Thoughts from Hadjar, Martins and Bearman
FIA Formula 3: A very warm welcome to the top three qualifiers for Sunday's FIA Formula 3 Feature Race here at the Red Bull Ring. In third place Oliver Bearman for PREMA Racing, in second place, Victor Martins for ART Grand Prix, and taking his first pole position in FIA Formula 3, the pole man, Isack Hadjar for Hitech Grand Prix. Isack, you pulled together a very special lap at the end of the session. How good is it to take your first pole and at the home of your main sponsor?
Isack Hadjar: Yeah, it was a really challenging session for me. I got my lap times deleted on that first run. So, it was quite tough going into that last run, knowing your P14. Obviously, I got a bit lucky with that Red Flag, but I think without any tow, that lap was not too bad. It feels just so good. Thanks to my team. Here at the Red Bull Ring, it's quite a special place for me so I'm happy with that.
FIA Formula 3: Just tell us a little bit more about the pressure that was on you after those deleted lap times?
Hadjar: To be honest, knowing you're P14 and that you won't get the reverse grid advantage, I had nothing to lose so I just went for it. Mentally, it was quite tough, but I made it through.
FIA Formula 3: Now tell us a little bit about the race. What are you expecting? We should see some overtaking. It's a track where you can at least do that, isn't it?
Hadjar: When you look at Hauger last year, he went from 12th to win it, then 12th again, to end up back in P3. I think you can make some good overtakes if you have the pace advantage. So far, we've been really strong in every race. So, let's see how it is. The goal is to go for some good points tomorrow and to go for that race win on Sunday.
FIA Formula 2: Best of luck with that. Victor, coming to you. You were the fastest after the first runs in that Qualifying session. Do you think you had the car for pole today?
Victor Martins: Definitely. To be honest, I was really frustrated when I saw the Red Flag. I was actually on a really good push lap, even though I was alone. Sometimes it's like this, I had the same thing happen in Barcelona, where I was just on top on the first run. But here on the first run, I was on the provisional pole then the Red Flag came in the second run. I'm still happy to get to P2 because we made a huge step forward from Silverstone and from Free Practice today.
FIA Formula 3: Tell us a little bit more about that. You say you've made a big step forward, how is the car better here?
Martins: I think first we tried to close the window from Silverstone because there we had the hard tyre and the conditions were cold, the track layout also is quite different. We tried to just come back on a blank sheet of paper and start from there. It all started this morning, the performance wasn't the best, but I was able to give the team the right feedback on what to improve. And I was quite confident going into Qualifying.
FIA Formula 2: How confident are you going into the races now?
Martins: Obviously, I'm confident. Now I am back in P11 for the Sprint Race. Let's see how it will go for sure. There will be some great overtakes. But in the end, I want to take points. We have been strong also on the starts, so let's see if I can gain a few places there. After we'll observe how it is going and maybe get the advantage at the end of the race. like Hauger did last year. Then we will prepare as much as possible for the Feature Race.
FIA Formula 3: Best of luck going forward. Thank you and Ollie coming to you now. Well done. Great session for you, just talk us through your fastest lap?
Oliver Bearman: Yes, so my fastest lap actually came in the first run. Like Victor, I was a bit disappointed with the Red Flag. I felt like I was on the lap for pole so I'm a bit disappointed. I'm happy to take P3, it's the best qualifying I've had so far. So we're making good progress.
FIA Formula 3: How important is a tow around this racetrack?
Bearman: It's a difficult trade-off because to get the track position of a good slipstream, you mess up your warm-up a bit. So, on my first lap, I didn't have the tyre in the best window, but I managed to get a good gap for the second push then the Red Flag came. For my first round. I didn't have a slipstream and I already found a tenth and a half before the second corner, so the slipstream is pretty huge.
FIA Formula 3: Can you just tell us about a pit lane incident that took place in the session between yourself and Zak O'Sullivan? What happened there?
Bearman: It's super tight in the pit lane. I got the instruction to leave the pits from my engineer, it was a bit of a miscalculation from their side, and we made contact. Luckily, neither of us had damage. So, we managed to finish the session but was a close call, and we'll make sure it doesn't happen again.
FIA Formula 3: All right, well done to you as well.