Charlie Wurz was beaming after earning his first points in Formula 3, driving from 14th on the grid to finish fifth in the Melbourne Feature Race.

The Jenzer Motorsport driver made a late charge through the field to secure a top five result in just his fourth race in the Championship.

After stepping out of the car, Wurz says the team had a solid weekend and were able to build performance every time they went out on circuit.

“First points feel good. I think we could’ve had points earlier on in the season because we know we had the pace. To finish P5 gives me and the team a lot more confidence that we can get some more points and podiums hopefully.

READ MORE: FEATURE RACE: Beganovic scores maiden Formula 3 victory in Melbourne

“We knew from yesterday that we had really good pace and also through Qualifying – the whole weekend we had really good pace.

“At the beginning of the race it was quite hectic. We were going for moves but it was just chaos, classic F3. Then, one by one, we managed to make our way through the field with some close moves and some risky moves, which was fun, but I probably got my heart rate up for the team.

“By the end we had the pace and we managed to pass and pull away from Montoya, and we finished P5. Pace was great, car was great so I can’t thank the team enough.”

While he was pleased to have secured his first F3 points of the campaign, there was an air of what could’ve been. He missed out on a scoring result in the Sprint Race by just one spot, ending up 11th by the chequered flag.

“We managed the tyres better than everyone else in the Sprint, so we knew we’d have an advantage on the others"

Still, Wurz says the pace the team showed throughout the weekend was a big positive to be taking back to Europe ahead of the next phase in the season.

“It was a bit of a shame the mistake I made yesterday, then we would’ve had double points and could’ve finished P7, but still, coming away with 10 points this weekend after a tough Quali with the Red Flag, we can be really happy.

“We showed we had the pace. I think I closed the gap to the guys at the front by the end of the race, so the pace is there and it’s a good way to end these first two Rounds before we head back to Europe.”

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Wurz was the sole rookie to achieve points in the Feature Race, and he believes that it was no coincidence based on what the team found out in the Sprint the day prior.

The Jenzer driver says that the team had been aware going into the Feature Race that their tyre advantage was most pronounced towards the end of the stint. Taking what they learned from the Sprint Race on Saturday, Wurz says that it was a conscious decision to save in the early part of the Feature before making their tyre life count later on during the race.

“We managed the tyres better than everyone else in the Sprint, so we knew if we got to the end of the race, we’d have an advantage on the others.

“It was really tricky. We basically had no tyres left by the end, it felt like driving on wets, so it was quite tricky. The team had a really good setup. We managed the start of the race a bit better than the others maybe, I didn’t try to go for too many moves.

“We knew we had the pace at the end and that was where we could make up ground. I just made sure to keep my nose clean and make progress one by one from the mid-point to the end of the race.”

READ MORE: Round 2 Post-Feature Race: Thoughts from the top three

Looking ahead to what comes next, Wurz is confident that he and the Jenzer team will be able to carry on their strong finish to Melbourne across the next few rounds. First up is in-season testing before a trip to Imola, a venue the Austrian says is a potentially strong track for the team.

Beyond that, a home race in Monte Carlo beckons and Wurz says once again, the signs are positive that the team could do well around the twisty streets.

“The pace has been good and through testing also, the next round is Imola, and we did post-season testing there and we were already quick there, especially in the race runs.

“The next two to three rounds are really cool, Monaco is coming up which is a home track for me since I live there, so it will be really cool and I’m really excited. I like street tracks so driving there for the first time will be fun.

“Macau we were quick also, on track to finish P6 until we had a crash, but we know the pace around street tracks is really good, so let’s see how it goes in Europe.”