Roman Stanek believes that any driver in the top five could become the FIA Formula 3 Champion in 2022. With just 10 points separating current leader Isack Hadjar and the Trident driver in fifth position, it’s all to play for with two rounds and four races left of the season.
Stanek put in two timely performances at Spa-Francorchamps, earning back-to-back second places in the Sprint and Feature Races to lift himself right back into major contention for the title.
Speaking ahead of the penultimate weekend at Zandvoort, the Czech driver said it would be all about staying calm in the final sessions of the campaign and letting the points do the talking at the end.
“Everyone’s under pressure. If you asked the other top five drivers, everyone’s under pressure because they have to perform. I’m under pressure but it’s just about how I deal with it, and I think I can deal with it quite well. Just not thinking about results, the points are a consequence of driving well, so you have to drive well and then the points will come.
“Any of us could be the Champion. I want to try my best, not think about the points because that’s not good. You’re on a push lap and thinking ‘ahh I need to do this laptime’ you won’t get that lap. We’ll count the points after Monza and see where we are.”
The Dutch circuit will present a unique challenge for all of the drivers this weekend, with its notorious banked corners and old-school layout meaning that driver fitness and precision will be a top priority throughout.
With such a narrow layout comparatively to other tracks on the F3 calendar, and with the potential for some wet weather to move in ahead of both the Sprint Race on Saturday and Feature come Sunday, Qualifying will be critical according to Stanek.
READ MORE: The Zandvoort Race Pack
“I was here last year and it was very good. We were quite unlucky in Qualifying, we had some brake issues so I wasn’t able to qualify well but it’s good to drive here. Turn 3 and the last corner has a lot of banking, the steering wheel gets very heavy, so it’ll be good and I’m excited for the weekend.
“I was looking at the weather and if it rains as heavy as it’s forecast to, we won’t have a race. We’ll see tomorrow, Qualifying should be dry, we have quite a competitive car here. Last year there were three cars fighting for the top five, so it’ll make Qualifying good. It’ll be important to qualify well because there’s not many overtaking opportunities. I’m looking forward to it. The race will be very hard, with the banking the arms will hurt but it’ll be a good weekend, I’m looking forward to it.”
Turning his attentions back to the title fight once more, Stanek believes that he and his Trident team have done all they can in order to put themselves at the forefront of the Championship battle.
Though he admits that he might not have had the rub of the green as much as he’d have liked, he will have no complaints about the support and hard work both himself and his team have put into the 2022 campaign.
“I would say there’s been a lot of ups and downs. I think we should be a lot higher in the Championship but that’s how it is. We’ve done a good job with the team, sometimes we’ve been unlucky but there’s two more rounds, we just try to do our best as always, extract the best from the car and myself and I’m sure we’ll be happy after Monza.
“It’s been amazing working with the team. I’m enjoying every day with them and happy I get to spend a lot of time in Italy with them. It’s a season I won’t ever forget.”