Fourth on the grid for Nikita Bedrin was a personal best result in FIA Formula 3 Qualifying, and the PHM AIX Racing driver was beaming after stepping out of the car following the session.

Bedrin made his moment count right at the end of the session when the pressure was at its highest. A late Red Flag meant that everyone had just one final push lap to secure a strong grid slot, and the PHM AIX driver put together his effort to earn P4 for the Feature Race.

Speaking afterwards, Bedrin said that he and the car had been working in harmony all session long, and the result was just a delivery on that potential.

“It was good the whole session. Already on the first set we were up there in P4. Surprisingly lacking quite a lot of pace but still being fourth, I didn’t quite understand but I knew things were going well so I kept calm.

“The Red Flag didn’t help us at the time because many others finished their lap, but I didn’t get to complete mine, so it was tricky. I knew I only had one lap to put everything together and the pressure was more because of that, but I’m happy I was able to put a lap in when it mattered.

“The team has done a really good job, the car was good, so was the lap so I’m really happy with that.”

Bedrin is targeting points in both races after such a strong performance in Qualifying
Bedrin is targeting points in both races after such a strong performance in Qualifying

Reflecting on the final minutes of the session, Bedrin said that the Red Flag was tough to deal with knowing that it was a now or never moment.

As others found improvements, Bedrin put together his personal best time to secure a strong position for the remainder of the weekend.

The PHM AIX driver added that the main factor behind the team’s strong result had been the jump made from Bahrain and Round 1, as he was able to deliver a lap right when he needed to.

“There’s a lot of pressure because you know that if you do a mistake, you’re going to be finished because everyone will improve. There’s always a big jump from the first set to the last set, so you have to deal with the pressure and make sure you perform.

“I think I did well this time from my side. I put a really good lap in exactly when it mattered. I knew I had to do it and I did it.

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“We didn’t really expect it, but I think the team has done a really good job. Even in Bahrain, the car in Qualifying was better than expected. Considering that we have the medium tyres here, we had more confidence on the mediums and the car is better on them, so we were expecting to be a little better here.

“I was expecting top 10 from my side, but the team and I have done a really good job. Compared to Bahrain, what I’ve done better here is just putting the lap together when it mattered. That’s been the improvement from Round 1.”

Looking ahead to the Sprint Race and the remainder of the weekend, Bedrin says that points in both races has to be the aim with such a strong starting position on the grid.

Though the Albert Park circuit has four DRS zones, he is hopeful that it will be a tough afternoon for everyone in terms of overtaking which could secure him his first points of the season.

“Points of course in both races. I don’t know what the pace will be like, but it won’t be the easiest track to overtake around. I’d like to stay in the points especially in the Feature Race. The race pace wasn’t the best in Bahrain, but we’ll see and of course I’ll do my best.”