Thoughts from Piastri, Sargeant and Peroni
FIA Formula 3: Hello and welcome to the press conference with the top three finishers in Race 1 of the FIA Formula 3 Championship here in Austria. We are joined by race winner Oscar Piastri for PREMA Racing, in second place is Logan Sargeant also for PREMA Racing, and third is Alexander Peroni for Campos Racing. Oscar, a win on your debut in this category but it looked like it has almost ended at Turn 1. Just talk us through that first lap.
Oscar Piastri: It was pretty hairy at the first corner. I got a really good start compared to Fernandez and Zendeli, and I went to the left. Fernandez was on the left of me and he out-broke all of us and tried to sweep around the outside but didn't really leave enough space. I just got wedged in the middle really. It was unfortunate for his race to end like that but there was nothing that I could really do.
FIA Formula 3: You did well to then take the lead and build up quite a big gap. It fluctuated a bit in the middle of the race. Were you just managing the gap or were you coming under a bit of pressure?
Oscar: At the beginning I was pushing as hard as I could to try and get out of the DRS range, and then the deg was a little bit higher than I was expecting to be honest. The mid-part of the race was really about getting the tyres back under control in case there was a late safety car or a surge from these guys behind. There were a few laps where it was very sketchy through the high-speed stuff, but it was just managing it a little bit and trying to find the best compromise with the tyres that I had.
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations, well done today. Logan, moving on to you. A PREMA one-two and your first podium, how pleased are you with this result?
Logan Sargeant: First of all, I want to thank PREMA. They've done an outstanding job all weekend. The car was really good yesterday in qualifying and then I was definitely able to work with it today, so a big thank you to them. I'm really happy. Obviously, I want to be first, but we'll have to keep working hard and get there at a later date.
FIA Formula 3: You had Oscar in sight for much of that race, and as I mentioned the gap did come down at certain times. Did you feel like you could get there or were you also feeling the pressure from behind as well?
Logan: I knew it was going to be really difficult having no DRS. I was catching him a little bit. We were both really quick, so it was tough. Especially because I had a train behind me. I was the first car with no DRS. It was really important to make no mistakes. I couldn't over-push, I just had to stay within my limits.
FIA Formula 3: Well done today. Alex, moving on to you. It's also your first podium in Formula 3, and I guess sealed by that great move around the outside of Lirim Zendeli at Turn 4. Talk us through that one.
Alex Peroni: Yeah! He didn't have DRS and I think Logan and I did have it coming out of Turn 3. I was pretty sure Logan could have gone around the outside, and I thought Lirim was going to get pinched on the inside because he didn't have the opportunity to retake Logan. I thought, 'I think I can get the momentum around the outside', and I went around. He was sporting and gave me space. It was a pretty decent move.
FIA Formula 3: You were following Logan for much of the race, putting the pressure on. Did you think you could have got to Oscar if you could have got past, or did he look a little bit too far ahead?
Alex: It was weird. For some reason we didn't have DRS out of Turn 1, which is the biggest zone and the biggest passing opportunity into Turn 3. At the start I could see that Logan had good pace, and there was a lot of people behind. At first I was hoping that we could break away, which we did actually, and then towards the end I started to try and catch him. There was a bit more tyre deg than we expected to be honest, so at the end to try and push was pretty difficult. Honestly, P3 from eighth is good. We're happy with that for sure.
FIA Formula 3: Good job today. Back to you Oscar. You must have been dreaming of getting back to racing just like everyone else was, but could you have dreamt that it was going to go as well as it has so far this weekend?
Oscar: I thought it definitely had the potential to. Obviously, last year wasn't a bad year for me at all, and I'm in arguably the best car on the grid. No pressure! It was set up to try and aim really high. Coming back on top is a dream start to the season, but to be honest I'm just glad that we're all back racing and doing what we love most.