Carlin Racing rookie Jonny Edgar says his debut season in Formula 3 will be about learning the ropes and maximising his potential while eking every last drop of experience and knowledge from Carlin’s team of talented engineers and racing experts.
Stepping up as ADAC Formula 4 Champion, Edgar arrives with an impressive reputation in junior formula. Backed by Red Bull, the British driver from Cumbria won six times and took 11 podiums from 21 races on his way to the title last year.
Speaking from the Red Bull headquarters in Britain, on a break from a day of simulator racing, the 17-year-old explained why he’s not putting too much pressure on himself to perform straight away.
“I think it will be a case of seeing where we are after the first few races,” said Edgar. “The grid is so close and there are so many good teams and drivers, so the most important thing for me will be to try and improve throughout the year. At the end of the year, I would like to be close to the front, but the most important thing will be to improve.
“If the best I can do in a race is 7th, then I would like to make sure that I finish 7th. If I can get a podium one weekend, then I want to make sure I get that podium - it's about maximising my potential.”
As part of the Red Bull junior programme, Edgar has a plethora of experienced drivers to gain experience from, but the 17-year-old believes it is his Carlin engineers who will be the key to success this year.
“I haven’t really spoken to any of the other guys at Red Bull about Formula 3 specifically,” he continued. “But I have gotten a lot of advice from the engineers and from people within the team at Carlin.
“They have been doing this for so many years. They see different drivers every year and see different ways of doing things, so I think they are as key and just as useful to learn from.
“They can look at the data and make decisions based on that and I have already learned a lot from the engineers at Carlin and from driving in the F3 test myself.”
Carlin are looking to improve themselves from last year as well and I think that we can work well together.
As well as F3, Carlin also have experience in Formula 2, IndyCar, Indy lights and the Euroformula Open Championship, helping the likes of Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris and Yuki Tsunoda to reach Formula 1.
In other words, they know how to develop drivers, and Edgar is excited to tap into this knowledge.
“In general, Carlin have been great so far,” said Edgar. “I think they're a good team who can help me to improve in my first season at this level. They're looking to improve themselves from last year as well and I think that we can work well together.
“They’ve had a lot of good results in the past and Red Bull know them well. They've put juniors with Carlin before. Trevor Carlin is a really good guy: he knows so much from all of the series' he has worked in and all of the drivers that he has worked with in the past, and he is really interesting to speak to.”