Thoughts from Martí, Colapinto and Collet

FIA Formula 3: A very warm welcome to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 3 Sprint Race here in Bahrain in third place, Caio Collet for Van Amersfoort Racing, in second place, Franco Colapinto for MP Motorsport and taking his first win in FIA Formula 3 Josep María Martí for Campos Racing. Pepe, what a moment for you! Just describe how good this feels.

Josep María Martí: Well, it feels amazing. Obviously last year I struggled quite a lot, especially with Qualifying and delivering good results in races. And I think over the winter, me, Campos, all the guys, we've worked really hard and I think we put a really good package together. It obviously showed yesterday with me being at the top. I got my laps invalidated in Qualifying which wasn't unbelievable. It wasn't great. But apart from that, I’m just really, really happy coming across the line and seeing the chequered flag in first. It was an amazing feeling and hoping to do it more in the future.

FIA Formula 3: Seeing the chequered flag in first, but also seeing Fernando Alonso below you on the podium. What sort of advice has Fernando given you during the build-up to this race?

Martí: Well, a lot. Obviously. He's a really big character right now for me. He's been my idol for the last 17 years of my life. He's obviously this fantastic character. He's a great person off-track. He's an amazing driver on the track, and his knowledge and everything he's able to transfer to me and to my teammates at A14. It's just great. It’s a great opportunity for me to be able to have that knowledge. He’s just a great influence, a great person.

FIA Formula 3: Pepe, it was a complicated race with all the Safety Car periods, just to talk us through it and particularly the move for the lead on Franco.

Martí: Well, like you said, with the restarts, this guy decided to make them quite late... but no they were pretty good. The first one was really good, I made the move on Caio at T4 and then a couple of laps after the second restart, I managed to overtake Franco. Obviously, with the help of the DRS, I was just able to catch up a lot into T1. He half defended but I got a really good exit out of T2 and made the move into T4 on the outside.

FIA Formula 3: Many congratulations to you. Your first win in FIA Formula 3. Franco, let's come to you next. It was a difficult race for the pole sitter. Talk us through the restarts first.

Franco Colapinto: Yeah, we know how powerful the DRS is here, and we already saw last year that it was very easy to overtake with DRS or at least to stay in DRS without using too much of the tyres. I was just trying to make the restarts as easy as possible for myself. Maybe behind it was a bit messy, but I was not worried about that. I was hoping for a bit of mess behind to make a little bit of a gap and maybe just close that gap to the DRS but it was tricky and then Pepe was just much faster. We had the pace to win today. We struggled a little bit with the balance throughout the weekend. I think that with the F1 rubber, our car changed quite a lot since the test and we struggled to find the perfect balance for the car. But it’s a really good start, nine points for the Championship and we are starting on the right foot. We have a lot of work to do, but it's going in the right direction. It's important to be consistent and be scoring every weekend and like this, we are going to finish high in the Championship.

FIA Formula 3: Were the tyres consistent? If you'd had more racing laps and not so much time behind the Safety Car, how do you think it would have played out?

Colapinto: I was trying to save the tyres quite a lot at the beginning but then with so many Safety Cars we didn’t get that many racing laps and I think everyone was pushing really hard and sliding quite a lot more than usual. The pace of Pepe was difficult to follow even with DRS. So we just struggled to stay in DRS and struggled to attack. He was also really fast in the straights. So it was just really difficult to try anything. I’m just happy with the nine points, and happy for the team, they have been doing a really great job during the winter and you know they deserve a podium, and they deserve a good start to the season.

FIA Formula 3: Alright, many congratulations to you. Thank you, Franco and Caio, coming to you. Started third, and finished third, but that doesn't tell the full story does it?

Caio Collet: It was quite a chaotic race with the Safety Car restart, it was quite a late call from Franco both times and it created a bit of a mess behind him, which is the goal for the guy in P1. Apart from that, I think we didn't quite have the pace to keep up with Pepe. He was really, really strong the whole race. Happy to start with the podium. Obviously, in the first race, it’s always nice to score a few points and score points for the team. But yeah, we got some work to do.

FIA Formula 3: How are you settling into life at Van Amersfoort?

Collet: It's really good. I mean, obviously, it's a new team, so there's a lot of work to put everything in place. I think yesterday we managed to do a little bit of that, but it will come during the year. I think I can use also my experience as a third-year driver to help them and fight at the front and that's why we are here.

FIA Formula 3: Many congratulations to you.