THOUGHTS FROM VESTI, HAUGER AND CALDWELL
FIA FORMULA 3: Many congratulations to the top 3 finishers for Race 3 of the FIA Formula 3 Championship here at the Red Bull Ring. In third place, Olli Caldwell, for PREMA. In second place, Dennis Hauger, also for PREMA. And taking his first victory of the season, our winner, Fred Vesti for ART. Many congratulations Fred, how good was the view from the top step of the podium just then.
FREDERIK VESTI: It was very good. To be honest, having the fans back is quite amazing. When you do a good job, it is a really good feeling to see them.
FIA FORMULA 3: The decisive moment came early on in the race when you took the lead from Dennis at Turn 4, can you just talk us through the move?
VESTI: I got a decent start actually and we were quite close on pace in the first four or five laps. I wasn't sure if I was going to push fully or try to save the tyres, but in the end, I decided to just go for the lead and see what happens. When you hold back, other things can happen. In the end, I decided to just send it and with the DRS it was quite an easy move. Then, it was all about Quali laps, pushing every single lap to try and get out of DRS, or at least out of striking distance. It was good.
FIA FORMULA 3: In Race 1 yesterday, admittedly in hotter track temperatures, but the tyers struggled a little bit yesterday. How were they today?
VESTI: Having the lead for 19 laps definitely helped. You don't have the dirty air and you can do your race at your own pace, which helps. Tyre life wasn't really an issue for me, but after the Safety Car I picked up some marbles and it didn't feel very comfortable. You just have to keep pushing. But tyre life was okay today.
FIA FORMULA 3: This victory has catapulted you up the order in the championship standings. Just a word on that, do you feel that you are back on track, and back up and running in the Championship?
VESTI: At this stage, I don't care. All I am trying to do is get poles and win races. And that is such a good feeling.
FIA FORMULA 3: Well done today and thank you, Fred. Dennis, coming to you. Well done to you as well, you have had a fantastic weekend. It must have exceeded your expectations?
DENNIS HAUGER: For sure it has been a good one, extending the championship lead. Race 1, coming from P12 to P1 was really good. From then on, I was just trying to keep the rhythm and keep the momentum. I think that three podiums in one weekend is a good feeling. a victory would have been nice, but it was a lot of playing behind the leader, you had to keep it smart. In the end, with the VSC it was a bit unlucky. Overall, a good weekend with good points. We had to take the things we can learn this weekend into the next one.
FIA FORMULA 3: Great weekend, but let's look at this race specifically now. You dropped back to third at one point, what was the car like to drive today?
HAUGER: At the beginning of the race I was trying to push a bit to get out of DRS, but it just wasn't enough. I saw the two ARTs behind me pushing and getting closer and I knew it was going to be a long race. I didn't want to use too much of my tyres, so at some point, I dropped back to third without trying to defend too much. From then on, I tried to create a gap behind with the guys fighting, but it was always going to be a train. I saw Smolyar trying a move on Vesti, and he did one, and that helped me get by him. After that, I tried to stay behind Frederik for the whole race and wait for the last couple of laps. The pace was really good, staying in the slipstream, but unfortunately, the VSC didn't make it easy for me. I think I looked quite close but was a bit unlucky with when the VSC ended, I lost a bit of momentum at the last corner and couldn't really stay close into the last lap. A bit of a shame but I am really happy with the weekend overall, so I will take that with me.
FIA FORMULA 3: Olli coming to you, your second podium of the weekend, you are getting stronger and stronger.
OLLI CALDWELL: Yeah, that was a really good race for me. Race 1 yesterday finishing second and then today finishing third from eigth. We made quite a lot of changes in the night because I struggled quite a bit in Race 2. I went over the data a lot with my engineer, and we made some changes to the car. For me, it felt great today and I think that showed on our pace.
FIA FORMULA 3: Talk us through some of your moves, because you started the race back in eighth.
CALDWELL: I got a good start as someone stalled, so that was immediately one place. It was just carnage really, passing with the DRS and putting in a few late moves, especially into Turn 4, where I got past Clement, which was really tight. For me, it was really fun. I wasn't really focused on anything, just trying to get up as far as I could.