Thoughts from Stanek, Martins and Smolyar
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations to the top three qualifiers for Sunday’s FIA Formula 3 Feature Race here at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. In third place Alex Smolyar for MP Motorsport, in second place, Victor Martins for ART Grand Prix, and taking his first pole position in FIA Formula 3, our pole sitter, Roman Stanek for Trident. Well first, Roman this must feel very sweet. Just describe your emotions as you cross the line to take this first pole position?
Roman Stanek: Yeah, it feels very good after two years of hard work, we finally did it. We've been working hard for this, but this is just the beginning of the weekend. So, the job is not done, we score the points tomorrow and Sunday. I'm happy about this, but this is just part of the race, so looking forward to tomorrow now.
FIA Formula 3: Very few drivers were able to improve on their final runs, but you did. Where did you find the time?
Stanek: So on my first set I had no time, so I was a bit nervous. Then on the second set, I had to find the limit because I didn't on the first set, so I was not driving very well by myself. Then in the third set, we managed to put everything together and I also had a bit of a healthy slipstream which helped me.
FIA Formula 3: Trident now has back to back pole positions. You've obviously found a sweet spot with this car over one lap, at least. Is that how it feels?
Stanek: Yeah, so since the beginning of the season and during the test, we are focusing just on one push. I think that's what we have to focus on because in this Championship you have only one push and that’s it. So yeah, it feels it feels very, very good to drive the car in that one push lap.
FIA Formula 3: Well, well done Roman and best of luck for the rest of the weekend. Victor, coming to you. You had provisional pole position until that final run, what happened on that final lap?
Victor Martins: I think all the session has been a bit messy on my side with the warm-ups, and traffic. I was not able to build up the temperature in my tires every time before the push. I still managed to get a good second lap where I took the provisional pole but then on the last push from Turn 10 to the last chicane, I was taking the clutch because I was like at 40 kph. So when I went down into Turn 1 I had no grip so I couldn't improve on that lap. We still come back far from where we were in pre-season tests here in Barcelona so it feels good to be a P2, and I think it's a good start to the weekend.
FIA Formula 3: Well, tell us how confident you are in your car now because having won in Bahrain you had a more difficult Feature Race at Imola last time out. Do you feel you’re now you're back with the car and you're getting a good understanding of it now?
Martins: I felt really good since this morning in Free Practice. Also, I was able to really push the car to the limit and give the team the right feedback. I think the two first rounds were a bit compromised, by a bit of incident and a bit of mistake from my side. I just want to let everything go and take pleasure in the car and driving with confidence.
FIA Formula 3: Now what about overtaking around the Circuit de Catalunya? Do you think it's going to be possible? Equally, it's a long run to Turn 1 here. Do you think that might be your best opportunity on Sunday?
Martins: I think it could be a good opportunity at the start on Sunday starting P2, we have done good ones since the start of the season. I think Barcelona when you have a bit of headwind in the straight the DRS is quite strong so we will see if we will get that win for Sunday. We just want first to take some feedback from race one tomorrow and then go with a good mindset in race two to score points.
FIA Formula 3: Thank you Victor, and Alex coming to you now difficult race weekend last time out at Imola, this is a much better start for you?
Alex Smolyar: Yeah, I'm just happy to stay out of any trouble in Qualifying because in Bahrain and Imola I had some problems with this. Obviously in the Championship where the Qualifying is like 50% of success, you really need to perform in Qualifying. I really needed a result in Qualifying this weekend and I think P3 is quite OK. I was fighting for pole and for sure I wanted to be there, but P3 is still good enough.
FIA Formula 3: Now it's going to be hot on Sunday. Do you expect tyre wear to be an issue in the race?
Smolyar: Oh yes, for sure. Even on the hard tyre, I think after 10 laps, you already need to really look after the tyre. I don't really know any track in the F3 calendar where you don't need to look after the tyre, it’s a Pirelli thing probably! But for sure, it will be a lot about managing the pace, the tyre and also fighting with other drivers.
FIA Formula 3: All right, well done to you. Well done to all three of you.