Sophia Floersch scored hers and PHM Racing by Charouz’s maiden points in the FIA Formula 3 Championship with a stellar drive to ninth on Sunday.

Starting the Feature Race from 20th on the grid, she came through a frantic 26 laps to secure two points for the team and was very happy with her performance. While a number of drivers fell out of contention following contact or mistakes, Floersch was able to keep it clean and secure a vital result to carry into the rest of the season.

“We started P20 and because it was wet yesterday, we were all kind gambling with the setups. We had an okay start, the first two laps were actually pretty decent. I think we gained two positions or so, but after that, then it got hectic for us, especially after the Safety Car restart.

“We were like fighting quite a lot, people were doing mistakes, we weren't touching with others and it got a bit messy, and then the tyres went off. I actually got radio calls that we should really try to keep the pressures low and try to save tyres, which I really tried and I also think I did pretty well, which I learned in endurance the past two years to really try and save tyres. It was a benefit in the end.

“We finished P9 which is insane. I love Red Bull Ring, it’s my favourite track but coming from P20, I knew that the top 15 was possible, but to actually get my first points now and also for the team is amazing. It makes me really, really proud because it was a really difficult race.

“It's not like there was massive pressure and 10 cars didn't finish the race, it was just people making mistakes and struggling and so on. So we'll see how the season continues but I think it's a big push for everyone involved and very happy for PHM Racing by Charouz.”

default image

With the grip washed away following rain throughout Saturday, drivers entered the unknown for the Feature Race but were expecting to have to save tyres. What was most surprising though was just how early and just how much the soft tyres fell away as temperatures built during the race.

Floersch says that having plenty of experience in endurance racing was a huge factor in her result, enabling her to give the tyres enough of a break to keep them in better shape than those ahead.

“To be honest, I was saving pretty early already. Last year the mediums were used here. It was the first time we used the new softs outside of Monaco. It’s not a really demanding track for tyres but we really struggled already there. So it was not a surprise that there was degradation but it was that there was so much. I think after like seven laps or so we really all could feel like we have many laps to go, we need to save.

READ MORE: FEATURE RACE: O’Sullivan triumphs in Spielberg classic

“I think that's just what endurance has taught me in the past two years, to really try and save tyres and try to drive corners differently. Also when you're fighting how to really try to manage them and in the end it worked out.

“We’ll try to take the positives now, try to learn from what worked and then we'll see where we are in Silverstone. But I think we really have to focus on Qualifying performance because we're kind of out of position or not where we want to be so we’ll see but today was a good result.

Throughout all the overtakes and action during the race, she would be forgiven for not knowing she was fighting for points. But, there was no doubt for the PHM driver that she was on for a great result, celebrating all the way from the final corner. Doing so around her favourite track and in front of family made the result all the better.

“I did know where I was. I actually came out of the last corner, and I was on the rev limiter because I was screaming, but I did know!

“My whole family was here this weekend and starting from P20, it's amazing. Also, for PHM, getting points now, they were all super happy, all the mechanics. I think it's a big push mentally, just to get the give them something back. For now I'm happy and I'll drink some champagne later.”