“If you sit down and think you’re the best, that’s the moment you start failing,” René Rosin is firm in that belief. It’s the mantra which has helped PREMA to win consecutive teams title in Formula 3, by a significant margin too.
The Italian outfit are 202 points ahead of Trident with one round to go, having achieved a remarkable level of consistency, of which no one else comes close to. Trident, Hitech Grand Prix and ART Grand Prix have all been strong this year, while the likes of MP Motorsport and others have had their moments too, but PREMA have reached these heights in pretty much every single round.
All three of their drivers have won at least two races – no other team has three race winners, let alone three double winners.
Three months ago, we were not even sure if we would start, and now we are here finishing the Championship in a weeks' time. We have to be really proud of that.
“I am really happy with the job that the entire team has done,” he elated. “It’s been an absolutely fantastic season.
“Three months ago, we were not even sure if we would start, and now we are here finishing the Championship in a weeks' time. We have to be really proud of that, of all of the work from Formula 1 down to Formula 3, our promoter, and everybody - being able to race is something incredible.”
It wasn’t just a case of copy and paste from last season: the team have an entirely new line-up from 2019, with all three drivers graduating to F2 at the end of the year. The new trio are different racers, with different skills and different needs.
“It has been another amazing season,” said Rosin. “We started with two rookies and one experienced driver, and right from the start, everything has worked very, very well.
“Back in Valencia last year, in post-season testing, we tested a few drivers, but immediately, Oscar (Piastri), Logan (Sargeant) and Frederik (Vesti) did an amazing job. We were convinced that this was the line-up to get for this year. For sure, Logan has helped the other two drivers to pick up speed, and they all worked very well together.
“Our goal is to always improve. If you sit down and think you’re the best, that’s the moment that you start failing. That’s the message I always say to my guys, to my engineers, to everybody. We have to continue pushing, that’s the only way that we can get this to work.”
It wasn’t just their trio of drivers who departed either, PREMA lost an engineer to another team during the off-season, while another moved up to Formula 2 with Robert Shwartzman. Going by the season they’ve had, both engineers have been replaced well.
“The team’s atmosphere between drivers and staff is fundamental. We’ve been able to create a great team and I think that the job we’ve demonstrated this year, is something we need to be really proud of.”
WINNING ON HOME SOIL
The achievement was made all the more special, given that PREMA sealed the title in their home country, and with a victory too. Vesti drove a phenomenal race. Starting from ninth, he diced and darted his way through the field, to seal his second win of the year, while Piastri completed the podium in third.
“Honestly, Monza is not one of my favourite circuits,” Rosin admitted. “Because of the characteristics, and all of the gambling that you can have here, with the slipstream. But winning in Italy is something that we are really, really happy about.”
Not that he was there to see it. When asked what the celebrations were like on the Italian team’s pitwall, Rosin laughed: “Honestly, I cannot say anything as I was watching on TV in my Formula 2 truck! I was pleased in the truck!
“We had already done the calculations and I knew that we could lose 44 points to Trident this weekend and still be Teams' Champions.
This is not a moment to relax, we have to continue pushing. We can celebrate Sunday night after Mugello.
“I want to thank the drivers, the engineers and all of the mechanics. They have done an absolutely outstanding job, especially in difficult conditions this year with COVID. They did an amazing job and I am really proud of all of them.”
CELEBRATING IN STYLE – BUT NOT YET
There’s no time to properly celebrate just yet. No partying anywhere, no fancy meal, no bottles of champagne in the hotel. They may have wrapped up the Teams’ title, but PREMA still have the small matter of the drivers’ title to win in just under a week, at Mugello.
Currently Piastri and Sargeant sit in first and second, as they have done all season, but all of Théo Pourchaire, Liam Lawson, David Beckmann and Vesti can still mathematically take the crown, so there can be no respite from the Italians.
“This is not a moment to relax, we have to continue pushing,” he continued. “Honestly, all of them, they are doing an amazing job, they are great guys to work with. I am really proud to have chosen them and have been able to work with them. I think that they have a great chemistry between them as well. So now, we just need to make sure that the battle is between us, and whoever is the best, will win.”
When all is decided, PREMA will of course celebrate their accomplishments, and celebrate them in style. Rosin knows as well as anyone that it is important to take a breath and take stock, but he also knows that there is a time and a place for that. That place will be in Mugello on the Sunday night after the season finale, with a team dinner already organised.
“We are able to celebrate, but we will not celebrate now,” he explained. “We will sit down and prepare for Mugello, because we want to seal the Drivers' Championship. We have two drivers fighting for it at the top and another competitor who is also doing really well.
“This is not a moment to relax, we have to continue pushing. We can celebrate Sunday night after Mugello.”