Thoughts from Caldwell, Martins and Vesti
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations to the top three finishers of Race 2 of the FIA Formula 3 Championship here at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Spain. In third place, Fred Vesti for ART Grand Prix, second Victor Martins for MP Motorsport and taking his first win in Formula 3 our winner, Olli Caldwell for PREMA Racing. Many congratulations Olli, what a wild race! How does it feel to be a winner in Formula 3?
Olli Caldwell: It feels great to be on the top step of such a big Championship, especially after a difficult year of learning last year. I think today has shown that it definitely was a learning year and I'm now putting that into practice. It was a crazy race! Happy to be on the top step but my focus is still to improve. I definitely made some mistakes in today's race and I need to learn from those for the future.
FIA Formula 3: Olli how good was the car, because that last stint after the final safety car you looked quick?
Caldwell: Did I? The car lasted very well, PREMA has done a great job with it and you can't argue with that. It felt like I was hanging on there with the tyres at the end, I think everyone was struggling. Barcelona is a difficult track with the tyres, so it's really just about how long you can keep them going. So the car was great, but I was still hanging on in there at the end.
FIA Formula 3: Let's throw it forward to tomorrow for Race 3, what are you expecting?
Caldwell: Well, we've got a new set of tyres, which I think everyone does due to the new format. Starting 6th, so one position higher than Race 2, which means bigger points are at play. The goal is to maximise points, especially now with the three races. You really don't want to have a DNF, so consistency is key.
FIA Formula 3: Great stuff Olli. Victor coming to you, another first! Your first F3 podium, how does it feel?
Victor Martins: It feels pretty good, even though the race was hard for me and I made quite a few small mistakes, and then a big one in the middle of the race. I still need to learn a lot with the car, with the team, and how to manage the tyres and how fight in the race also. But it feels good to be on the podium and I think it's a good start.
FIA Formula 3: You did a lot of winning in Formula Renault Eurocup last year. Now you're a couple of races in with Formula 3 how different is it? How much tougher is Formula 3?
Martins: Well, there a lot of good drivers out on the track, and the consistency will be the key this year, even more than in previous years. After that it's how to manage the race, manage the tyres, and fighting with the DRS. It's quite difficult to stay in the DRS zone and manage things with the car behind and the car in front. So, I think you need to stay calm, like I did today after my mistake. You can see when you are calm and consistent it pays off.
FIA Formula 3: Let’s throw it forward to tomorrow as well. Starting 3rd, what are you expecting?
Martins: I think we have the pace, we have shown that since the beginning of the weekend. I just want to make a good start, as there are two drivers in front who are pretty fast so it would be good to do a strong first lap.
FIA Formula 3: Well done Victor, Fred coming to you - 6th to 3rd is a great day's work and you had some tight battles out there, tell us about them?
Frederik Vesti: It was quite a race! We started out a little bit slow with the car struggling to keep up with guys ahead, so we lost a bit of time and had to defend quite a lot. Then suddenly the car switched on, the tyres switched on, and we picked up some good pace. There are definitely some things we still need to improve but I think we're getting there and I'm really happy to be on the podium today. It's good points, and it's so important to make the most out of the reverse grid because they are really difficult.
FIA Formula 3: Looking ahead to tomorrow as well, you're starting 5th what are you expecting?
Vesti: I definitely need to get a good start, and a fast first lap, because we had the potential for at least top three in Qualifying but quite a big mistake in Sector 3 cost us a top three place. So, I'm looking to get back to the top three at least and get some good points!
FIA Formula 3: I've got a final question for you Fred, and for you Olli, about the new format. You were both here last year, how different is it and do you need a different approach this year?
Vesti: Well it's very different, last year was also difficult because you only had two races which meant if you made a mistake it could be a zero point weekend. This new format allows us to push hard and have the possibility to score more points. Now if you DNF, you still have Race 3 to get some points. So, I think it allows us to explore the limits a bit more and push harder.
FIA Formula 3: Olli, your thoughts please?
Caldwell: I'd say from a physical aspect it's harder, two races in one day, especially in the heat is quite difficult. You definitely have to be more consistent now, you can push for the points in both Race 1 and Race 2 but if you lose out, it could be quite a big disadvantage. Today I had two good points scoring races, but I definitely think if you drop out of the points it can be an issue. Consistency has to be the number one thing for all three races, to always be in the points so you can be in with a chance of the Championship at the end of the year.
FIA Formula 3: Great stuff, thank you all!