It was a hit-and-miss debut campaign for ART Grand Prix, who arrived in Formula 3 as the dominant force from GP3, and Christian Lundgaard has praised the hard-work that the French team are putting in behind the scenes.

ART eventually finished third in the Championship, with one victory to their name, thanks to Lundgaard’s epic drive in Budapest, ahead of the summer break. However, going into the inaugural F3 campaign, the reigning GP3 champions would have expected more. Lundgaard, their highest placed driver, has revealed the work that has been going on behind the scenes to get to the bottom of their mystery issues.

“Looking at the results last year with ART, I think we were expecting a lot more,” he assessed. We looked really strong in winter testing this year and Barcelona was a good weekend in general.

“We definitely didn't see it coming. The whole year we have had quite decent quali pace, but then missed a bit in the race. I wish I could tell you why, but we don't know ourselves.

“Especially at Paul Ricard: In Qualifying, when we were 1.2s off the pace and we were all like 'what happened there.' It was a bit of a mind blower, but we are getting there, which is the most important thing and we are not giving up.

“The team is working hard and we are working hard with the team and it seems like we are learning more about the car.”

The ability of the team and their overall package has never been in question and their performance in the opening weekend of the season attested to that, while victory in Hungary and two pole positons – Budapest and Monza - served as further solid evidence.

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The introduction of a brand new car for 2019 has played the overriding part in their difficult periods this season, while the pressure on them to carry over their GP3 dominance could also be alluded to. Bad luck though, has also featured heavily, says Lundgaard.

He explained: “I spoke to my dad and we said that all of the bad luck has hit me this year, so I will have none for the next 20 years! I think we have had ups and downs, but the weekends when we have had our ups, we have been really on it - look at Budapest when we finished P1 and P2 in Race 1.

“Being prepared is always positive, but you never know how the weekend is going to end up, you can have good luck, you can have bad luck, and I think that those two weekends were weekends with bad luck.

“If we could have scored consistent points, we would have been P1/P2 in the Championship. Even with three races with next-to-no points, we are still P6 in the Championship and that is with a total of six races without points.”

There was gratification for the French side’s hard work in post-season testing in Valencia, which outlined the out-and-out pace that ART possess on their day. Lundgaard was the dominant driver across the three days stint, topping two days and only losing out on the final one, during a rain-hampered session.

The Danish driver will hope to carry that form into the prestigious FIA F3 World Cup in Macau. Lundgaard has elected to stick with ART for the non-Championship event, which takes place 14-17 November.