Trident’s Zane Maloney was happy to record his first points in a Formula 3 Feature Race after a tricky race in wet conditions. He ended up in fifth position at the Red Bull Ring after what was a extremely challenging race in the rainy conditions.
Reflecting on his race following the chequered flag, Maloney said that it was a deserved reward for both he and his team following disappointing results earlier in the year due to other incidents whilst running in the points.
“I'm happy, first Feature Race points of the year. We've had a lot of bad luck and unfortunate situations that have happened to us this year. We’re always in the top five, so to finally get a top five finish, I’ll take it. Stuff happened ahead which allowed me to get above them but we move on to Hungary and we’ll try to keep getting points and keep fighting for the wins.”
Battling further back in the pack meant that visibility was at a premium for much of the Feature Race for Maloney. It made overtaking attempts tricky and defensive driving more difficult also due to the unknowns of where the other cars were around him.
He managed to keep out of trouble though and pick up a hugely positive result in the bigger picture of the 2022 season. The Bajan was surprised the race got underway with so much standing water but was relieved to be able to capitalise on misfortune for others to bring home a top five result.
“I wish I was in P1 because I couldn't see one single thing on track. Usually, you can’t see ahead, but you can still see to the side so you know where to brake. But today I couldn't it was pretty much closing my eyes and hoping for the best when you brake so it was very treacherous, and I was very surprised when they started the race. In the end it was quite good.”
One of the standout battles during the Feature was between Maloney and MP Motorsport’s Caio Collet. The Brazilian appeared to have the measure of the Trident driver in the early phases as a dry line began to emerge, but Maloney kept his cool throughout to stay in the hunt for points while Collet was later involved in a tangle at Turn 1.
“It was good fun. He was a bit quicker than me at that moment in the race. I was struggling a bit with the tyres going off. He was able to get alongside me and we had a good race for several laps. That one lap we were side by side for half the lap was good fun, nice fair racing, which is good to get from some of the drivers. It was clean and he did a good job. I had a lot of fun.
“You try to stay out of trouble which we've had a lot of bad luck with when it comes to this stuff this year. Some drivers race cleaner than others and it was good to have clean racing with Caio and the others as well. In F3, it’s always chaos. So to be out of the chaos is the best thing and hopefully I'll try to stay out of the chaos for the rest of the year.”
Fifth position was Maloney’s best result since P4 in the opening round of the season back in Bahrain. He was mightily relieved to have registered another strong points finish and says that it can help propel his season to another level after being caught up in incidents in the first half of the campaign. “I've never been so happy for P5 in my life. We've lost a few race wins in the Feature Races. We've lost up to 70 points, so it's not really been an up and down season, it's been a very down season. So to be able to get some sort of positive out of this weekend and then move on to the next four rounds is an opportunity to come back up in the Championship and get a lot more points and hopefully start to get those podiums and wins.
“The team have given me a very quick car every single weekend this year and it's a shame not to be up there fighting for the championship. But, it's my first season so lots of learning and now we need to capitalise on everything.”