After a maiden pole position in the opening round of the season, rookie Franco Colapinto claimed a first F3 win for him and newcomers Van Amersfoort Racing at Imola. The second round of the 2022 campaign was not smooth sailing, with the weather playing a big part, making the track conditions treacherous.
We handed the Argentine driver the reigns for our second Guest Column of the season, where he pens his thoughts on the hard, but important lessons he learned from Imola, and what is key to a successful first year in Formula 3.
ONE GOOD POINT – OUR FIRST WIN
It was of course winning in just the second round for me and the team. To be on the top step in Formula 3 is quite unbelievable. To be honest, it is part of the hard work that the team put together over the winter. It’s really paid off. I am very grateful for that. And I think there are more to come. It shows the potential of the team and the car. I will keep on working to show what we can do during the season. It’s a great result, but we are not relaxing, and we keep on pushing for more. We still have a lot to improve on, me as a driver, but also the team. But we are going in the right direction.
ONE BAD POINT – ZERO POINTS ON SUNDAY
Not scoring in the Feature Race after showing that we have the pace to win the race on Saturday was really disappointing, but it was because of the strategy and the risk that I took, and it did not pay off. It was a good weekend overall, still. We keep learning and improving as a team. In one hand, of course, Sunday’s result is hard, but somehow it is a good thing to be disappointed because you know you did not extract the maximum of the car in the second race. It means that we can be there, and we can be in the points again. We have to keep progressing and keep working, and the results will keep coming. If someone had told me that in the second round of the season, we would already be at this level, winning a race and having a pole position, I would not have believed it. I just try to learn from the negatives and the mistakes we’ve made, like on Sunday, learn from this and not do it again. It will be a key to success.
WHAT I LEARNED – DON’T TAKE TOO MANY RISKS
Of course, it was a difficult weekend for everyone, with the weather changing so much. It was hard to choose the right strategy. On Sunday, we took some risks, and that’s what I learned: in such a competitive field and championship, when 90% of the cars in front of you, fighting for points, are going one way, you should do the same. If it works, good, and if it doesn’t, it’s the same for everyone. I decided to take risks and it did not pay off, and I lost some points because of it.
I also learned a lot about how the car changes when the conditions change as well. I think it was really good for me to learn about the tyres. It was a great weekend to keep progressing and keep learning a bit more about the championship. I am still really new to it all. It was a really good practice. It left the team and me with a lot of knowledge, so it was a really important weekend in that sense too.
NEXT UP - BARCELONA
I think we are starting to be a bit more positive with the results, and we know where we can finish and what we can fight for. We had in-season testing at Barcelona, and it went quite well. We did a lot of long runs, which we needed to do on the Hard tyres. That went well. I am really looking forward to the next round. We have a lot of data for Barcelona, which is quite important. We will be on the same level as the other teams, so I think we can fight for the top points. It will be very exciting for everyone. The gaps are going to be really close. The Qualifying lap will be very important. You will not be able to afford any mistakes. It will play a major part there.