Thoughts from Bortoleto, Saucy and Minì
FIA Formula 3: Gabriel Bortoleto, another race win in FIA Formula 3. This time here in the Feature Race in Melbourne. Starting from pole crossing the line first, does it tell the story of the race?
Gabriel Bortoleto: The start was great. I managed to keep my position and didn’t even need to defend. I tried to pull the gap on Grégoire in the first laps, but it was difficult. It was not like Bahrain that I managed to pull the gap and be out of the DRS zone. The whole race he was he was just on my back everywhere. Honestly, in my opinion, he had a bit more pace than me at the beginning of the race because I was struggling a bit with the front tyres. Then I managed, with the team helping me as well, to make it work. I was not attacked by him anytime but for sure it was very on the edge because if I made any mistake, he would try it. I'm sure about that. I'm very happy. We managed to finish P1 with more points for the Championship. My second Feature Race in this Championship and my second win as well, so it can’t be better than this!
FIA Formula 3: There were several restarts after the Safety Car periods. How difficult was that to manage from the car and mentally?
Bortoleto: I had some strategies before the race for the restart, in case I was still leading. I put both on the plan, but honestly, Grégoire did a very good job of keeping very close to me. He didn't make any mistakes on the restart, he was very reactive. So, my plan didn't work properly for him, but maybe for Gabriele, it did, because I'm quite sure that we pulled the gap on him. I would say that restarts were ok, nothing special, because I didn't manage to pull the gap on Grégoire.
FIA Formula 3: Do you feel now that you're the man to beat going into the European season?
Bortoleto: I think I've shown potential, and I showed pace, but it's too early still to say something. I think we could do a very good job this season if we won both races that we had, but this doesn't mean anything. If the car is good and I'm driving well, I will be in the front. If some of these parts are not connected, we are not going to be fighting for the Championship. I think if the team continues to do the work that they are doing and I work on me I think yes, I going to be the man to beat.
FIA Formula 3: Well, thank you very much. Congratulations on the great weekend. Grégoire Saucy, P2 here in Albert Park. Tell us how the race went for you, from inside the car.
Grégoire Saucy: It was a good race, P2. I want to thank the team because the car balance was really nice. I was really confident with it and I really like this kind of balance. I didn't do a really good start, but I managed to defend my position and keep the P2. Afterwards, we made a gap with Gabriel I was always in his DRS but I never overtook him, I had no opportunities to overtake him. He was quite fast on the straight, and I was a bit faster on the corner, but it was really difficult. I’m really happy about P2, it’s good points and now we need to work to find just a little bit more gap to be faster in the next one.
FIA Formula 3: Talk to us a little bit about the start. You mentioned that it wasn't the getaway you'd hoped for.
Saucy: The start was really, really hard at the end because I did a really bad start and then was side by side with Gabriele and I just managed to keep my position in Turn 1. Of course, we don't want to crash in T1 because it's where we can lose the race actually. I managed to keep my P2 and then we did quite a good gap with Gabriel and here we managed to keep it for the whole race. We had two Safety Cars and managed to do two good restarts. I'm really happy about my race except for the start but now we need to work a little bit more with the team for the next one.
FIA Formula 3: And how much confidence does this result give you? Obviously, it's great points for the Championship as well.
Saucy: From the start of the season and also from the test, I am always in the top five except for the two Sprint Races because it’s a reverse grid. It’s really, really good. We need to keep this until the end of the season and now we need to find the solution. I was P3 in Bahrain, and P2 here, we need to find the gap to do the pole in the next one.
FIA Formula 3: Well done again today. Gabriele Minì, P3 in today's FIA Formula 3 Feature Race here in Melbourne. Your first F3 podium. How happy are you right now?
Gabriele Minì: It's my first podium in Formula 3, I'm pretty happy. I think today we're missing a tiny bit of pace to attack the top two so I think P3 was the maximum we could achieve, and we achieved it. So I think it's a pretty good day overall.
FIA Formula 3: You started third, and you finished third. Do you think that explains what happened during the race? Or is there more to tell?
Minì: Well, to be honest, that's pretty much how the race went. There is not much more to say. I think the top two went away a bit, lost DRS and then it was all about not making any mistakes and holding the pressure from the guys behind me who had DRS. It was not an easy race, but as I said we managed P2 overall.
FIA Formula 3: How would you analyse your weekend here in Melbourne from Free Practice to the Feature Race? Do you feel like it’s a step forward from Bahrain?
Minì: To be honest, no, because in Bahrain I feel like we had the pace to win, and we showed it in both Quali and also in the Feature Race. Here in FP, we were really quick, once again, but we're missing a bit of pace in Qualifying. Then yesterday in the Sprint Race, I stayed out of trouble, and I managed to gain six positions, which is really, really good. Today, as I said, I think we achieved the maximum we could. We didn't have the pace like in Bahrain to win the race, but we had we were still in the top three.
FIA Formula 3: Hitech Pulse-Eight comes away from Melbourne with two podiums, one from Montoya yesterday in the Sprint and another one with you for the Feature. What does that say about the performance of the team?
Minì: Well, I think it's no secret that the team is showing that they are pretty strong, already from last year with Isack they were really fighting for the top. This season, once again we're showing that we are able to fight at the front. We're pretty confident and both in me and myself for the team. So yeah, it's no surprise but of course, we got to keep pushing because the gaps are really tight. If you miss a bit of an opportunity, we're going to go back.
FIA Formula 3: Thank you very much. Congratulations.