Thoughts from Colapinto, Stanek and Maini

FIA Formula 3: Welcome to the top three Qualifiers of the FIA Formula 3 Championship Feature Race here at the Bahrain International Circuit. Starting in third place on Sunday, Kush Maini for MP Motorsport, in second place, Roman Stanek for Trident, and taking his first pole in FIA Formula 3 on his debut, Franco Colapinto for Van Amersfoort Racing. Franco, what a tremendous session for you, very well done, how much of a surprise is this pole position?

Franco Colapinto: Thank you so much. Yeah, it was quite a surprise I'm not going to lie to you, we were struggling a little bit in practice and then we found the perfect balance for Qualifying. Honestly, you know, a new team in F3, in such a competitive championship. Everyone did an amazing job in the test, the three days here were really good to start working with each other, start to know a bit better the engineers and the mechanics. I think we arrived well in Quali, we did some quick last-minute changes and they worked nicely and I'm really happy, really proud of the work they've done. We all know how difficult and competitive F3 is and to be here on pole in my first race, and the first race of the team, it's amazing. Just so, so happy. Let's try to finish it on Sunday.

FIA Formula 3: What are the tactics going to be on Sunday?

Colapinto: Honestly, I don't know. We did a lot of long runs just to learn more about the tyres, to learn more about the car in the test during those three days that we had. Most of them were really good, so I'm really looking forward to the race, looking forward to starting on pole, and to try to defend it until the end.

FIA Formula 3: Very good luck with that. Roman, coming to you now. Great job by you as well. A front row start on Sunday surely leaves you in a very good place to challenge for victory?

Roman Stanek: Yeah thank you! I was quite surprised when I heard that Franco is on pole because it was his first race and he did a really good job. So congratulations. I was struggling a bit in Qualifying to put everything together. Also in Free Practice, my sectors were all over the place, but then we managed to put them all together. The car was really good. We did a good job with the traffic management and everything. I'm happy with P2.

FIA Formula 3: How much will your experience help you in the race on Sunday?

Stanek: We did a couple of long runs during the three-day test which were also really good. One was not so good, but the other ones were good, and we were fast. This is my third season so I also expect from myself that I have to finish in quite a high place because it's my third season. I think we can do a good job in the race.

FIA Formula 3: Tell us how you're settling in at Trident? How do you think things are going so far?

Stanek: Really good. I tested with them in Valencia last year, since then I've had a good relationship with the team manager, with my engineer with all the mechanics and they work really hard. Even in the factory, they work from the morning to the night just for this and I am really good in the team.

FIA Formula 3: Well done to you. Kush coming to you, only a tenth from pole. It was very close, how pleased were you with how things have gone today?

Kush Maini: Honestly really pleased. I think Free Practice we were struggling a bit, so we just made a few tweaks to the balance and it looked like it sorted itself out and I could do some consistent laps and I kept improving and improving. Considering I haven't done a single-seater Qualifying in over a year, and coming in as a rookie, I'm pretty happy with third on the grid. Also, our race runs were strong in the test so I think the goal will be to try and get in front of these two.

FIA Formula 3: As you say, last year was a quiet one for you, how quickly have you got up to speed in this car?

Maini: Obviously, I missed the test because I had no idea until a couple of months ago I was even going to be in this Championship. Honestly, as a racing driver, you don't really lose your instinct. With the help of my team, who have helped me every step of the way, and my teammates, who are a lot more experienced than me, I feel as good as I've ever felt.

FIA Formula 3: Great job, good luck for the rest of the weekend.