FIA Formula 3: Hello and welcome to today's FIA Formula 3 press conference following Race 1 here at Silverstone. Joining us today we have our top three finishers from the opening race - our race winner Jüri Vips from Hitech Grand Prix, in second place Jehan Daruvala from PREMA Racing and in third place Marcus Armstrong from PREMA Racing. Jüri congratulations. A magnificent lights to flag victory out there today, highlighted by a really intense fight with Jehan at the front of the field. Could you talk us through that battle with him and some of the defensive moves?
Jüri Vips: I think I was struggling with my rear tyres a bit more than them through the whole race so first of all it was almost impossible to break the DRS without safety cars and everything. It was tough in the corners, very tough, and I really had to defend and fight for the victory but in the end I'm really happy that I got it. I'm really happy at the progress we're all making, myself and Hitech, to start putting these weekends together and really have a clear direction on how to close the gap to the PREMA drivers. I'm really happy.
FIA Formula 3: The safety car towards the end of the race cooled the battle down a little bit but it set things up for a final sprint to the flag. How did you deal with that? I guess it was quite an intense pressure towards the end? Jüri: Yeah. I think I did a better job with warming up the tyres and I think the safety car also kind of saved me because I got to cool down my rear tyres which were much hotter than the PREMA drivers behind me. I think that helped me to win and the tyres were a bit more ready, especially the front tyres at the safety car restart. I managed to pull a little gap in the last few laps and I don't think Jehan got to attack after the safety car so that was good.
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations. Jehan moving on to you now. Another podium finish and a hard fought race. Could we get your view of the fight with Jüri out there?
Jehan Daruvala: It was a good battle. All race long I was close but just not close enough when I was catching him right at the end of the straight with the DRS. The virtual safety car was disappointing because that was the closest I was all race when coming out of Maggotts and Becketts. I thought that would be my best opportunity to overtake him but in the end, after the virtual safety car, I could stay within his DRS but I think he was pretty clever when he was in Maggotts and Becketts making sure he was always fast on the exit. Then we'd come close in the middle but I didn't really have enough downforce on the last part of the circuit. He drove well. He didn't really make any mistakes apart from one on the opening lap where he went off in Maggotts Becketts but he had a safe gap at that point. To be honest the car was great, I could follow him a bit better than I thought in all the corners except the most crucial corner.
FIA Formula 3: Another podium though, and that puts you into the lead of the Drivers' Championship now. How much of a boost has this recent run of podiums and high finishes been for you?
Jehan: It is a boost, but like I said yesterday my main focus was to win the race. I wasn't thinking at any time that I wanted to finish second even though I knew Robert was sixth at one point. Obviously I'm fighting Jüri and Marcus for the championship as well so my goal was to try and take the lead. I tried a couple of times but his defence was quite strong.
FIA Formula 3: Well done today. Marcus moving on to you now. You recovered after dropping off the front row at the start to get into that fight for the lead at one point, how much did that safety car stump your charge? You were so close but did it pull you back a little bit?
Marcus Armstrong: Yeah. As a whole it's a bit of a disappointing race. The start was strange. I sort of had a shocking launch and everyone just went past me. To be honest I wasn't too worried at the time because I knew that we had the pace. Obviously quali was quite strong so it wasn't the end of the world. Once I got past Christian Lundgaard quite early in the race it was clear that the car was good and the pace was strong. Then I think there was a VSC straight after that just as I was starting to get on the back of these guys. I think the two, the virtual safety car and the safety car, was not ideal for me just because it kept, as you say, stunting the momentum that I had. In saying that it is difficult to overtake once you arrive to the front two. As Jehan said, Jüri’s not making many mistakes and obviously Jehan's not making many mistakes, so it was never going to be an easy fight to get past.
FIA Formula 3: We spoke yesterday about it possibly being a race of management out there, how did that match up with your expectations?
Marcus: It wasn't mental. It's pretty cold outside so it wasn't dramatic. In the end I don't think I'd do anything differently. It was quite a predictable race which is not what I expected yesterday.
FIA Formula 3: Well done on your result. Jüri back to you now. You received high praise from both of your fellow drivers here, how much are you enjoying this fight against PREMA? It's a really intense battle that we're seeing at the front of the championship right now.
Jüri: The first few races not so much because the battle for the championship didn't look so good then, but I'm really happy with how things went at the Red Bull Ring. We put a very strong weekend together and I know we still have Race 2 to go but this is also looking like a very strong weekend, or maybe even better because we got pole position as well. There's still little things to improve, the pace wasn't as good as I wanted, but I need to check the data and improve for Race 2 because tomorrow will also be very crucial to make up as many positions as possible and gain as many points on these two as possible to close the gap in the championship. That's my aim.