No one in the Formula 3 paddock will have been more disappointed on Saturday night than Sebastian Fernandez. The Spaniard’s debut with ART Grand Prix had gone perfectly up until the first race. He had qualified on pole on the Friday, but things quickly turned sour the following day.

Fernandez was slow off the line when the lights went out, and in his attempts to recover came to blows with Piastri and went spinning off track – his race was over before it had even really begun. Piastri would go on to win, with Fernandez forced to watch him cross the line from the pitwall.

“I was extremely disappointed with what happened on Saturday,” said the Spaniard. “Having started on pole, I knew we had a good car and I thought that we could win, or at least finish in the top three.

“I don’t think that my start was the best and then on the first corner I misjudged Oscar Piastri. I thought that he was going to back off, but he didn’t. We ended up having contact and I came off the worst.”

Fernandez refused to feel sorry for himself though and used the disappointment as a motivational tool in the second race.

Despite starting from the back of the grid, he was determined to prove his abilities. While he wouldn’t make it into the points, he more than proved his pace, rising all the way to 13th.

“At the start I just pushed really hard,” he recalled. “I gained a lot of positions really fast and on lap 8, I was already P18 or something like that. From there I overtook other drivers a bit more steadily, but I think that it was a good performance on the Sunday.

“Seeing what happened on Saturday, both myself and the team were really disappointed, and on Sunday I knew that I just had to give it my all and do my best. Going from P30 to P13, it was not a bad race, and I was quite happy with the result. It is not what we wanted though, so I am really disappointed overall.

“But, the car felt really good, so that just makes me confident for the next event. Hopefully, we can start on pole again, but this time finish the job.”