Thoughts from Edgar, O'Sullivan and Barnard
FIA Formula 3: Jonny Edgar, you're the winner of the final race of the 2023 FIA Formula 3 campaign here in Monza. I'm sure you're very happy with the result, but it was not an easy race. How was it from the car?
Jonny Edgar: It definitely wasn't easy. We had a lot of Safety Cars, in some parts it was helpful to have them and in other bits, I would have liked to carry on. I was really happy to win in the end. Throughout the race, I was just staying close to the front, either P1 or P2. Then the last Safety Car was quite long and I just had to get a good restart, which I managed to do so I didn't have any pressure on the last lap.
FIA Formula 3: Can you take us through the move on Caio Collet for you to take the lead?
Edgar: Fairly early in the race we kept swapping places and I think we both understood that it's better to let the other person go. Early on we were working quite well together to not lose time, then one lap going into the first Lesmo I managed to get on the inside and get ahead and that's the race that won the race in the end. It was quite early but we didn't have many laps after that so it was an important overtake.
FIA Formula 3: How difficult was it to keep Zak and Taylor at bay?
Edgar: I saw Taylor catching in the middle of the race and that's one of the reasons I made sure to overtake Caio because I saw him coming. On the last restart, Zak got to second and we battled for a corner. He was quite close and we had another Safety Car and then on the last lap, it was the restart that won me the race. I didn't have any pressure, and I didn't have anything to worry about on the last lap.
FIA Formula 3: It's not been the easiest season for you in 2023, how sweet is it for you to finish the season on the top step?
Edgar: It's good to finish F3 with a good result, over the three years I've been close to a podium quite a few times and something happened so it's nice to finally get one, especially after this year. It's been a difficult year but since the middle of the season we made quite a big step and it's been even better since then.
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations for today. Zak O'Sullivan, P2 in the final race of the season and P2 in the Championship, but before we talk about that result let's talk about the race. What a race it was for you, how was it from inside the car?
Zak O'Sullivan: It was quite chaotic, a classic Monza race. We started from P6, which was P5 after Goethe's issue. To be honest I was just trying to stay in that front group, that's where you need to be if any accidents happen or any battles take place. I found myself in P3 after the second Safety Car restart. I was trying to hold position there, on the second to last restart I was in P2 but I was in a bit of a difficult situation because I knew I was fairly safe for P2 in the Championship so the last restart was a bit of managing. I didn't want to go for the lead and take a big risk but keeping Caio behind was quite hard. A fun race, but not easy!
FIA Formula 3: Going into today's race, were you thinking it was possible for you to get P2 in the Championship?
Zak O'Sullivan: I thought it was going to be quite difficult, Franco had the win yesterday and Paul was ahead and starting further up but it's Monza so anything can happen and it did happen. Of all the tracks to be behind in the last race, it's probably the best one.
FIA Formula 3: What does finishing P2 in the Championship mean to you?
O'Sullivan: It's nice, we've not had the easiest of years. It's been quite up and down but I think our highs have been quite high and today is another example. I think it's nice to have a P2 in the Championship to show for it, a shame we couldn't go to the last round fighting Gabriel but it's one of those things.
FIA Formula 3: PREMA Racing are retaining its crown, was it important for you also to ensure that PREMA would stay on top?
O'Sullivan: I think it's a joint effort, I always go for the best result and doing so also helps the team so in the end a P2 was very useful in that sense for scoring points with Trident not having the best race. Of course, it's important but it's not like I have to sacrifice one for the other, we're both looking forward to the same goal.
FIA Formula 3: One word to describe your 2023 season?
O'Sullivan: Unpredictable! Every weekend seems to have some kind of curve ball but I think the pace has been there when it counts.
FIA Formula 3: Well done today. Taylor Barnard, P3 in today's Feature Race, another podium, and one that you really had to fight for. How was it from the car?
Barnard: It was a difficult race for sure. I started P8 and I didn't have the best of starts but I think we had the pace today, unlike yesterday. We worked on the car overnight so a big thanks to the team. I had the pace, just made my way through and was in the right place at the right time. My race start was not so good but we had the pace and on the last lap we were just taking the podium in the first Lesmo was quite close but I went for it and it was a good move.
FIA Formula 3: What about the move from Zak on you, how frustrating was it?
Barnard: Being third on the restart is difficult because the guy in P2 has a bigger slipstream than you. Caio went for the outside on Jonny and I just got a bit stuck, it was frustrating but there was not really much I could do. I just had to keep a cool head and focus for the rest of the race and just do the best I could.
FIA Formula 3: It feels like there's been a real breakthrough at the end of the season for you and Jenzer, what do you think the reason for this is? And how does that make you feel going forward into 2024?
Barnard: Since the in-season test we definitely made a step forward but we never really had the luck and results to show for it. Spa was definitely a big up for the team and I think the motivation from that over the summer break has kept through into this race. The hard work and determination they put into the car over this weekend has been amazing. A big thanks to the team for the whole year!
FIA Formula 3: Final question. What do you think you learned from your first season in Formula 3?
Barnard: The start of the year was quite difficult, we were always fighting and getting quite unlucky. When you're in mid-pack you always try to focus on the job that you have at the moment and you can't really evaluate what's going on. Definitely from the in-season test, we could look at the bigger picture more and that's when I really started to learn and that's when the results started to come so I'm very happy.
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations on today's result.