FIA Formula 3: Leonardo Pulcini, F3 race winner. You were most likely expecting this win to have come a bit sooner this season so how does it feel now that it's here?
Leonardo Pulcini: It feels very good especially after three difficult rounds. It's also good for the team. We've had a double win this weekend so I'm very happy for them. They are working really hard, pushing really hard, and big thanks to them for giving me a very fast car today. I had a good start and I felt very good, I was controlling a little bit at the beginning with Pedro Piquet and Liam Lawson. When I saw they were struggling a little bit with tyres I decided to push hard and overtake them. After that I was just pushing to open a gap. As soon as I broke the gap for DRS I just controlled my tyres and it went very good at the end. To finish with my first podium of the year, especially with a win, is a very good feeling. It came a little bit late but I hope that from now we just continue like this.
FIA Formula 3: It's a first time that PREMA Racing have not won a race during a round, it's a double win for Hitech Grand Prix. Would you say that Hitech is now the strongest challenger for PREMA?
Leonardo: All the team are pushing really hard. PREMA is a very good team but we are also. We're are pushing hard and for sure they are our main competitors. In qualifying we were both in the top five. It's such a small gap between us we just have to keep pushing to continue.
FIA Formula 3: Next step is Budapest. What are your expectations there?
Leonardo: I love the track. I had a very good weekend there last year. I'm confident, especially now after winning a race, and I want to win Race 1.
FIA Formula 3: Robert Shwartzman, P2 today. You're back on the podium after an amazing race. How was it from the car?
Robert Shwartzman: The beginning was a bit tough. I was expecting to be a bit further forward after the start. We had a fight with Leo Pulcini and I was on the wrong side of the track so I had to back off. I took fifth position and then in the first half of the race I was struggling with rear degradation. I had quite a lot of oversteer in fast corners so I decided that I needed a gap to try and revive my rear tyres. After they came back I felt that the car was perfect and in good balance so I started pushing. I was attacking Christian Lundgaard, got past him and then got past Pedro Piquet after a close fight through Turn 15. I got past and knew straight away that I needed to be quick with Liam Lawson otherwise we'd have gotten backed up. In one lap I managed to get a good exit from Maggotts and Becketts, got the move, and then the target was to open a gap and try and get the quickest lap time. We achieved that target. I was also trying to catch Leo but it was too far. Generally I'm really happy because the start was not good for me and then we improved a lot. At the end we were the quickest car in the field and that's really important for me, and that I improved, because this is not my strongest track. I did my best to improve and I think we both did, me and the team, so a big thanks to them because it was important for me to feel that energy. It was a solid weekend and we got some solid points and now we just need to win in Hungary and the races after that as well.
FIA Formula 3: Like you said, it was solid points and definitely a nice way to rebound from a couple of difficult races this season.
Robert: In Austria we were really competitive but we were just unlucky with the situations through the whole weekend. Even here, when you have a tough weekend before and you then also struggle here with speed - it gets to you a bit. At one point I just spoke with the team and said 'just take it easy, like we did at the beginning of the season, just try to improve the balance and I'll do my best to improve the driving'. I think that worked out well and I enjoyed it today.
FIA Formula 3: Liam Lawson, the first podium of the season for you after P3 today. It was from reverse pole so do you have mixed feelings about the result?
Liam Lawson: It's very mixed. Obviously we want to be winning but realistically that's not really going happen right now. P3 was a good result today. I was hoping to try and stay in the lead but I could see very quickly, even at the start we weren't pushing too hard, that the rears went off very quickly. I knew it was going to be difficult to keep them behind. I managed to keep Pedro Piquet behind for quite a while but obviously they then came past quite quickly, and the same with Robert Shwartzman. In the end it's a good result and we've made progress this weekend with the car for sure because in previous rounds we've really been struggling. Especially with quali. It was a better start to the weekend and it makes it a lot easier when you start at the front. For us to finish P8 yesterday was a strong result and it made it a bit easier today starting from reverse pole.
FIA Formula 3: What do you think was missing today, or has been missing so far this season?
Liam: It's a bit of everything. Outright pace is something that we just don't seem to have, for example in quali. I felt I did a pretty good job on Friday, and the team did as well with the car, but we were still half a second off pole. It's better than it was, which is good. Normally we have decent race pace so this weekend it was actually quite surprising how bad we were on tyres in the race. I was expecting to have better race pace, so that's another thing that we need to work on. Even in these colder conditions we still really lost the rear tyres quite quickly. Improvements need to be made.
FIA Formula 3: Still, it's a good result and a first F3 podium for MP Motorsport which must be a nice breath of fresh air.
Liam: Yeah definitely. It's really nice for myself and the team. They work really hard.
FIA Formula 3: Next stop is Hungary, how well do you know the track there? What can we expect can we expect from you and maybe MP Motorsport in general?
Liam: We had a preseason test there so I'm decently familiar with the track. I'm hoping for more of this obviously - that wold be nice! We're expecting it to be quite hot there so tyre saving I guess is going to be a big part of that weekend. For starters we need to focus on quali and doing the best job we can there because it makes it a lot easier from there onwards when you start at the front.