Thoughts from Doohan, Novalak and Hoggard
FIA Formula 3: Jack, P1 in today’s Qualifying session for Round 7 of the FIA Formula 3 Championship here in Sochi. How are you feeling?
Jack Doohan: I’m happy for sure, still very grounded because it’s only one box that I want to tick for everything to come together for the championship. I’m glad that we were able to get pole position in dry conditions, because I knew we were able to do it. I’m also happy for the team, for the result, but I want more.
FIA Formula 3: We heard you on a radio mentioning about oversteer early in the session, did the team change anything on the set-up when you came in between stints?
Doohan: We made an adjustment, we went back on a change we made for Free Practice, the conditions were quite different with a lot of wind that had picked up and hotter temperatures. Unfortunately, that balance didn’t really work out on the new tyre, so we were able to go back and get something back in the window. The balance was quite nice.”
FIA Formula 3: You mentioned early this weekend about coming into this round with the mindset that you can still win the title, surely today’s Pole gives you extra confidence for the title battle?
Doohan: Definitely, I knew I could do it. This is just, it’s another tick of the box. I had faith in myself, I had faith in the team, practice this morning, Free Practice is always quite crazy, it was quite substantial this morning, P12 in practice, it doesn’t really matter, for qualifying you have to get everything right. I was always confident going into the session that I could get pole and I’m happy to execute that.”
FIA Formula 3: You’re starting P12 in this afternoon’s Race 1. What are you aiming to achieve?
Doohan: Finish in front of Dennis.
FIA Formula 3: It will be a 1-2 start for Trident on Sunday, that must be a great feeling with the Teams’ Championship still up for grabs?
Doohan: Exactly, yeah, very happy for the team. Clem did an awesome job, obviously he thought he had pole, so I understand that he might be a little bit down. I’m lucky my lap time, they realised there was an issue. Happy for the team, but in the end, the only person I can control is myself. If I focus on myself and he does the same, hopefully we can get a great haul of points for the team.
FIA Formula 2: Clément, P2 in today’s Qualifying session, how are you feeling about the session?
Clément Novalak: Not great! No, I feel quite good to be honest. I feel like unfortunately it was a bit of a shame, obviously coming into the pit lane we thought we were on pole. I think the result is a bit weird, I’m still trying to understand a bit more what happened to be honest. Even my time, the registered time was slower than the time I managed to do. It’s a bit werid how they changed the sector times and all of a sudden it makes a different. But no, from my end, starting P2 in race three will be nice. It’s probably the worst track to be on pole with the really long straight, so it’s not too disappointing with the tow. We got a race this afternoon under the sun, rather than the wet. So that’s a positive.
FIA Formula 3: You’re going to be starting in P11 in Race 1 this afternoon, how will you negotiate being in the pack?
Novalak: It’s a compromise between race two and race one, the amount of positions you make, you start further back for race two. It’s just a case of managing, hopefully get a couple of points on the board to still give myself a chance. I don’t think I want to be gaining too many positions, because it puts me at a bit of a disadvantage for race two and with the points system, it’s actually better to get a podium than trying to make up as many positions and finishing fifth and fifth. We’ll see how it goes after Turn 1, it is a pretty tight corner so there’s going to be some chaos I suppose. It will be cool for the fans, less cool for the drivers, but we’ll make do.
FIA Formula 3: Did you learn anything about the conditions out on track today, do you think you’ll make any adjustments for Race 1?
Novalak: It’s completely different, the set up changes quite a lot because of the regulations, the camber and so on. The car will be quite different to what we had in Quali for everyone, but for sure it was useful. We had quite a lot of track evaluation, the heat made the track get slower. Having F1 and F2 running this weekend made it a bit of a different challenge to get used to. But hopefully we can get a good result this afternoon and kick some ass.
FIA Formula 3: You’ll be lining up next to your Trident teammate on Sunday, is there still a chance to clinch the Teams’ championship with Jack there?
Novalak: Well I think we’ve got off to the best start, as a team we’re really happy with the performance, from both of us, we put in really strong laps together. It’s a shame I didn’t put it all together on my first lap because generally I think the grip was better on the first lap, because nobody improved on the second, apart from myself and a couple of others in the top ten. But we’re happy, hopefully the race pace is as strong and we can put together a good weekend for the team and try to clinch that title.
FIA Formula 3: Jonathan, P3 in Qualifying this afternoon, how was it from the car?
Jonathan Hoggard: The car felt really good in that qualifying session, really happy with the balance. Looking at the result, quite pleasantly surprised with the result because we’ve been struggling all year, especially in the qualifying, that’s always been the weakness of the weekend. It’s nice to be starting on a good, firm footing for the weekend.
FIA Formula 3: Do you think the track suits your driving style?
Hoggard: I think.. it’s not really high speed corners, but they are quite fast, but also it’s quite technical in the last sector so you have to make sure you’re smooth and on the right line. I’m quite enjoying driving the track, even though it’s my first time here, I really enjoy it, so I’m really happy.
FIA Formula 3: You’re starting P10 in Race 1, how did you react when you heard the race was this afternoon?
Hoggard: Yeah I think for me it’s always good to be out in the car, hopefully it will stay, it’s looking like it will stay dry for the race this evening, unlike probably tomorrow. Happy to do at least one race in the dry, we’ve shown the pace is quite strong in the dry, so it would be good to do a race also. We’ll also see how tomorrow goes, and then we have the race on Sunday also.
FIA Formula 3: What do you expect from the race this afternoon?
Hoggard: No, we’re on the hard tyres, this track isn’t very aggressive on the tyres, apart from Turn 3. But I think it should be quite possibly a case of a Sprint Race, rather than trying to save the tyres. Try and maximise the result but not take in too many risks for the grid for tomorrow.