FIA Formula 3: Hello and welcome to today's FIA Formula 3 press conference following Qualifying here at Paul Ricard. Joining us today we have our top three drivers from that session. On pole position Jake Hughes of HWA RACELAB, in second place Jehan Daruvala of PREMA Racing and in third place Robert Shwartzman of PREMA Racing. Jake if we can start with you, HWA's first pole position at this level and it was a really mighty final lap for you to grab pole position. Could you talk us through that lap?
Jake Hughes: For sure the last lap was really good, without a mistake and as close to the limit as I felt like I could get away with. To be honest though I think we had a good car the whole session. The first lap on the last set was just a compromise because of a lot of traffic in the last corner. Sector 1 especially was just cold tyres. I think I found myself mid-pack after the first lap on the last set. We remained confident, the car was good for the whole session as I said, and I didn't know I was on pole when I crossed the line. I knew after the first lap that the fastest lap was a .6, so I saw .5 on the dash and thought maybe I had a chance but it wasn't until I was in Sector 3 that I found out. I'm really happy, and it's only HWA's second race in FIA F3 so to get their pole I'm really proud of them and so a big thank you.
FIA Formula 3: And it's a really positive way to bounce back from quite a difficult weekend in Barcelona at the start of the season. You must be delighted?
Jake: Yeah we didn't score any points. It was a big shame that we had the problem that we did in Qualifying in Barcelona. I think we were fighting for the top five there as well. Obviously we don't expect to be on pole at every race but fighting for it at least, and it seemed like we could do that even through testing. I'm happy to confirm that let’s say.
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations. Jehan moving on to you now. You led the majority of the session and had quite a big margin at one point. You didn't manage to improve on the final lap but you must still be pretty pleased with P2 on the grid?
Jehan Daruvala: Yeah. To be honest I'm pretty pleased with how the session went in general. Every lap I did I kept improving my driving, and the car was good the whole session. I'm pretty happy with my lap, Jake just did a better job. P2 is still a good place to start tomorrow. Like I said, the car's strong. We have three cars in the top five clearly we have the pace to go for the win tomorrow.
FIA Formula 3: It must be really good momentum for yourself as well, following on from the Sunday victory in Spain, to carry this on through to Paul Ricard, so you must be pleased?
Jehan: I'm pleased. Also we had a decent qualifying session in Barcelona. In Race 1 I had a bad start but that got resolved in Race 2. My main goal tomorrow is to be good off the line and I think we have a good enough car to win the race.
FIA Formula 3: Thank you. Robert, moving on to you now. Pole position in Spain, P3 here, did you feel that pole was within your reach today? You were always kind of in the mix at the front.
Robert Shwartzman: Yeah we were quite close. There were a few things that we should have improved, especially me and my driving, but still we were always there. I'm quite happy with P3. It's a position where we can fight for the win tomorrow. The main job should be tomorrow and we need to push. Big congratulations to Jake because he did a really good job, and also to Jehan. Tomorrow I hope is going to be fair and nice fighting for the win.
FIA Formula 3: Picking up on what Jehan said about the team performance to start the season, how much of a boost is it for you to see so many PREMA cars so far up the order?
Robert: It's really, really good. For PREMA it's the first year in this championship with this car. We are really competitive. The car feels really good and the team is working really well, so big thanks to them. I worked with them last year and I really enjoyed it, and I'm enjoying working with them even more this year. Everything is going like we've planned so we just need to improve a few things, but that's it.
FIA Formula 3: Well done. Jake back to you. What are your feelings going into tomorrow's race and that run down to a quite complex first set of corners? How do you think you're going to approach that?
Jake: Well, have a good start obviously laughs. I was pretty confident with our starts through testing and in Barcelona, so hopefully that repeats itself. We have good tyres for the race tomorrow. We saved a set in practice so that should help - well, it's not a disadvantage obviously though it's not a certainty. The PREMA guys especially had a very good weekend in Barcelona with tyre life, so I'm not expecting an easy race for sure. Hopefully we lead into Turn 1 and, as Robert says, we have a clean fight from there.