn't deserve - I wasn't super happy coming into today. This result definitely changes those emotions. From 15th on the grid, I don't think I really could have done much more than that.
FIA Formula 3: It's a big result when we look at the Championship picture as well, with Logan Sargeant failing to score. Is the pressure ramping up now as we get closer to the end of the season? Is it on your mind?
Oscar: I think, when I was starting 15th and Logan was fifth, it's quite hard to not look at that, but after a few laps I could see that I was only a few cars behind him. I was confident that I could get him. I think we had a few touches in there. There are still three more races left in the Championship. The gap is eight points, or something like that, so it's definitely not over at all. We saw today how quickly it can change. Even yesterday, how quickly we thought it could change. It's not on my mind too much yet, I'm just riding the high of that race to be honest.
FIA Formula 3: Well done today. Frederik, just returning to you. You went from ninth to win today. You'll start 10th tomorrow. With the way that races pan out in Monza, is there a chance you can still win that one too?
Frederik: Well we have to see tomorrow of course. Today, we had the pace and there were a lot of cars fighting. We took advantage of many things lap by lap, just getting better and seeing where to improve on the track. Also, one thing that was very important today was keeping the rear tyres. That's what made me fast in the end, which allowed me to pass Théo. I think that's going to be important again tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to starting P10. It's always good.