Christian Mansell is confident about his and ART Grands Prix’s chances for the rest of the season following his podium finish last time out in Monte Carlo.

The Australian driver’s P2 in the Feature Race was his second podium of the year, with the first coming at the opening round in Sakhir.

However, his results dipped slightly after that, scoring two points during his home weekend in Melbourne before going point-less in Imola.

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As he reflected on his first four rounds of the campaign, Mansell explained why he and ART have not had the consistency in results they would have liked.

“I mean we are sort of coming to the halfway point now, and it's been pretty up and down,” said Mansell. “I think at times we've absolutely shone, and it's been amazing, and it was such an awesome start to the season in Bahrain and I was really happy with the result.

“I was overjoyed and then we came to Melbourne, put on the Medium tyre, same in Imola, and we just sort of struggled a little bit. ART in general on the Medium tyre but also myself, Nikola Tsolov and Laurens van Hoepen, it was a struggle to adapt.

“It wasn't what we thought it was going to be and that was a bit of a setback but nevertheless moving on to Monaco, on the Soft tyre we had a lot of confidence because this car is very good on the Soft tyre last year.

Mansell says finishing second in Monte Carlo has given him and ART confidence
Mansell says finishing second in Monte Carlo has given him and ART confidence

“Obviously, I had never driven the car on the Softs, but I was feeling confident about it and as soon as we put the softs on in Qualifying, I was just instantly confident, I felt really good.

“Even on the Hards as well, this car really likes the hard and the Soft tyre. We just need to sort our stuff out for Spa later in the year because that's the only Medium tyre track now, but theoretically speaking, we should be great for the rest of the season.”

Mansell says he and ART have a fair understanding of why they have struggled on the Medium tyre. He is hopeful that they are proven right and that they can have a strong weekend in Spa-Francorchamps later this year.

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He is also talked about his first few months working with the French outfit. Having made the move over from Campos Racing he admits there has been an adjustment process, but he praised ART for making him feel at “home”.

“It's going very well,” said Mansell, when asked about his time so far with ART. “I feel very at home in the team, they really look after me, they've really catered towards me, and it feels quite easy to join the team.

“I was just able to come in and just drive the car and they were really adaptable towards me because my driving style was very suited to the Campos car and then coming into the ART car it's a very different driving style.

“They catered towards that, they understood that it was going to be a challenge and we took our time and that showed in Bahrain, we were able to execute it quite well.”

Mansell is hopeful that he and ART have found a solution to their struggles on the mediums
Mansell is hopeful that he and ART have found a solution to their struggles on the mediums

Both Mansell and ART will be aiming to carry over that good feeling to Barcelona for Round 5 later this month. The Australian says he and the team are “confident” about their chances following a strong weekend in Monaco.

“To be honest I feel really good, I feel quite confident,” said Mansell. “Obviously off the back of a podium in Monaco you are always going to feel pretty good going into the next race but generally I feel really good.

“All of ART we are very confident in our ability on this Hard tyre and also Barcelona we know where we can be quick and where we are going to struggle, so that's a big help for us so we know prevention plans for tyres, and strategies.

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“Essentially, we are feeling very confident because it's hard not too, you've got to ride the wave when you have that opportunity. We struggled a lot in Imola and Melbourne, so to have a good performance at a track like Monaco, the morale has definitely been boosted.

“Not to say it dropped in all fairness, we really kept our heads together in Melbourne and Imola, but it was hard. We were all frustrated, but we are all realised the situation that we were in, and we just had to work really hard and that's when we found some stuff for the Medium tyre.”

Currently Mansell currently sits ninth in the Drivers’ Standings on 38 points, trailing leader Gabriele Minì by just 34 points. He acknowledges how tight it is in the table but says he does not plan to give himself a goal of where to finish.

Mansell is currently 34 points behind Championship leader Minì
Mansell is currently 34 points behind Championship leader Minì

“I mean I don't really have a position in mind,” explained Mansell. “From previous experiences I know whenever I put a position on it, I normally get angry when I don't achieve it, so it just ends up being a spiral.

“The only goal that I set for myself this year is to maximise the package underneath me. If the car is P5 then get P5, and if the car is P15 get P15. It's all relative to your own race weekend and one podium, or one win can just skyrocket you up the Standings.

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“So that's a reason to not be too worried because you have a bad one, you have a good one, you get shuffled around and then you just got to reset and keep going. In F3, we've said it since the dawn of this Championship, anything can happen, and anything will happen.

“So, whenever you think you're on the back-foot you just got to brush it off, because something will happen and whether it's in your favour or it's not and you get dealt a bad hand, then you get dealt a bad hand.

“You just have to pick yourselves off the ground and just brush it off because you genuinely have no time to let it sit, because the next race is coming up, so you just have to switch your mind and focus.”