Thoughts Leclerc, O'Sullivan & Bearman

FIA Formula 3: Congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 3 Feature Race here in Silverstone, in third place, Oliver Bearman for PREMA Racing, in second, Zak O’Sullivan, for Carlin, and taking his first win of the 2022 season, Arthur Leclerc also for PREMA Racing. Arthur, your first win of the 2022 FIA Formula 3 campaign here in Silverstone. It’s a great result, maybe one that you expected to come a little bit sooner. How happy are you right now?

Arthur Leclerc: I'm so happy. We did a really good job this weekend and the target of course was still to focus on Qualifying like in the few races before. At the beginning of the year, talking about Qualifying, I think I struggled. Not everything was on our side, let's say. But we managed to put everything together in Silverstone and get the win. Of course, better later than never, I'm really happy.

FIA Formula 3: Let's talk about the race specifically. A good start, but not as good as Zak's, you put the pressure on him and then took the lead, but you had to give it back and then fight for it again. How was it from the car?

Leclerc: It was really difficult in the start, it was a bit hard with the traffic and to manage the guys in the back as well because they broke really late and I had to release the brake to go a bit deeper to avoid the contact. In the end, we did good. We tried an overtake on Zak before the Safety Car. I thought I was in front, so I stayed P1, but I had to give back the position and then try to make it through again. The pace was really good at the beginning of the race, but at the end, the tyres started to drop a little more than I expected and I struggled a bit more to keep up the pace. In the end, we defended pretty well and we kept it in front.

FIA Formula 3: Looking ahead to next week, we're already in Austria for Round 5. What can we expect from you there?

Leclerc: I mean, let's see. You can never tell before quali or Free Practice. So of course, what I expect is to qualify in the top five, that would be a good starting point because there are many possibilities to overtake in Austria. After that, let's see what we can build from there. You have to have the qualifying right, which is difficult in Austria because it's a really small track, and we are thirty cars and we are all looking for slipstream. I think the target will be to really focus on Qualifying and try to manage the traffic out there.

FIA Formula 3: Thank you very much and congratulations for today. Zak, coming to you, P2 in today’s race, your first F3 podium in front of your home crowd from pole position. How are you feeling right?

Zak O’Sullivan: Very happy! A bit of a turnaround from Barcelona, especially where we really struggled as a team. Obviously, we started well on Friday with the pole position. A bit of a surprising one, but a nice surprise. In the Sprint Race yesterday we struggled quite a bit. So coming today I wasn't too confident but got behind Arthur early on and I think he'd been confused with the Safety Car as it came out, so I got back into the lead and then he re-passed me. To my surprise, I could stay within DRS of him for most of the race. I had Caio behind who was quite quick in some areas but getting a bit of breathing space in other areas. Then with two laps to go, I think Ollie got passed and the pressure was a lot harder. On the last lap, we were very, very close from Turn 15 to the last corner. I don't know what the gap was in the end, but it was very close.

FIA Formula 3: What went through your head on that last corner on the final lap?

O’Sullivan: Not much to be honest. I was just trying to look where the red car was in my mirrors. It was kind of everywhere and by that point, my rear tyres were completely gone. I actually kind of hit a cliff about halfway through the last lap, which is probably the worst time to hit that cliff, but luckily I managed to hold on.

FIA Formula 3: What does this result this weekend mean to you and the team? Do you feel like something clicked and it’s the start of your season?

O’Sullivan: I think so, obviously I have a bit of home advantage here because I know the track quite well. Ollie and I have done a lot of racing here in the past. We'll see in Austria if we continue our good form. If not, that means we need to try and work out why we're so strong here, and maybe not so strong in other tracks, but for the moment we're happy to be fast here, and it's a good place to do it.

FIA Formula 3: Thank you very much, and congratulations. Ollie, P3 in today's FIA Formula 3 Feature Race here in Silverstone. A great result in front of your home crowd. Can you tell us how the race went for?

Oliver Bearman: It was a really good race, I managed to pass a few guys on the first lap out of Turn 4. I took the inside line and everyone was kind of bunching up around the outside, so I managed to get straight to fourth. A bit of an incident with Zane, but I felt it was quite tough for me to do anything else so. Then the Safety Car came out and I was following Caio. I felt like I had a lot of pace, but I couldn't show it. It was really tough to overtake and he was making sure he was fast in all the corners before DRS. So it was super difficult, then I managed to finally get past Caio around the outside into Turn 6. Then I could start to fight Zak. I only had two laps to do it and it wasn't quite enough. Maybe I needed one more, but I almost managed to take P2. Really happy to be on the podium today.

FIA Formula 3: It was almost P2 down the line. Did you feel like you had it when you crossed the line? Or were you a little bit gutted?

Bearman: I felt like I had it until I had to take the red banana curve. That was definitely not helping my speed to the start finish line, but it's OK. I'm happy to take P3 and the points.

FIA Formula 3: No rest for the wicked. We're back next weekend at the Red Bull Ring. Is it a track that you like and what do you expect from it?

Bearman: I've only raced there in F4, but I really enjoyed it. It's good fun, and it's really good to overtake. So, I think the race will be really interesting, the qualifying will be the target because it's a super small track. Everyone is really close and traffic management is important so that will be the priority.

FIA Formula 3: Thank you very much and congratulations.