FIA Formula 3: Welcome back to Bahrain everybody and it’s time for the press conference with the top three finishers in today’s FIA Formula 3 Sprint Race. In third place we have Leonardo Fornaroli for Trident, second is Laurens van Hoepen for ART Grand Prix and your race winner is Arvid Lindblad from PREMA Racing. The youngest driver on the grid and a win to kick off your rookie season, just how sweet does that feel?

Arvid Lindblad: Yeah definitely like you say, really good result, really happy to win on debut. I am quite inexperienced compared to those around me so I knew going into this year that it was going to be really challenging. We started off on the right foot so hopefully we can try to continue like this.

FIA Formula 3: I know you made a good get away but then maybe lost out a little bit at Turn 1, you also almost seemed to allow the top 3 to pull away a bit in that first stint. Was that part of a plan or was that just the way the opening stint of the race played out?

Lindblad: I’d say it was a bit of both, I knew that the tyres had a lot of degradation here in Bahrain so I knew that it was going to be important to manage well, especially in the first few laps. I tried to manage as best I could, I wasn’t too worried when they got away a little bit but obviously, I didn’t want the gap to get too big because the DRS is so powerful. I knew I needed to stay close still.

FIA Formula 3: Some of the racing wheel-to-wheel towards the end of the race was pretty tense trying to get moves done, how did you judge how aggressive you needed to be at different times?

Lindblad: I mean the pace was strong throughout and then with the DRS train it is always hard to pass. When I saw an opportunity, I went for it. I think it definitely could have been better, there were a few times that I didn’t make the moves stick and it was a bit messy. In general, I think it was a positive race and like I say I went for opportunity when it was there.

FIA Formula 3: Got there in the end, well done today, congratulations. Laurens well driven today as well, you started on pole and picked up a podium in your first F3 race. How was it from your perspective?

Laurens van Hoepen: I’d say it was a good race in general when you look at the big picture, definitely a good race. I am a bit unhappy with a few things I did, certain moves that I should have made stick that I didn’t make stick which I should have. Other mistakes including going wide into T11 which was really not ideal. I definitely have to improve on that and I will for sure for the next time. But in general, it was a positive race one and we will look forward to the Feature Race tomorrow.

FIA Formula 3: You spent a lot of time fighting with your teammate in the first part of that race as well, just how hard was it to try and break away from the cars behind when you have a fight like that?

Van Hoepen: Yes well it is quite difficult because of course it is your teammate so you don’t race each other like crazy. You still want to make the move stick. I tried one time in the beginning of the race to get past and I saw that we got into a fight and lost a lot of time. From that point on I just wanted to go away together to make a bit of a gap but it was really hard to break the DRS train. So then when the race was getting to the end, I tried again and again couldn’t make the move stick so that was a shame. Overall we played it quite well, we didn’t crash into each other so that’s the main point.

FIA Formula 3: The pressure seemed to ramp up towards the end with Leonardo putting the pressure on in the final lap. Just how did that feel behind the wheel having to defend for P2 right to the line?

Van Hoepen: Yeah of course it made it extra difficult because of course you still want to make the best of it and having Leonardo so close behind and no DRS in front it makes it super hard. But in the end I managed it well, stayed calm and got it to the end.

FIA Formula 3: Congratulations on P2, Leonardo thanks for waiting, you so nearly got second place at the end there, starting from 7th, how happy are you with third today?

Leonardo Fornaroli: Yeah, very happy with our performance today, we were starting P7 and we finished on the podium on our first race of the year. I think we made a big step on tyre management compared to last year. Very happy with my race, the car was mega to drive so I want to thank Trident for giving me the car today.

FIA Formula 3: Speaking of the management side of things, how much were you leaning on your experience from last season to try and judge your pace, certainly in the first part of the race?

Fornaroli: Of course, I was pushing in the very first laps of the race to try to stay with the guys in front but then after four or five laps I started to manage everything, staying in the DRS of Arvid. We were overtaking all the drivers step by step. Then going into the last part of the race, I knew I had a bit more left in the tyres than everyone else so I was trying to push more without exaggerating it. In the last lap I was in the DRS of Laurens, I was very scared to destroy all the good things that I did during the race so now to myself, I’m like ‘yeah I should have sent it’. But it’s the first race of the year, we collected very important points for the Championship, it was only one more point so it doesn’t change the bigger picture so we will take it.

FIA Formula 3: You start 6th tomorrow so one place higher than today is a repeat on the cards, are you going to be targeting another podium in the Feature Race?

Fornaroli: Yeah of course, we work hard for tomorrow and try to improve even more on what I did today. We will target a good results tomorrow as well.

FIA Formula 3: Thank you and well done today, Arvid just coming back to you, similar question really. What’s the target following up now that you’ve got your first win under your belt. Is another trophy on your mind in the feature race?

Lindblad: Obviously the race will be more difficult tomorrow starting from P9, today’s race was really positive too, for sure it gives me hope for tomorrow. We will see what happens I know that it will be much more difficult tomorrow. I have all the really strong guys ahead of me so we will see what happens. Definitely optimistic going into tomorrow.

FIA Formula 3: Great stuff.