Thoughts from Colapinto, Bortoleto and Boya
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 3 Sprint Race here at Monza. In third place, Mari Boya for MP Motorsport, in second place, our Champion Gabriel Bortoleto for Trident and taking his fourth win in FIA Formula 3, our winner Franco Colapinto for MP Motorsport. Franco, what a sensational race. So much went on, pole to victory, but you had to fight for this one?
Franco Colapinto: It was not like last year where I was just in front for the whole race. This one was quite nice, fighting with a teammate and having a lot of respect for each other which is really nice to see. I think the team was happy with that and we were just pushing forward. When someone had a clear opportunity someone was trying to overtake but we were never taking any risks and I think the team really appreciated that. We scored really good points for the Teams' Championship. We will celebrate a bit but also prepare for tomorrow. The car was amazing, we were really fast. The last few laps that I was in front with no DRS I was pushing and I could open a gap so we had a really good pace even though I had clean air, no slipstream, no DRS and even then I showed that I could go forward, so I'm just happy. The team made a good step this weekend and in Monza, we always looked really good. Happy with the win and we're going to push tomorrow for good points as well.
FIA Formula 3: Franco can I take you back right to the start of the race when Mari got you away from the line? Talk us through your start.
Colapinto: I had a really bad start actually. I haven't had any bad starts like this during the year, and today the clutch configuration was not correct and I just had a really poor launch. Fortunately, I only lost a position to Mari but I also took risks with other drivers and it was not ideal. In the end, we did what we had to do to come back forward and take the ten points. It's quite important for me in the Drivers' Championship as well. I will push a lot tomorrow in the last race of the year to be in P2 in the Championship if it's possible. It's still a long way to go but I think we have really good pace to go forward in the Feature Race.
FIA Formula 3: Even when you were second to Mari you said you had a very good car today. How confident were you at that point that you could still win the race?
Colapinto: In Monza, everything can happen. Even having a two-second lead you can never relax that's why I always say you leave Monza with many more grey hairs! It's always a really stressful race and a really stressful weekend with Qualifying being really tricky so I just enjoyed the race today. It was well managed by the team so of course this gave us a little bit of calm and relaxation. Of course to have such a competitive car and not have to be fighting for the whole race was also very nice.
FIA Formula 3: Franco well done to you, Gabriel if we could come to you now. What a charge through the field from you. Can we start by talking about the last lap and that overtake on Mari? There's not much grip on the outside of the grass at Curva Grande.
Gabriel Bortoleto: Absolutely, there's not much grip I lost a lot of speed there when Mari was a little bit wide in this corner but if it was one race ago I wouldn't brake as late as I did in the corner after. As I secured the title all the pressure was off and in case something happened, I locked up or went straight on, and lost one or two positions I didn't care. To be honest, I don't need these points anymore and it was the first time I could really race with freedom this year because since Bahrain I was leading the Champion and every time I was in a tough moment with someone I needed to be careful and to try to avoid a collision. I really wanted to make sure I could score as many points as possible this season, and today I was very relaxed in the car and I loved it. I managed to do some nice overtakes, starting from P8 so every move I made was nice and I enjoyed it very much.
FIA Formula 3: You drove beautifully and you clearly had a very good car underneath you as well. How good was the car?
Bortoleto: I wouldn't say better or worse than MP because I don't know how theirs was but for sure I had the car to win the race, or at least fight for it because Trident has shown in the past they are very good in Monza and Spa, where they have very low downforce set-ups. I think we already knew it before the race so it was more about finishing the race and going step by step forwards. I am very happy, the car was unbelievable. We made a small change after going to the grid because when I was going to the grid I tried to push to see how the car balance was and it was a little bit more towards one side. So I told my engineer and he made some adjustments, and it was perfect.
FIA Formula 3: Final one. What can you do from P5 tomorrow on the grid if you have a car like this today?
Bortoleto: Qualifying yesterday was quite messy and a lot of drivers who could have been on pole, like Franco and Mari, were in front of me on the reverse grid today and I was still able to catch their pace. I have all the opportunities to fight for the win again tomorrow. It's all about making T1 and not crashing on the first lap. From what I saw there was a big mess today, thankfully I was not involved in it. Tomorrow is all about making T1 and going step by step. For sure I will have the car to do that.
FIA Formula 3: Very well done to you. Mari coming to you, welcome, it's your first podium in Formula 3. What does this mean to you?
Mari Boya: I'm super happy to be here for the first time, the situation of the race, leading for many laps I was thinking a bit more but as Franco said we were always on the clean side. I knew he was battling for second place in the Championship and it's much more than what I was battling for. We were really clean. Maybe in the last two laps, we lost a bit of pace but I managed to stay on the podium which is what I wanted. I think we deserved it for a long time and I'm happy.
FIA Formula 3: You mentioned the last two laps, can you tell us about the battle with Gabriel from your point of view?
Boya: The whole race I was fast, but on Friday in Free Practice I crashed in the last corner and I lost a lot of confidence there. During the race, I was pulling away in all parts of the track but there I was losing a lot. For me, I think it's the most important corner of the track because you have the long straight with the DRS and the main opportunity to overtake so I was losing quite a lot of time there. He (Bortoleto) was exiting there a lot better than me as Franco did before and he took the DRS, prepared properly for the second chicane and we were quite close. Then he got the position and after that the main objective was to be on the podium.
FIA Formula 3: Mari this is your best result of the season so far, how much confidence does it give you?
Boya: Confidence, I had. I have been many times at the front in Free Practice and Qualifying but always I was making mistakes with track limits or being in a bad position on track. So I had confidence I just needed to do it in a race. We will see tomorrow, I will have the last chance. We're starting P11, it's not far, it's a long race and it's easy to overtake here so let's see. If the car is like it was today and I can fix Parabolica it will be super.
FIA Formula 3: Thanks very much.