In a poignant weekend for his team, Franco Colapinto took an emotional third victory of his Formula 3 career, mastering the challenging conditions in the latter stages of Saturdays's the Sprint Race. Dedicating the win Dilano Van ‘t Hoff and their MP Motorsport family, the Argentinian paid tribute to the life of his friend and their shared love of racing.
Follow the Williams Academy junior’s thoughts through Round 7 at Silverstone and how even the typical British summer weather didn’t deter him or the Dutch team from victory.
“It was a session where we tried to learn as much as we could and not so much about the result, but just to try to get the maximum amount of laps we could in and understand where we need to improve for Qualifying. It’s a hard track to be fully at the limit on. I’m really looking forward to Qualifying, I think the changing the car a little bit and I will improve a little bit and that will help better the result. It’s looking good, let’s see how it goes. There’s a bit of time to find, but I think it’s going in the right direction.
“It’s the fastest track on the calendar I think, so to put a lap together is quite hard, you have to be very precise. There are a lot of factors going into Qualifying and I think it will be tricky for all the drivers. As a team, we need to improve a little bit, but it’s quite clear where we need to improve. It’s a super hard track but also a very nice track to drive as well, being such a high-speed circuit with fast corners, it’s really enjoyable for us.
“Just going to try to do the best we can and see where we end up in Qualifying. We’ll try to do the maximum we can with the car we have. We’ll see what we improved after Free Practice and see where we end up, just going to try to maximise the package.”
“I think that was not the result that we were probably after. We had a good first part of Qualifying, but on the last run we couldn’t do a proper warm up lap for the tyres, so they were quite cold at the start of the push lap. We struggled there and with the balance as well with a bit too much understeer, I think that cost us a little bit. We need to see the data and see how we can improve for tomorrow, but let’s see if we can get some good points this weekend.”
“It was a super fun race to watch as well from outside. As for us drivers, it was really cool to be there in the car with the rain on the slicks. It was really unpredictable weather and from the start, I tried to push as much as possible to try to gain some positions. I could do that on Lap 1, the track was a bit wet already on the kerbs and then it just got wetter and wetter. The team did an amazing job choosing to stay out, I was not really sure about it, but the team decided to stay out and it was the right strategy and the fastest one. I’m just very, very grateful for that decision that they made which gave me the win at the end. In the end, the car was flying in the damp conditions and we were just so much faster than everyone."
“It was really difficult for us to see if the track was going to dry or not. At one point, the forecast said that it was going to stop raining after the big shower and that’s why the team decided to stay out. It was a bit of a gamble, but luckily it was the right choice for us. I’m happy to have scored more points and it’s a good start to the weekend for Williams’ 800th Grand Prix. It’s really special for them and to already have a win in Formula 3, I think it’s a nice way to start the weekend.
“It was really difficult to get the tyres back up to temperature on the restart. I think I was a step in front of everyone that were on the slicks at the end of the race, which helped me to win and build a big gap. In the end it was about which driver adapted quicker to the conditions, who found the best line and who could warm the tyres the best. The points are really important. At the end of the day, we were not having a great season so far and to finally get the win in a pretty emotional weekend is really special for me and for the team. I’m happier for that than for the points.
“It was a bittersweet end to the race when I remembered about Dilano and about how difficult it has been the last few days for everyone at MP. For all the mechanics, engineers, and me, I knew him quite well and it’s been quite hard. On the other hand, it’s a nice thing to be able to give the team a nice result when everyone has been down over the last week. Everyone is going through a difficult moment – his family and friends. It’s all for them, we were racing for him this weekend and it’s nice to give him a win. I felt him driving with me during the race, so it was quite emotional when I crossed the finish line.”
“It was a hard race. At the start, I tried to gain as many places as I could. It was always going to be difficult to overtake here with it being high speed, it’s quite tricky to follow closely. I took all the opportunities I could at the start of the race and up to P7, close to P6 with Gabriel Bortoleto. Then, I just lost the place at Copse, but I think it was a pretty decent race for us. We maximised what we had and maybe the pace was not the best compared to Trident, but it was not a disaster.
“I wasn’t really thinking about the wets towards the end because you lose so much track position that it was always going to be tricky to get back up there. With only two laps left, I didn’t even think they were going to restart it to be honest. Then, it was really tricky to get the tyres back up to temperature with the Safety Car being out for so long, quite a lot of water and struggling with the tyres to bring them back up into the window.”
“Scored some points that are important and it’s still a long way to go. Less races, but still three long weekends where there are going to be a lot of opportunities. Also, the team were really good in the last few rounds last year, so I’m looking forward to seeing how we can perform there.
“I’m happy with the points and I’m happy with the result yesterday. We did what we could this weekend and we look forward to Budapest. I think it can be a good weekend for us there. The Hungaroring is really slow, which makes it a bit boring, but it’s quite a technical track. I don’t have too much experience there, but I will try to be on it from the start.”