Thoughts from Browning, Mansell and Tramnitz

FIA Formula 3: Luke Browning, F3 Race winner, how does that sound?

Luke Browning: It’s got a nice ring to it, obviously ecstatic, what a race, a difficult Sprint Race yesterday with the 10-second penalty. We knew our pace was going to be there, the car was phenomenal so all the hard work over the winter, the development, the tutoring from Williams, the support from Oli at Hitech has been, a hard winter but its nice to see that the hard work has paid off.

FIA Formula 3: So, looking at this race today, obviously Dino Beganovic had an issue at the start so the road was clear and open for you and then it was about keeping the gap behind you. There was maybe a question mark regarding a technical issue, how is it from the car?

Browning: Yes, well about halfway through the race I start to hear a dinosaur in my ear, I was like ‘what’s going on?’ I came over the radio, I thought it was an engine issue, but we just didn’t lose any power. It turned out we had blown the exhaust so got a little hole in the exhaust. Regardless it is what it is in those situations, of course to finish this I am very happy.

FIA Formula 3: How confident were you that you were going to be able to keep Christian behind you?

Browning: To be truthful we were already saving quite a lot, over the radio the whole race, the tyre management is so critical in this, so I don’t think I pushed them until the last few laps or so. I think its always going to be tight, everyone is saving at the same time, its just how much you can save to keep the gap about the same. We debated whether it was worth pushing on to get rid of the DRS so that we had a clear space, but we just thought just in case of a Safety Car later on in the race, you are really going to put yourself in danger if you have destroyed your tyres by that point. I think we played the race smart and that’s what this championship is all about.

FIA Formula 3: Second season, P2 in quali, Feature Race winner, now you are leading the Championship, that must be quite satisfying but is your head already thinking about Melbourne?

Browning: Absolutely, I think my head was thinking about Melbourne after qualifying, I thought right qualifying in Melbourne. It’s the most important session, obviously it’s not where you get the points but its where you get given the opportunity to do stuff like this. Unless something completely out of the ordinary happens, well that wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for a Formula 3 season. I think we managed it well this weekend but by no means do we sit back now, now it’s full push.

FIA Formula 3: Thank you very much, congratulations. Christian Mansell, P8 from P2 in the Feature Race here at Bahrain. What a comeback, how is it out of the car?

Christian Mansell: Exciting, I mean I was very, very aggressive in the opening stages of the race, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. T8 was my favourite corner in that race, I made a few pretty decisive moves into there but overall, just really really happy with how the race turned out. I was saving the whole race, I really wanted to try at some points to get passed Luke, but it was just a matter of making sure that Meguetounif wasn’t going to bounce back at us. I was trying to get him out of DRS and a part of me wished I maybe pushed and tried to go for a move but at the same time P2 it’s a mega result. I don’t know where I am in the Championship but it’s just good points. You need to have good points at the start of the season because you’re going to have a bad round, it’s F3 we all have bad rounds no matter what, it’s about building up that tally as soon as possible and then maintaining it.

FIA Formula 3: Qualifying P8 was maybe a little bit disappointing, and I know that the sprint race was not exactly perfect. What did you change overnight both on the car but also mentally maybe to rebound?

Mansell: I wish I could tell you, but I’ve got two people to the right of me that could use that to their own benefit, but no we tweaked a bit of the front because the car just had a bit too much front on the Sprint Race and it just killed the rear completely. Apart from that I changed a few technique things. The Campos could not be more of a different car to the ART if it tried so I pat myself on the back a little bit for adjusting. Even to my standard I wish I adjusted quicker especially for Macau, but I think to go through the struggle of not understanding the car in Macau and then coming here, testing was alright but then I was able to go back to the factory with the team have a massive look into what was the main issue and the points I needed to fix. I was able to tweak out a few things on the sim and then bring that to the race track. Yes, I wish I was able to be higher up than P8 but then at the same time I still wasn’t too far away from the actual pole time of Dino. It was only about three and a half tenths, and I could tell you easily where I dropped those three and a half tenths. So, it is nice to know that the pace is there, but I am still just finding the rhythm. I was super pleased with today.

FIA Formula 3: It’s 2 podiums for ART, one for you today and one for Laurens van Hoepen yesterday, next up is Melbourne, how excited are you?

Mansell: I mean if I get a podium there, I think I might scream. As Luke said, I am biased obviously but I genuinely think it’s one of the best tracks on the F3 calendar just from a racing standpoint. Qualifying is so fast, we have four DRS zones, its super high speed. We are on the mediums as well now, so it is going to be super high speed again. I am just really looking forward to being there. Obviously, a home crowd advantage it’s always really nice, no matter where you are in the world a home crowd is always nice. A smile is worth two tenths and I firmly believe that. It will be very interesting for the rookies. Obviously, they have had three days of testing in Bahrain but then in Melbourne it is going to be really fresh. I think that’s where the likes of myself and Luke, Dino all of the returning drivers who placed well last year I think are really going to shine through, but we won’t know until we get there.

FIA Formula 3: Let’s see, congratulations for this weekend. Tim Tramnitz, P3 today, first race weekend in F3, first podium and big points. How are you feeling right now?

Tim Tramnitz: It feels pretty good, I think the tests were already quite nice and we were able to collect some good data. I did a lot of laps which of course helped a bit too. Racing is still a bit different, especially I found out yesterday like overtaking with the DRS. So a couple of things we have to get used to. All in all, I am very happy with P3 today.

FIA Formula 3: Coming into this race, were you confident that this result was within your reach?

Tramnitz: Yeah I think so, there were a couple of things we still have to sort out after yesterday but the pace was already quite strong. We saved one tyre for today so that helped a little bit of course to have a new set for today. We were quite confident going into the race, the pace was alright, and everything worked out.

FIA Formula 3: What does this first podium mean going forward into the season?

Tramnitz: For sure it gives me a lot of confidence, speaking about the next race I am very excited for Melbourne. I think it is one of the most special tracks we go to this year with Monaco maybe. Also, when we tested the medium in testing, we were quite confident but it’s a different track and that’s a different story. Quali is really important, but I am confident we can do a good result there as well.

FIA Formula 3: Thank you very much, congratulations for today.