Thoughts from Hauger, Doohan and Martins
FIA Formula 3: Many congratulations to the top three qualifiers for Round 1 of the FIA Formula 3 Championship here at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain. In third place Victor Martins, MP Motorsport, in second place Jack Doohan for Trident and taking his first pole in Formula 3 our polesitter, Dennis Hauger. Dennis, many congratulations. Tell us, how good was the lap, and how much pleasure does this moment give you?
Dennis Hauger: It was a really good feeling. Sector 1 and Sector 2 I was alone, so I had my rhythm going into the last run. I had some traffic in Sector 3 and I lost time slightly compared to my quickest Sector 3 time, but I held onto P1, which I was really happy with. We'll see tomorrow, it will be interesting.
FIA Formula 3: It certainly will be! How good was the car today, and did you make many changes between Practice and Qualifying?
Hauger: Not too many, we felt pretty happy with where we were. Obviously, we had the pre-season test and we got to try out a few things too. We made some minor changes, but it was mostly about getting a good rhythm and good track position as well. It's not the easiest place for getting track position here in Barcelona, but we felt really good. Really happy with the lap and being on Pole is a great start to the season!
FIA Formula 3: It's a new team for you this season, tell us how you're settling in? How's life at PREMA Racing?
Hauger: It's really good, I feel really comfortable with the team we are pushing each other to get better. I think my confidence grew quite a bit during the test days and it's good to have this feeling going into the beginning of the season. The team is doing a great job and I can really work with them to find out what I like and how I can make myself conformable in the car. That's one of the main things that's been helping out so far this season.
FIA Formula 3: New format this year, pole today, P12 for Race 1. Tell us, how easy is it to overtake here?
Hauger: On this track it’s not that easy. Even with the new Turn 10, it's not that much easier. Obviously when the tyres degrade at the end of the race I think we’ll get more opportunities. Starting P12 tomorrow with the new format is going to be interesting, we just have to survive Race 1, try and get some points and take as many opportunities as we can.
FIA Formula 3: Good luck with that and well done again today. Jack coming to you, it was so close at the front, just those six thousandths of a second to Pole Position. Pleased? Frustrated? What are the emotions right now?
Jack Doohan: I'd say I'm pleased with the steps that we've made since last year, obviously with myself having moved to Trident. Last year I would have died to start P2 but sixth thousandths really aren’t a lot. Maybe if I'd breathed in or did something differently across the lap we could have been on pole! But a really big congratulations to Dennis because my lap felt decent, and he obviously did it slightly better.
FIA Formula 3: You say your lap was decent, but can you visualize where you might have found that tiny amount of time that would have put you on pole?
Doohan: I think there was a car on a different strategy to us, and the two cars in front got let by before the last three corners. I think he was on an out lap and didn't want to get in my way so he had to start a push lap, but you can't really push when you're on new tyres. So, I got quite bad traffic in the last three corners, which meant I was a tenth and half down on my best time in Sector 3. That would have come in handy when I needed those six thousandths, but hey, it wasn't meant to be today. We are P2, and we've got just as much a chance as Dennis in Race 3.
FIA Formula 3: A quick on word on life at Trident, how do you feel you are settling in, and where do you think the lap times are coming from compared to last year?
Doohan: I'm really enjoying the atmosphere and the passion at Trident. The Italians have just as much drive and determination to win as much as I do, so I feel really at home. The way they work, how I feel in the team, the bond between the engineers and mechanics. I can't really tell you exactly what it is, but it's there. The car allows you do that little bit extra. Nonetheless, we have to work really hard because in F3 those last few tenths are really crucial, but also really hard to find. We're constantly trying to find that last bit of time.
FIA Formula 3: Jack, well done today and good luck for the race. Victor, coming to you. You left it very late in the session to set your time. You're clearly a cool customer, but where there a few nervous moments before you set your time?
Victor Martins: Obviously yes, because the first two runs were a bit of mess with the traffic. I wasn't really comfortable with the traffic management, especially on the first run. But the cars have a lot of fuel at the beginning of the session, so you normally can't do the pole lap on the first two runs anyway. I just had to stay really calm and keep a good mindset going into the last run. The team did a great job of sending us out on track with almost no traffic, and at the end I managed to put in a good lap and take P3, which I'm really proud of.
FIA Formula 3: Looking ahead to Race 1 tomorrow, what are your thoughts on charging through the field, overtaking, how are you planning the race?
Martins: I'm not planning anything, because it's my first race in Formula 3. I will see how the degradation is during a real race and with overtaking. At the end of the day, I think I need to just think carefully in each moment what to do, because Race 1 can have a bit effect on Race 2. I just want to have fun and have some good on track fights.
FIA Formula 3: Final question. What are the similarities and differences between the Formula 3 car and the Renault Eurocup car that you were Champion in last year?
Martins: There is a lot of difference with the tyre management, especially in Qualifying. In F3 you only have the grip for one lap, so you have to deliver your perfect lap even if you have some margins somewhere on track. One thing that will be the same will be needing to have consistent races, and consistent pace, throughout the whole season.
FIA Formula 3: Well done to all three of you!