Thoughts from O'Sullivan, Leclerc and Maloney
FIA Formula 3: Welcome to today's FIA Formula 3 Press Conference following the Qualifying session here in Silverstone. Joining us today, on pole position, Zak O'Sullivan for Carlin, in second place Arthur Leclerc for PREMA Racing, and in third place Zane Maloney for Trident. Starting with you, Zak, first of all, congratulations. What an awesome result and the best place to score your first pole position in Silverstone. How are you feeling right now?
Zak O'Sullivan: Pretty happy. It's the home Grand Prix for me and the team, so a pretty good place to score pole! It was pretty unexpected, to be honest. We weren't too bad in Free Practice. But then in Qualifying, that first lap on the second set was really, really nice. And luckily it was good enough for the pole so yeah, I'm pretty happy.
FIA Formula 3: You're saying that you were quite surprised. What do you think made the difference today? If you were not expecting this result?
O’Sullivan: I'm not too sure. To be honest. We've been struggling a bit with the car all year. We tried some different stuff for this weekend, but nothing too major. As soon as we dropped the car down in Free Practice, it already felt like a big improvement from previous rounds. Obviously, I have quite good track knowledge at this circuit so that probably played a part as well today.
FIA Formula 3: You mentioned on the radio that the car felt good. Do you think that starting from P12, tomorrow on the reverse grid the car will be exactly the same?
O'Sullivan: We'll see what we can do. I think at least it gives us a bit of a chance to see what the car is like in race conditions which is where we've struggled a bit more so far, it's a bit of a recce race to see what we can do to improve the car for the future.
FIA Formula 3: Thank you Zak and Congratulations. Moving on to you Arthur, P2 is a great result. You've spent your F3 career so far saying 'I have to sort out my Qualifying'. Looks like you've done just that today. How was it from the car?
Arthur Leclerc: That was a great feeling. We did a really, really, really good job. Especially like after Free Practice this morning which was quite tricky, I was struggling quite a lot with the balance. In the end, we managed to take P2. We were missing tiny bits for the pole position. I'm pretty sure we could have got it because the car was really amazing today. But I can be really happy because the progress we made for Qualifying since the beginning of the year is huge.
FIA Formula 3: The weather outside is quite changing, and there's a lot of wind. Did that make an impact on your driving today?
Leclerc: It's changing quite a lot. Especially in the high-speed corners, it's changing quite a lot but it's the same for everyone. It was not tricky to adapt. You feel quite a lot when the wind is changing. In the end, we managed it quite well. Zak did as well, from the results we can see.
FIA Formula 3: Starting from P11 tomorrow, we know that you know how to progress through the field, what can you expect from that position?
Leclerc: Let's see. I mean, it's really difficult to predict even more because of the weather. It's changing massively during the day today. No weather forecast is telling you the truth! So, it will be a bit of a surprise I think. In the past years, we saw that there were some opportunities to overtake in Formula 3. So let's see what we can do tomorrow.
FIA Formula 3: Thank you, Arthur. Moving on to your Zane, welcome back to the press conference. P3 today must be feeling quite good after a challenging couple of rounds.
Zane Maloney: For sure. Obviously, it's not the start to the season that I would have wanted. But to get P3, and be up there in Qualifying again, feels great. Of course, it's not first so I'm not fully satisfied, because a small mistake from my side, cost me the pole today but the car was amazing. So thank you to Trident. Then at least we're closer to the front and then Barcelona.
FIA Formula 3: You're mentioning a mistake. But how difficult was it out there between the traffic and the track conditions?
Maloney: It was very difficult. The wind, like Arthur said, it's the same for everyone. So that was not too tricky. It was more of the traffic and getting the correct position for the lap. I didn't even do the first push because there was a lot of chaos. That was quite tricky, and also getting the tyres in the right window but it worked out quite well so I'm happy.
FIA Formula 3: You'll be starting from P10, on tomorrow's Sprint Race grid. How difficult is it going to be to move up the field and overtake here?
Maloney: I think it's gonna be quite a good race. As we see the wind is quite high so maybe it's good for racing and coming through the field with the slipstream. Of course, it's going to be difficult to follow the others. I'm sure that the team will give me a great race car, and like Zak said in these races, when you're starting at the front on Sunday the Sprint Race is more about preparing. Of course, we will try to get the points that we can and get the opportunities that we can as well.
FIA Formula 3: Thank you very much, and good luck for tomorrow.