Oliver Goethe was one of the surprises of the past two race weekends in Formula 3, impressing for Campos Racing either side of the summer break.
The Monégasque was a super sub, taking over driving duties for the injured Hunter Yeany, and claimed two points finishes in his four race appearances.
At Spa-Francorchamps, Goethe secured his best result to date in the series, finishing fourth after a race-long fight for the final podium position. The Campos driver said that it was a disappointing but ultimately positive race after missing out on a rostrum appearance.
“It’s a bittersweet race, getting overtaken on the last lap for a podium doesn’t feel amazing but I can’t complain with a P4 in the end in my second F3 race, I’m really happy.
“The start and first few laps were good. The pace, once I got into a rhythm, was excellent. I overtook Caio (Collet), and I managed to gap him a little bit just before the first Safety Car came out. I think that ruined my rhythm a bit and after that first Safety Car, I lost a few positions. From then on, I was in my place and fighting to get on the podium.
“This was my first race trying to manage the slick tyres in this car, so it was very tricky in the end, I didn’t know what to expect exactly. In the end, it wasn’t too bad, shame I missed out on the podium but I’m really happy.”
Goethe not only scored a great result in his second weekend, but did so after a sizeable crash during the Sprint Race on Saturday.
A collision with Trident’s Zane Maloney through Blanchimont resulted in both hitting the barriers heavily though each driver was able to walk away from the accident unharmed.
For Goethe, he said that the biggest thing for him was being able to compartmentalise the incident and carry on for the rest of the weekend proved to be key as the race unfolded on Sunday. He was so confident, he battled with PREMA Racing’s Oliver Bearman for the final podium spot, an on-track scrap that included a brave piece of wheel-to-wheel racing through Eau Rouge.
“There’s a lot of positives to take from this weekend. I’m alright after the crash, that’s the most important, that everybody walked out uninjured from that crash yesterday. You just have to forget about it and pretend like it never happened. When you’re the car you can’t be thinking about those sort of things because it’ll effect confidence. In the end I forgot about it when I was in the car and just did my race like nothing happened.
“That move was quite scary, two laps from the end fighting for the podium going side-by-side into Eau Rouge, it was a scary one. But I wanted that podium so bad, I wasn’t going to lift. There was a moment in my head, a thought about yesterday’s crash but I tried to not let it affect me and I kept that position on that lap but was overtaken on the last lap.”
Reflecting on his brief but impressive cameo in the F3 Championship, Goethe is targeting a return next season for a full campaign and believes he has taken many great steps in his pursuit of a full time seat in 2023.
“I’ve enjoyed it so much. I’ve learnt so much which is important. The goal next year is to do this Championship. I didn’t know what to expect when I first jumped into this car, but the pace was good straight away which is positive to see that I can fight at the front in both wet and mixed conditions, dry conditions. It’s a real positive.”