In a weekend full of unpredictable action, there was one thing to be certain of – Caio Collet was going to take advantage of every single opportunity that came his way. The Van Amersfoort Racing driver had the pace to make the most of it around the Red Bull Ring.
Follow the Brazilian racer’s thoughts throughout Round 6 at the start of a crucial run of races, as he secured back-to-back podiums and his first return to the top three rostrum since the Sakhir Sprint Race.
“Since the first few laps on the hard tyres, the carryover from Barcelona that we had here, we were quite strong and always in the top three. The last run on the softs was not really a clear run, but I think it was the same for everyone. Still happy to be in the top five, be in the mix for Qualifying. Now we just need to put it all together, make the right step and see what we can do, but very excited.
“I really like the track. It's one of my favourite tracks in the calendar with the high-speed sections and all that kind of stuff. I love high-speed corners so I really like to drive here and hopefully we can do a good job in Qualifying.
“I think it will be a really mixed session. We know the track here is really short, so lap times will be really, really close. Every tenth will make a huge difference and also, track limits will play a big factor in Qualifying. Let’s see what we can do, but according to Practice, we are feeling quite strong so hopefully we can be in the top five.”
“That was quite good. It was a bit tricky on my last set with the traffic management. I didn't do a do a good job myself, I was not in the right place at the right moment. But anyways, I think we could extract the potential we had, to be in the top five is a good place to fight for both races. Points are what we need, so let's see what we can do tomorrow and especially Sunday in the Feature Race.
“I had cars left, right and centre, so it was a bit of a mess. I was trying to place myself together with the first five or six cars in the group, but it was really a mess. At one point, I just had to look at my dash a bit to check my temperatures and stuff and I just got swallowed by the pack. It was there that I think I made a mistake, so I didn't put myself in a good place to start my push lap on the second set. Anyways, we still could extract a good lap time and be in the top five, but that was a really hectic session.
“I think all the laps we did today in all conditions with hard or soft tyres, we were in the mix inside the top five. The car is looking really good. I'm feeling quite strong, so let's see if we can make a few places tomorrow.”
“Obviously it’s a great result, not just for me, but for the team as well. We needed that to start these four weekends in a row. I think the past few weekends were not amazing, so I think to bounce back – yesterday being in the top five in both sessions and today starting from P7 and finishing on the podium, it cannot get much better than that. For me and the team it’s a nice boost of confidence and to get back in the game, I think it’s really nice for all of us here, so I’m really happy overall.
“I always love the rain and fighting in it is really enjoyable. I think during the race you could see that from the outside, not only from me but the guys in the front. At one point, they were three wide in front of me with two laps to go, so it was quite chaotic. The car was really, really nice so I could attack. I could go forward and that’s what I did, so a big thanks to the team for that and we keep pushing for tomorrow.
“Hopefully, we’ll be strong again in the dry. I think we need to manage the softs well. I think we saw in Monaco that they have quite a bit of degradation, so we need to prepare for that, adapt as best as we can tomorrow and move forward - hopefully to get another podium.”
“A really chaotic race to be honest! At the start I had safety mode on out of Turn 1, so when I hit the yellow sausage kerb, I lost a few places there and went back to P11 I believe before Turn 3. Then I managed to win a few spots back on Lap 1 and there my race from there was just fighting all the way until the end. “I had really good pace, a really good car behind me and I managed the tyres well together with the team. So, I think we did a pretty good job and, in the end, I took every opportunity I had after Lap 1 and made it to the podium.
“I knew that the race was really, really long and I saw them fighting early on. So, I knew even if I lost a lot of spots at the start, I had to keep my calm and I knew that the race was going to be decided in the last eight to 10 laps. I was trying to save as much as I could to attack in the end and I think it's what we did really well. Obviously, I had Sebastián (Montoya) coming really fast from behind and but I think I played it really smart and ended up in on the podium.
“It's really nice to come back. I think we had a pretty tough couple of rounds after Bahrain, things didn't go our way. To have a weekend like this - on Friday we were in the top five in both sessions and double podium in the two races, I think it's really, really good. Now it gives a boost of confidence, not just for me but for the team to be able to fight for the Feature Race win in the next few rounds.”
“My hope is to be consistent as we’ve been here. To manage to do it straightaway from Free Practice, to be in the game and then to fight for pole in Qualifying and hopefully, the Feature Race on Sunday.”