Roman Stanek was happy to secure a top five finish in the Formula 3 Sprint Race in Spielberg following a frenetic race up and down the field. The Trident driver finished fifth after a race-long battle with his teammates and PREMA Racing’s Arthur Leclerc and Oliver Bearman.

A hard-fought reward for the Czech driver, Stanek said that it was a positive race for the team but that fighting with his teammates was a heart-in-mouth scenario. Both Zane Maloney and Jonny Edgar went wheel-to-wheel with Stanek in the battle for the points-paying positions. For Maloney, things ended in tears after contact with Bearman but Stanek survived the chaos and emerged unscathed to add six points to his 2022 tally.

“It was a good race,” he said afterwards. “The start was good but all of us from Trident were starting around each other so we decided to not fight so much. It’s never nice when you have to go wide with a teammate but that's how it is racing and we raced hard and fair of course.

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“With the PREMA I was just braking a bit too early. I was trying to prepare the exit and at the last second, Oliver Berman just dived inside so I had to leave a space otherwise we would be out. By the end, the pace was good also some good overtakes. Happy with the rest.”

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Looking ahead to the Feature Race, Stanek said that he was hoping to use his experience to his advantage. He also admitted that he has top five expectations, taking a longer-term view of the Championship rather than just this single race weekend.

He’ll be hoping to go at least two positions better on Sunday, with a fourth place last season in F3 his best ever finish around the Red Bull Ring.

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“We know we have the pace for tomorrow and tomorrow is the most important race of the weekend. So we have the data and now we need to analyse everything and to try to improve even for tomorrow. It might rain. We know we are quite strong as a team in the rain. I'm really looking forward just to get a good start and then keep up with the front runners and try to gain.

“My goal is to extract the best out of out of myself and although the car because we know the car is good, we have great pace and they are just to stay calm and do my best and I'm sure if, from my side, I do the best we can be very high.

“There is quite a bit of pressure on me now because it's my third year in F3. I have to perform but I try to make a breathing exercise before every race every weekend, just to keep myself focused on that one weekend and on that one race. You have to extract the best every race. We’ll look at the Championship at the end of the year and I'm sure we can be we can top five. If I extract the best and the team is good. We have a great pace in the races, especially here. It will be exciting and I'm ready to do my best.”