Thoughts from Martí, Fornaroli and Saucy
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 3 Sprint Race here in Monte Carlo, our winner, Josep María Martí for Campos Racing, in second place Leonardo Fornaroli for Trident and in third place Grégoire Saucy for ART Grand Prix. Pepe, a second win, this time in Monaco in dominant fashion. How are you feeling right now?
Josep María Martí: It’s a dream come true, I think everybody wants to win in Monaco and to do it in my first race, even if it’s the Sprint Race, it’s a great feeling. I think if I had this experience yesterday it could have been a different outcome in Qualifying and we could have started further up the grid, but from where we came we profited as much as we could and to take a victory home in Monaco is really special.
FIA Formula 3: From outside the car it looked like you were in perfect control, you made it look easy. How difficult was it to remain focused and stay out of the wall?
Martí: Well, I did touch the wall twice, but it was very light contact. The race itself was really good to manage. It was a pretty difficult race at the beginning, when I saw Leo really close to me three laps after the Safety Car I was quite nervous because I didn’t know if I could keep that pace up. Obviously, no one knew what the degradation was going to be like, but as soon as I saw the tyre dropping off for myself, I realised that if he kept pushing, he was going to drop off as well. From that point onwards I was just trying to manage the tyre. When I saw him dropping off and coming out of the DRS zone that's when I started to manage things more closely and try to be more consistent.
FIA Formula 3: Last time out in Melbourne, you had to overcome starting from the back of the grid and famously finished in the points in the Feature Race. How important was today to start from reverse pole and make a statement?
Martí: As you said, it was a little bit about making a statement. If we'd started further up in Australia, I think we could have done something. We could have been up there fighting for a Feature Race win. I think our pace was amazing. With the car being this good for the first few rounds I think you can expect us to be up there, not just me, but my teammates as well throughout the season. It’s good to be back up here and win but it's also good to have that pace again like we knew we had and dominate like we did today. I think if we'd started further ahead in Bahrain in the Feature Race and Australia in the Sprint and Feature Races it would have been a different story and we would have been closer to Gabriel in the Championship. It's very important today, and hopefully, we can also do a good job tomorrow and make up some positions and points.
FIA Formula 3: Massive congratulations to you today. Moving onto you Leonardo, a first podium in Formula 3, in probably one of the best places to achieve that. You were under quite a lot of pressure from behind you. How was it from the car?
Leonardo Fornaroli: It's a special place for my first podium in F3, here in Monaco, it's a very nice place, a very nice track and also very difficult. We had a good start and I just tried to follow Pepe. At the start, I was the same speed as him, but then with the dirty air, I started to feel the tyre degradation a bit so I dropped off a bit. Then in the last few laps, I had a lot of pressure from Saucy, who was very fast. Here in Monaco, it's very difficult to overtake so I just tried to drive as clean as possible and not exaggerate with the tyres and then to stay in front of him.
FIA Formula 3: It seems like from Round 1 you're really coming along and feeling more comfortable at the wheel of the F3 car. Were you expecting to get a podium finish so early in the season?
Fornaroli: From the start of the season we demonstrated very strong pace in Qualifying but I had some difficulty with tyre management, especially in the races. In Bahrain I made a really big mistake with the management of the tyres so I finished out of the points. In Melbourne, we did a great step compared to Bahrain and we had strong pace in both quali and the races. Yesterday in quali was not easy, we were missing a bit of speed but I did P5 in my group which I think is the best I could. We had the reverse grid for today, when I discovered I was P2 after Saucy got a penalty, I tried to calm myself. I knew that if I just finished the race I would finish P2.
FIA Formula 3: Well done to you. Moving on to you Grégoire, starting from P4 and a daring move into Turn 1 to move up to P3. Then you've been busy trying to pass Leonardo. Is P3 still something that makes you feel a bit better after yesterday?
Grégoire Saucy: Yeah it was not the Qualifying that I wanted, I was supposed to start P1 today and I got a three-place penalty. Yesterday we worked a lot because we knew that we were starting P4 today and my goal was clear. I knew the only possibility I had was to try to be smart and try something at the start, it was in my plan, all night I thought about it and it worked so I was really happy. Happy for the team also because we worked a lot and the team received this podium so I'm really happy for them because they did quite a big amount of work from yesterday to today. After the start, I was behind Leonardo but as we know Monaco is impossible to overtake except for some drivers, I saw Colapinto in my mirrors overtaking Barnard for P6 but it was really at the limit. When I was P3 I was just keeping my place, trying to follow Leonardo to see if he made a mistake or not. He didn't make a single mistake and I had Colapinto behind so I didn't want to try something. I'm just really happy to be on the podium at Monaco, of course, I wanted to be on the podium in the Feature Race but at least I'm on the podium so I'm really happy.
FIA Formula 3: One of your rivals for the title, and the current Championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto finished behind you today. How important was it to finish ahead and will it change your approach for tomorrow?
Saucy: I will start P12 tomorrow, but at the moment I have scored points in every race and that's the most important thing, to score points in every race of the season. Now I am only thinking race by race during the weekend. Today we got some good points for the Championship and tomorrow we will see what happens. It will be a long race and we've seen that the deg was not so easy. We will try to do a good start and get some good positions at the start. We will see what happens and try and get some small points because we saw last year that one or two points are really important at the end of the Championship. I am really happy about what I did today and I will work with the team this afternoon to improve the car, and also improve my side. We will work a lot to score some points tomorrow.
FIA Formula 3: Thank you, Grégoire.