Thoughts from Colapinto, O'Sullivan and Montoya
FIA Formula 3: Many congratulations to the top three finishers of the FIA Formula 3 Sprint Race here at Albert Park in third place, Sebastián Montoya for Hitech Pulse-Eight, in second place, Zak O'Sullivan for PREMA Racing and taking his first win of the season, his third win in FIA Formula 3 our winner Franco Colapinto for MP Motorsport. Franco, what a great race by you from P6 on the grid, clearly you and the car were on fire.
Franco Colapinto: The car was on fire, I just had to take it to the flag. It was quite tricky. After yesterday being P1 in Qualifying for almost 25 minutes and losing it in the last three minutes because of the Red Flags. It was a bit painful, but today we showed the pace of the car, so just happy about that. I’m happy about how the car improved from Bahrain as well. We knew that this track was going to better suit our performance and it looks like it did. So, we're looking forward also to the next race and we are looking in the right direction. It’s great to do two podiums in two weekends. It's always really nice to take the first win for the team and to see them all happy. After the effort that they have all made during the winter, it’s really nice and I’m just super grateful for all the effort and the work they have done to achieve this win.
FIA Formula 3: Where does the car feel better than in Bahrain?
Colapinto: We already spoke about the fact that Bahrain is a really special track. It's not like the European tracks or like Melbourne as well. It's really rough on the tyres and I think it's the roughest track in the calendar. So, it's a unique track that we are not going to go back to this season, so I'm not really worried about our performance in Bahrain which was not the best. Of course, super happy to show how fast the car was here.
FIA Formula 3: Now a key moment in the race for you was when you passed Sebastian. Just talk us through that move.
Colapinto: Actually, I was getting the tyres up to temp quite quick after Safety Car, so that helped me quite a lot to be able to attack and then make a gap quite easily. Of course, I tried to overtake quite fast, and I was quite lucky to just overtake and then get the Safety Car so I could do the restart in front, which was quite helpful to try to open it up and pull away the DRS. That is what I did. Then when we got the second Safety Car and I tried to do the same, just pull away as hard as I could and try to get the fastest lap. It was quite good also to add one more point for the Championship. I’m just super happy and looking forward to tomorrow. We are starting from P7 I think we have also quite good opportunities to score good points.
FIA Formula 3: Very well done to you. Zak, coming to you. Good day for the Williams Racing Academy, finishing first and second. But great progress by you from eighth on the grid. What did you think was possible today coming into the race?
Zak O’Sullivan: I wasn't too sure, to be honest. Obviously, a new track for all of us so compared to Bahrain at least where there's been previous racing, where you know kind of where the overtaking spots are, how easy it is, how difficult it is. Here I think everyone was a bit in the dark, which is quite a nice situation because everyone's kind of doing guesswork a bit on set up, how the how easy it's going to be to overtake, how hard it is to follow. Positively surprised the DRS is super powerful, which is always nice from a racing standpoint. Clearly, we're able to make progress, which puts us into good stead for the for the Feature Race.
FIA Formula 2: Zak, I do want to ask you about your pass on Sebastián as well. It looked very, very close.
O’Sullivan: I think like I said, the DRS almost surprised me because I was just in his DRS range in the straight prior and I was on him in Turn 9 and Turn 10 and then again, the DRS is super powerful and I decided to go around the outside and there seem to be quite a bit of grip out there and then I able just about hold it around Turn 12 as well.
FIA Formula 3: Do you think you've got a good car for the Feature Race as well?
O’Sullivan: The positive is we seem to be able to be quite strong following other cars. Which is always useful. I think with the nature of this high-speed circuit, the aero wash can be quite bad, so we seem quite good at following which again should be quite useful in the Feature Race.
FIA Formula 3: Very well done to you and Sebastian. A Montoya back on the podium here at Albert Park and of course, your first podium in FIA Formula 3. Just how good does it feel?
Sebastián Montoya: Honestly, it feels quite good, especially after Bahrain. I think Bahrain, we got a bit unlucky in Qualifying and the small mistake from my side really took us out of the top five where I think we could have been quite easily. Then from there, the rest of the weekend was just trying to fight back. Here with it being the first race it was quite unknown. I really didn't know what to expect, but to be back on the podium feels real.
FIA Formula 3: How was the car today because it didn't look like you had the pace of the two guys sat next to you now?
Montoya: I think we're still missing a little bit. Bahrain, as Franco said, is quite a different track from here and in Bahrain, we're really quick and here we're missing a little bit. So, I think I need improve slightly. The team needs improve slightly but being able to fight with these two guys we know what we need to work on for tomorrow and hopefully we can be just as quick or quicker than them.
FIA Formula 3: Now early in the race, there was a very close moment, I think we can call it, with Luke Browning. Talk us through that from your point of view.
Montoya: I saw that DRS was really powerful and he was closing in, closing and closing in. Then he kind of pulled out, but never really tried to go late on the brakes. I just kind of turned in and then I saw him hit the curb I was like ‘oh no, I didn’t want that’. It quite disappointing for the team because I think we both had the speed and maybe there we could have both have been on the podium but in the end, it's racing, and we have a few more races. He has good pace, Mini also has good pace. So, I think tomorrow it's going to be quite interesting to see.
FIA Formula 3: All right, good luck in that race as well.