Thoughts from Martí, Colapinto and Beganovic
FIA Formula 3: Pepe Martí, winner of today's FIA Formula 3 Feature Race here in Barcelona at home, in front of your home crowd for Campos' 25th anniversary. Surely it cannot get any better than that?
Josep María Martí: It can't! We drove a great race, the car was on rails today for the most part. We pulled away from Taylor at the beginning, opened the gap from DRS and then had the first Safety Car so had to manage the first restart. Taylor did a great job on the restart, all of a sudden he was in my mirrors so I had to defend quite a lot to him. Then I looked in my mirrors again and Franco was there and I had to slowly manage my pace. I think there was a point where I was lapping equal to him, so I was trying to manage the gap. My engineer said maybe we should push more but the tyres were starting to drop and I didn't want to be in bad shape for the end of the race, so I tried to be smart with my tyres and push as hard as I could without destroying them. We brought the win home which was so incredible to do in front of the home crowd.
FIA Formula 3: What does it mean to win here, not only as a Spanish driver but also for your 2023 campaign?
Marti: It means a lot, first of all, it means a lot to me to win, it gives me a big confidence boost going into the break before Austria. Out of all of that, it was great to win in front of the home crowd, but not just my home crowd, my family. It's Campos' 25th anniversary, a Spanish team, Spanish driver, and the Spanish Grand Prix. We won, and we got the fastest lap as well so I'm so happy. For the 2023 campaign, I'd call it a turning point, we've done a lot of good races but I've got to play a catch-up game now. We're on the back foot at the halfway point of the season, but we still have a lot to do and if we continue in this upward moment I think we can catch Gabriel.
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations, Pepe. Franco Colapinto, P2 today from P3 on the grid, it feels like the result doesn't really sure how difficult it was.
Franco Colapinto: It looked quite easy, at least on the outside, on the inside we were pushing quite hard and the degradation was big so we were struggling a bit with that, both me and Pepe. We were very similar in terms of pace, he was a little faster, but in those last five laps, I gave up a little bit. It was super hard to keep staying behind him by 1.5s and I couldn't see how I could overtake him. Overall super happy with the weekend we got good points yesterday and good points, and I would say we finally started our Championship because until now we were not scoring good points during the weekend and this is the first time we have scored over 20 points so happy with that. Happy for the team, they have been doing a super good job this year and they deserve a good result. I'm just super grateful for everyone supporting me at Williams and all my sponsors in Argentina, everyone out there, all the fans are really pushing for me. I'm super grateful for them too and I'm going to keep working hard to give them good results.
FIA Formula 3: Can you explain a little about why it's not been the start of the season that you had hoped?
Colapinto: I guess in Bahrain we were lacking a bit of pace and we could all see that, but in the rest of the races the car was strong and we had bad luck in some parts of the season. In some others, maybe I made some mistakes, but mostly it was not putting everything together. In quali in Australia, we were super fast, we were on for the provisional pole and then there was a Red Flag so I couldn't finish my lap. Those things are sort of out of your control, the same with the DSQ on Saturday in Australia for a really little thing on the car. So I guess we are starting our season now, we're going to go from here and go higher.
FIA Formula 3: Well done Franco. Dino Beganovic, P3 in today's Feature Race. Back on the podium, how does that feel?
Dino Beganovic: It feels great, it feels really good to be on the Feature Race podium especially. As I said before the weekend, it's not been the best track for me during the years but it's really good to come here and do a good result, especially after Monaco which also was a really good result. It means that we are really there and I'm very happy about that.
FIA Formula 3: How difficult was it on the track today because it was quite an eventful race?
Beganovic: It was a lot about strategy, when to push when to take it a bit easier. After the Safety Car in the beginning it was a lot about management. I passed Taylor quite quickly and then he was in the DRS for a couple of laps but when he got out of the DRS it was a bit easier for me. Then when I saw Gabriel in the mirrors I had to start pushing again. It wasn't easy at all, I don't know if maybe on the TV it was a boring race, but it was very tough in the car to manage everything, not just physically but also mentally.
FIA Formula 3: Three PREMA cars in the points today, why are the team so consistently in the points and hunting for glory?
Beganovic: I think the reason why PREMA are always there is because we work really hard as a team. It's a group of great people working together, the mechanics, the engineers, so I think this is one of the reasons. Also, driver-wise, me, Paul and Zak work well together and during the last years, it's been the likes of Sargeant, Piastri, and Hauger. The team always choose very good drivers and we are always there consistently. We are still maybe not where we want to be on the pace because Pepe was on another level this weekend, but as we are PREMA I think we can step up for the rest of the season.
FIA Formula 3: Well done Dino.