Thoughts from O’Sullivan, Beganovic and Colapinto
FIA Formula 3: Zak O’Sullivan, race winner in today’s Feature Race here at Budapest. Some really strong points. It all happened at the start for you and then it was all about managing and staying control of the race. How is it from the car?
Zak O’Sullivan: Quite tricky to be honest. Even though it was lights-to-flag, like I said earlier the degradation is really big this weekend, so compared to a normal Hungary race it wasn’t so simple. The start was really good, the pace in the opening laps was quite good and I didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard. Built quite a big gap, I think it was four and a half seconds or so. Then just at the end, Dino started to catch a bit more as my tyres fell off, but luckily it was enough.
FIA Formula 3: It was one of the only races this season where there was no intervention of a VSC or Safety Car. Were you hoping for one or were you just like, no I want to keep with the flow?
O’Sullivan: My idea was to build quite a big gap in case, I think all of us were quite blind as to what the tyres were going to do with only one race under our belt and yesterday a couple of Safety Cars. So, I wanted to kind of keep a buffer in case they started to drop off or anything and then at the end, they did start to drop so I was really hoping for no Safety car, but luckily there was nothing.
FIA Formula 3: What does this Feature Race win mean to you and PREMA at this point into the season?
O’Sullivan: A lot. I mean the pace this weekend has been really strong. As a team, I think it’s the fastest we've been all year. We got a 1-2 in Qualifying and also a 1-2 in the Feature Race, don’t think you can ask for much more. It’s good momentum going to Spa as well on the same compound of tyre, so we’ll see.
FIA Formula 3: I was going to mention that next up is Spa next week. So, how are you going to prepare for it and what can we expect from you there?
O’Sullivan: Obviously a very different track to Hungary, Hungary’s all corners and Spa has a few more straights, so we’ll see. Also, mixed weather is sometimes a factor at Spa, so looking forward to it.
FIA Formula 3: Dino Beganovic, congratulations on P2 today at the Hungaroring. Your fourth podium of the season, how are you feeling after that one?
Dino Beganovic: It’s really good to be on the podium here in Budapest with the 1-2 for the team, which I'm really happy about. Also, a nice comeback from Silverstone, which was a really tough weekend for me because we had such strong potential, but bad luck striking in Quali. Anyways, it's really nice to stand here on the podium with Zak today.
FIA Formula 3: Of course, you were closing in on the last lap. Do you feel like you had the tyres underneath you to go a bit further if you’d had a couple more laps?
Beganovic: I think I started pushing a bit too late, to be honest. If I started to push a bit earlier, maybe it could have been a possibility. But Zak was strong today, built a good gap in the beginning and then also, we pulled away together. There was a little bit of rubber left and I think I pushed a bit too late.
FIA Formula 3: And of course, another podium, more points added to your tally for the season. What is your mentality going into the final two rounds? Obviously, we're heading to Spa next weekend.
Beganovic: After a tough weekend in Silverstone, now it's really about maximising. We can't afford any mistakes, any silly mistakes in Qualifying, in the Feature Race or Sprint Race. So, we really need to maximise everything we have and don't do the mistakes. Now it's really the last push and the biggest push of the season.
FIA Formula 3: Franco Colapinto, congratulations, your ninth podium in Formula 3. Tell us how that one was from inside the car?
Franco Colapinto: It was a fun race. Of course, a lot of degradation as everyone, so it was just really tricky with the tyres. We were saving a lot at the beginning of the race. When they started to drop, I started to push a little bit more, but it was a pretty long race for the degradation that we had. So, I only pushed the last few laps, I was really far off the guys in front and I was hoping for a Safety Car. I knew my tyres were a bit better, but unfortunately the Safety Car didn’t come, so not a lot to do after that. I was really fast in the last few laps, but it was just enough for P3. Anyways, happy with the points. It was a decent weekend for us, we scored 19 points with the Sprint yesterday as well. So decent, a bit higher up in the Championship now and a bit closer to P2, so it’s always good. It’s the goal to do the maximum we can in these last few race weeks and we are doing that so far. Happy with the car, happy for the team that they did a good job this weekend and they gave me a really competitive car.
FIA Formula 3: You overtook Leonardo Fornaroli pretty early on, did you know that you needed to get that move done whilst the tyres were still in the window?
Colapinto: Yeah, at the end, he was pushing so, so hard and I could see him sliding a lot, so I was not really worried about him too much. I was just keeping the tyres alive on my side and when he dropped, it was pretty easy. I had to do a lot of effort to get the podium and then, it was just about managing a bit more, but my tyres were more-or-less consistent compared to how the rest were dropping. I guess it was because I didn’t push so hard at the beginning, but overall positive, nice weekend. Now looking forward to Spa next weekend and the car is looking good, so let’s see how it goes there.
FIA Formula 3: And like you mentioned Spa next weekend. We’re getting to the business end of the Championship, now what’s the aim heading into Spa?
Colapinto: I guess just keep this consistency up over these last races. We’ve been on the podium when we could. When the car was strong enough, we were up there and I guess that Spa is looking good for us. So, I’m looking forward to it and let’s see when we arrive there how it is, but overall, we are looking more competitive in these last few rounds, which is always good.