Thoughts from Maloney, Martins and Colapinto
FIA Formula 3: Zane Maloney, another Feature Race win, back to back with Spa, a wonderful result. Let's talk about this race because it was a tough win. How was it from the car?
Zane Maloney: Well I was expecting to have a good start compared to yesterday because now I was on the clean side, but that didn't happen and I had a lot of wheel spin. Obviously, Victor got alongside. I tried to squeeze as much as possible to see if maybe he would back out, but he didn't. He got the lead at the beginning and then it was just about trying to save as much of the tyre for the end of the race. The Safety Car really helped me to close back up to Victor and he seemed to be struggling a bit at the restart with temperature or something. So, we were able to get the lead in and keep it to the end.
FIA Formula 3: Let’s go back to the start because there was a moment when you looked like you were about to lose the car at the curb.
Maloney: Of course, these curbs are quite high on the exits and they drag you out as well, especially at Turn 1 and Turn 8. So I tried my best to keep the lead at the beginning, but obviously, it didn't work out. As soon as you touch the curb you go off, so I didn't get pushed off I just touched the curb and then it threw me off the track. Of course, at that moment I was not thinking I would win the race so it was a great comeback.
FIA Formula 3: You scored some very big points here this weekend, going to Monza do you feel like you are on a charge for the title?
Maloney: No, to be honest, I'm not thinking about that at all. Obviously, we've had a lot of momentum, three podiums in the Feature Race in the last three rounds. Of course, it's the team's home race in Monza so I'll try to do the best job for them. But no, I think it's too far now, at least we will give it a try like always.
FIA Formula 3: So, what’s the plan for Monza?
Maloney: Well, of course, have a good Qualifying again. I think Qualifying is a little bit less important in Monza, being in the top five is where you need to be. Then in both races, we're going to see crazy racing, it's just about being smart in Monza. Not really about as much about the pace, but about being smart.
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations, well done today. Victor Martins, P2 in today's FA Formula 3 Feature Race here at Zandvoort from P2 on the grid, but that doesn't tell the story of the race. Can you summarize it for us?
Victor Martins: I tried to really focus on the start and first the warm-up procedure, to have the tyres in the window for the first few laps. I had an okay start, not an amazing one, but I think I did at least a better one than Zane. I saw straightaway that I had my front wing at the level of his rear wheel. So, I thought I'll keep the inside. Whatever happens, I will keep it. Then we went into Turn 1 and I got the lead. I got a bit of understeer; I think it was in the dust on the outside. He went a bit too wide and then I tried to focus on myself for the first few laps. I was feeling really, really good at the start. Then I think had a bit of a drop in the grip and the balance. We had a bit of the same yesterday, so I was just trying to survive, trying to keep the lead. At some point, he passed me but I really tried to stay in the DRS and at least not make mistakes, because Franco was behind me and putting quite a lot of pressure on me. I knew that the DRS was working but not that much. So, if I was doing a good last corner, I knew I would not be in trouble for Turn 1.
FIA Formula 3: Overall this was a strong weekend for you, it looked like you were maybe back on the pace, back fighting for podiums. First, how good does that feel after a disappointing Spa?
Martins: It is good, to be honest. After Spa, we were not really in the mindset of focusing on the Championship because we were just not there, not scoring points. So, we tried to focus back on ourselves, on what we can improve on the car. Also, on myself, because I didn't quite do the job in Spa, to be honest. I really wanted to approach it differently this weekend and Monza. think I have the right approach, and the right mindset for Free Practice to build up confidence and give feedback to the team. The car has always been quick, and I always had the pace. It was just a matter of maximizing what I was doing on track and getting those points. In the end, it's good to have a proper and clean weekend. For sure I'm a bit frustrated not to get the win today because we could have put a bigger gap at the top of the Championship. But in the end, if we keep going like that, scoring more points than the others, we will get the Championship.
FIA Formula 3: Like you're saying you're back in the lead of the standings, five points over Isack. What's the plan for Monza, it’s the final round. I guess you’re going to say win, but how are you going to approach it because there’s a lot of pressure involved?
Victor Martins: I think to be honest, from Free Practice to the Sprint Race it will be to not focus on the championship. To do the Free Practice, get the feeling in the car, give the team the right direction to go in and then do some clean laps also. Then to go into Qualifying and try to do the same as here, focusing on myself step by step. The first set, then you deliver a good lap, then you build up. Just taking Quali step by step, that’s how I will deliver the lap and the performance. If we are in the lead or on pole, or top three, there will be some management to maybe do in the Feature Race. I think that is also the job of the team. We have already spoken about it many, many times in the year that they are also there to calm me in the car, to put me in the right mood and the right mindset to maybe manage at some point or be on the attack. I'm quite confident that I will do the job. That they will be there also to support me and help me to get the title.
FIA Formula 3: Well done Victor. Franco Colapinto, P3 in today's FIA Formula 3 Feature Race here at Zandvoort, from P5 on the grid. You mentioned earlier that you were not expecting to be on the podium in Zandvoort. Can you tell us what happened in the race?
Franco Colapinto: Well, today basically we had a good car. We improved a little bit from yesterday. We had a really good look at the data, and we found some little things and tweaks to the car that we could make to help the balance and the degradation. We went a bit too much to the other side, but the car was really fast today in the race. Difficult to manage the balance though, but it was good to attack and to be close to Victor. At the beginning of the race, we were quite strong. I tried a move on Stanek that worked into Turn 2 and Turn 3 and then we were just trying to stay calm. The first few laps were quite aggressive, and I could just take some of the opportunities and move to P3, so happy with the podium. The pace was really good today I think. If we were not the quickest, the second quickest behind Zane. Happy with that, happy with the car, happy for the team that they did a great job in their first year. They delivered the results on the car as well.
FIA Formula 3: You put a lot of pressure on second-placed Victor Martins during the race. You were close to getting to P2, but not quite. How difficult was it?
Colapinto: It was tricky. We were really quick in the corners, but on the straights, we really struggled, and we seemed to arrive really slow to that second place, even though we were only three-tenths off him in that last corner. With the DRS and the tow, it was not enough, and I just could not get a proper run into him. I couldn't be fully side-by-side with him to try something. I tried to push him to see if he was going to make a mistake, but then with so many Safety Cars, everyone was cool cooling the tyre so everything I managed was for nothing. It was quite tricky, maybe the second part of the race didn't go how I was expecting, with so many Safety Cars and restarts so I think maybe that’s why we couldn’t get second place, but as I told you, starting from fifth place if someone told me I was going on the podium, I would have taken it straight away. With the pace we had today, I think we look strong for Monza as well. We have to improve that straight-line speed, which is going to be important in Monza, but we are looking good at the end of the year.
FIA Formula 3: Talking about Monza, it will be the final round of the 2022 campaign. It’s been a season of ups and downs. You showed strong pace. You've had one win and a few podiums. What's the goal for the final round?
Colapinto: I think to score more points, keep it consistent and be in the points in both of the races I would say. Keep working on the car, we are learning a lot of stuff every weekend and we are improving ourselves. We are learning more and more about how the car should be working, so I'm happy about that. I think this weekend as well has been a big step forward in terms of car setup, so looking strong for the end of the year. Monza is a circuit that I’ve always really liked and, I've been quite quick there. I also feel confident there and I'm looking forward to finishing the season in a strong way.
FIA Formula 3: Well done Franco.