MP Motorsport’s Victor Martins is relishing his fight with fellow Alpine junior and 2020 Formula Renault title contender Caio Collet this season, speaking enthusiastically about their rivalry on the track and their friendship off it, saying that he feels they “will push each other hard towards our goal.”
The Frenchman finished both days of pre-season testing in Barcelona at the top of the leaderboard, concluding his 2021 preparations in ideal fashion. This followed on from a strong debut in the maiden test at Spielberg with the duo regularly in and around the top 10.
Martins highlighted his relationship with Collet as key to their early success alongside the experienced backroom team at MP Motorsport.
“Honestly, I feel really good in the car,” said Martins. “Every time I go out, I have confidence because I know the car is fast. It’s obviously nice to see your name at the top even if it is just testing, and Caio (Collet) is going fast as well.
“From Austria, we have gone out and we're almost always in top 10, whatever the conditions. I know Caio well. I know that he is a really nice guy, and we can work together a lot. I know that we will push each other hard towards our goal.
We have great people here with us and we can really learn from them because of their past experiences. The relationship with everyone is great, which means that we can just focus on our job when we are in the car. I know that we can do great things. We just need to keep going, keep working, and showing why we are here.”
Running 167 laps in total across the three days, Martins was a busy man in Barcelona, but now has experience of driving F3 machinery in rain, wind and shine, as well as a little bit of snow from the two tests combined.
Martins feels it has given him a great grounding ahead of his official racing debut at Barcelona in two weeks’ time.
“Every time we go out, we improve the car and we learn something,” Martins continued. “It is always good to be P1, but it is only testing, and you never know what other teams and drivers are doing.
“It was my first time in the car in the wet on Day 1, so I learned quite a lot of things like the downforce in the wet. There is so much grip and you can really push hard. On the dry, I just tried to gain some experience with the Pirellis so that I know how to warm them up and how to deliver the lap.
“You know there will be deg and it is just learning how to put it all together with a lot of traffic with 30 cars on track. We have been doing this as a team and it has been good. I have learned how the team work, what they want us to do and what type of feedback they want us to give. We have a lot of confidence and we just need to keep working like this.”