Thoughts from Aron, Minì and Collet
FIA Formula 3: Many congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 3 Sprint Race here at the Red Bull Ring. In third place, Caio Collet for Van Amersfoort Racing. In second place, Gabriele Minì for Hitech Pulse-Eight, and winning his first race in FIA Formula 3, our winner Paul Aron for PREMA Racing. Paul, frustrations yesterday but you've done it, you've won your first race. Just tell us how it feels?
Paul Aron: Emotions are through the roof. Obviously, it's still a Sprint Race, it's not a Feature Race win, but it does feel a lot more than that just because of what happened yesterday, PREMA gave me an amazing car and I was fully on it. We did the pole position and we were quickest throughout the whole Qualifying session, but sadly my lap was deleted, which is fair. I mean track limits are there for a reason, but it obviously hurt and it feels like today is a bit of a redemption. Starting from the back of the grid and fighting through the pack with amazing pace, I really enjoyed the race and finally we got the win. So yeah, super happy and tomorrow's another day.
FIA Formula 3: Talk us through Lap 18, the moment where you took the lead at Turn 3. You were three wide going into that corner.
Aron: I didn't even know which lap it was to be honest. My engineer kept giving me the pace and I told him just give me the laps, give me the laps to go. After the Safety Car restart, I think everybody's tyres reset a bit, so the advantage I had before was kind of equalled for the first few laps and my restart wasn't so good. I think I didn't keep the tyres in temperature enough for the restart, so I struggled a bit. But then once I got the pace back up, I was starting to catch Pepe again and I already knew before the restart that we had the pace advantage. Then the fighting kept going, I thought I was going to be able to make the move easily, but it turned out not to be so easy and we were side by side for many corners in a row. Finally, out of Turn 1, we were three wide going into Turn 3. I would say I had pretty good positioning because I was in the middle off the racing line so I could brake quite late. I have to say to the other competitors, thank you because everybody was super respectful and that's why we were able to make the corner. But in the end, I came out in the lead and I was able to pull away with the good pace we had. So yeah, it was an amazing race.
FIA Formula 3: Paul fantastic, well done to you. And Gabriele, can we just bring you in on that moment. That battle for the lead when you were three wide, you had the inside line, talk us through it.
Gabriele Minì: As Paul said, after the restart everyone’s pace was pretty much stable, so nobody was really having a clear advantage. After a few laps, I did a really good Safety Car restart so I tried to attack Paul, but I didn't manage to. I managed to stay close to him and when he tried to attack Pepe, I just stayed on my line and then tried to go on the inside. We were three wide and just tried to do the shortest line as possible to also get good traction on exit. Of course, that's not the ideal line, so I just did that to avoid crashing with Paul. But in the end, I managed to gain a position, stay close to Paul and maybe I could have tried a move but it was too risky, I think.
FIA Formula 3: Now after a tough weekend in Spain, just how important was it for you to bounce back here on the podium?
Minì: Well, I think it's really something that gives you a boost of confidence. Of course, after yesterday's Qualifying, which was not really well driven by me. Of course, it's also a bit of redemption. Sadly, we did not get the best of starts, so I think that’s where I lost the race because in the end, it's really hard to overtake if you don't have a lot more pace. So when once Paul got past me, it was really, really hard to overtake him back. Also, because he was a bit quicker.
FIA Formula 3: Alright look, very well done to you and Caio coming to you now. You left it late to get on the podium, the last lap. Talk us through your move to get into P3.
Caio Collet: I think the last lap was pretty chaotic to be really honest. I think my pace was really, really good. Pepe was struggling quite a bit and I made a mistake. I went a bit too early to do the move the lap before, so I lost a bit of ground and I went all in on the last lap. All I was thinking about was the podium. I think the team deserved it a lot really, I think the past few weeks weren't the best ones, but it was nice to be back on the podium.
FIA Formula 3: It hasn't been the easiest of seasons for you Caio. Just talk us through what this one means to be back on the podium for the first time since Bahrain.
Collet: Quite a lot to be really honest. I think in the last three rounds we struggled quite a little bit. Also, there were a few places where we could finish the race in the top five, like Monaco or Australia to be honest. Then getting punctures or incidents, I think was really hard for me and the team. But for us to reset and bounce back, I think we did a pretty good job yesterday in the top five in all the sessions and then today with the podium and starting the Feature Race tomorrow in the top five again. I think it's a weekend that we can reset and start from here.
FIA Formula 3: All right, look, a very well done to all three of you.