Lirim Zendeli caused quite a stir at the start of the 2020 Formula 3 campaign with his Iron Man inspired helmet, but in the end, it was his on-track performances which did the talking.
The German racer enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2020, transforming himself from a midfield runner to a title contender with Trident. Taking three podiums, two poles and a win, he ended up finishing in eighth, nearly 100 points better off than in 2019.
Having already been confirmed in Formula 2 for next season with MP Motorsport, Zendeli heaped praise on Trident for the way in which they developed him and helped to build his confidence after a tough rookie season with Charouz.
“I could feel from the very first days with Trident that I would learn a lot,” he elated. “They have great experience and it is a really good team. They helped to develop me a lot. They made me a better driver and helped me to show my potential and what I am capable of.
“I never doubted my pace, but I was not able to show it during my first year of F3 and that left me feeling a bit confused. It just never really came together in Qualifying in 2019, so I was happy to prove otherwise in 2020.
“I feel that I better understand what it takes to drive a high downforce car now and am able to adapt a lot quicker to circumstances. You cannot always choose or change what happens and it makes my life a bit easier now, because I have learned how to adapt better in these situations.
“Of course, you always want to have the best setup, but you can’t always change these things, you need to make the most of what you have got.”
Zendeli took just two points finishes during a tricky rookie campaign, but began the 2020 campaign in sterling form, taking two P5s and a podium from the opening three races.
Another points’ finish followed in the second Sprint Race of the season before he was struck by a brief barren spell of two rounds without a point. The 21-year-old recovered strongly to take two more podiums, including a win, as well as a further five points’ finishes.
“I was more confident towards the end of the season,” he explained. “We made a lot of changes at the beginning of the year, and although we still did a great job, we maybe made too many changes, and this meant that I was having to adapting to these changes each time.
“Whereas, at the end of the season we were able to pretty much keep the same car, and this meant that I was more confident when driving it. We were always prepared for every track and everything came together for us.
“With Trident, I learned so much about everything. I needed a little bit more time at the beginning of the year, but as I got used to it, I could feel the potential.”