FIA Formula 3: Hello and welcome to today's FIA Formula 3 press conference following qualifying here in Spielberg. Joining us we have our top three from qualifying. In third place Jüri Vips from Hitech Grand Prix, in second place Max Fewtrell from ART Grand Prix and in pole position Marcus Armstrong from PREMA Racing. Marcus it was a session you pretty much lead the entirety of. Can you talk us through how hooked up your car was feeling throughout qualifying and how your pole lap felt?
Marcus Armstrong: It was good session, for me and the team. To be honest it wasn't all perfect because there was a red flag towards the end and it came at the worst possible time - about 100 metres before I crossed the start-finish line. If it wasn't for that I would have been quite satisfied because my lap was quite good, but on the other hand I'm very satisfied that we were quick the whole session because previously we had been struggling in the first half of quali. So yeah, not bad.
FIA Formula 3: You mentioned the red flag, it did set things up for quite a tense couple of minutes. How did you feel when you finally got pole position secured? Was it I guess a sense of relief?
Marcus: Yeah it was a little bit nerve-wracking to be honest. The worst possible moment of a quali session is the anticipation of your engineer saying 'there's one guy on a decent lap, we have to wait', and then my first pole position of the season was something nice to hear. In saying that, the job is only one quarter done because we have a long race tomorrow and if I'm honest I expect tomorrow to be similar to the Indy 500. It is going to be interesting through DRS zones with a bunch of quick cars around me. I think it will be good to watch.
FIA Formula 3: It should be very exciting, congratulations. Max moving on to you, welcome to your first FIA press conference. P2 a really big improvement at the end of your session, could you talk us through that final lap?
Max Fewtrell: In the first few laps I didn't feel the grip was there so I was getting quite worried, but the engineer came over the radio and said I had one more lap so I knew that was my chance. I managed to hook it all up, the car felt great, and I couldn't be happier with P2, especially after last week's troubles we had as a whole. I'm really happy, I just need to fight for the win tomorrow.
FIA Formula 3: Were you always feeling pretty confident that the car had that kind of lap in it, to be able to fight so high up the order?
Max: I think even coming into the season, I know the team are a bunch of great guys and their history in the championships is amazing, I've always had the belief that we could do it but the last two weekends haven't gone our way. Barcelona was ok but Paul Ricard was far from ideal. I think now we can start to prove what we're capable of and this is a good step forward.
FIA Formula 3: Well done. Jüri moving on to you now. Your first FIA press conference as well, we saw a lot of late improvements from you towards the end of the session, narrowly missing out on pole. Can you talk us through your qualifying and building things up?
Jüri Vips: Honestly the first part of the session was extremely messy for me, just because of traffic really. I had to back out of a few of my push laps so I got kind of mixed up with all the planned schedule that we had planned before. I was way back, outside of even the top 20 I think, so I didn't really know where the realistic pace was because I didn't get to complete a single lap without any problems. On the second set of new tyres it was all ok. The red flag kind of interrupted the flow but I got one push lap in before that and I knew the car balance was good. When I saw the red flag and I heard there was four minutes to go I knew that I had a good car underneath me and I could be fighting for grid positions. I'd like to thank everyone at Hitech for the car today, it was good.
FIA Formula 3: You mentioned traffic. Thirty cars around such a short circuit like this is very difficult. How do you go about dealing with that challenge? I guess there's a lot of work with your engineer to find the right gap?
Jüri: There is but it's also very difficult for the engineers to see exactly because they cannot predict what the other cars in front of us are doing. They can tell us something but in the end they cannot anticipate everything that the other drivers can do. That's what can cause a real mess, most of it we do ourselves on track but we obviously try to plan it beforehand so we would experience the least amount of traffic possible.
FIA Formula 3: Well done on your result. Marcus returning to you, it's been a sensational start to the season for PREMA, four wins from four. How are you feeling about your chances of making it five from five tomorrow?
Marcus: That's a good question! It has been a sensational start to the season. Robert Shwartzman and Jehan Daruvala have done a very good job and at times I've felt quite angry that it hasn't quite swung my way - especially last week in Le Castellet. It was two missed opportunities. I want to make up for it this weekend. As I said, anything can happen tomorrow, but we are in the best place possible to do a good job.