Victor Martins, race winner in the Feature Race at Barcelona – your second race win of the season so far. How are you feeling about securing such a great result after the disappointment of retiring from yesterday’s Sprint Race?
Victor Martins: So good! I’m a bit more relaxed now than I was before the race. After the issue yesterday, I was in a position where I needed to score points. There was a bit of doubt in my mind – you tell yourself you have to score points, but also you need to stay on the track. I knew the win was possible, but at the same time I needed to manage the race and stay on the track because we’ve had too many incidents, too many races that we didn’t finish. I’m sure that in the middle and at the end of the Championship, we will be there for both races. I should go there with only one race to do! We need to look at why we have those kinds of things happening, but it feels good. I’m feeling really calm, confident in the car and I think the balance was good, so I thank the team for that.
It all happened at the start, you took the lead from Roman Stanek from P2 on the grid. Since you couldn’t race the full distance yesterday, were you concerned about the tyre degradation?
Victor Martins: I was. After yesterday, I looked at a lot of races to see how it was at the start – what kind of opportunities I would have into Turn 1 and what was the best to do. I got the opportunity, and I went for it. I had the experience from last year fighting with (Dennis) Hauger, so I knew the where the braking point was and when I saw him braking early, I was confident doing that and it was successful. Because I didn't do the full race yesterday, I was feeling confident, but it wasn’t clear. I had to manage my tyres, I wasn't going to push like crazy. I wanted to keep a consistent lap time and feeling in the car's balance. I think I could’ve pushed more, but I wasn't sure what I was going to get at the end of the race.
It was a tactical race with the two Safety Car periods. We saw you attacking pretty early, was that a decision you took in the moment or was it something you had in mind already?
Victor Martins: I was thinking about it at the end of every Safety Car period. I tried to surprise him. The first one was quite good, I was clear from behind into Turn 1 and the second one - I thought do I change, or do I stick with the same because maybe he won’t think I will do it again at the same place - so I did. I knew I was good in the last section to I could pull a little gap. If I were to do it again, maybe I would change the place because I was so low in the RPM with the second restart that I was like ‘oh my god, I have no power to pull a gap.’ In the end, I managed it well and all that counts is that I kept P1 at Turn 1.
Obviously, this is the best way to conclude Round 3 of the Championship. Next up is Silverstone in a little while, before a busy month in July – are you looking to this particular track?
Victor Martins: Yeah, because I raced there twice in 2018 and 2019 with Formula Renault. I felt strong about the track. I was quite fast, but we didn’t manage to win with the team. I’m excited to go there, I think it’s a nice track. I missed the track with its high-speed corners. In the end, I think we’ll have medium tyres and we looked particularly strong with those tyres. I think we’ll be there in Qualifying and in the race, we will see how it will be because I don’t think the drivers have any experience there with F3. It will be like Imola – a discovery for everyone.
Thank you Victor and congratulations on today. Roman Stanek, P2 in today's Feature Race in Barcelona. Starting from pole position, obviously not the result that you would have wanted but still good points. How was the race for you?
Roman Stanek: We scored some good points, which are very important. The race start was good, but into Turn 1 Victor (Martins) was side-by-side with me. When I was looking at last year’s races, when somebody was on the on the outside it was not very safe. So, I stayed a bit more on the safer side to get away in P2 and then I was planning to try to attack him with the DRS but it wasn’t possible. I was struggling since the beginning with the car's balance. We have to look at it together with the team.
How challenging was it to keep Isack Hadjar behind you?
Roman Stanek: It was quite hard because I didn’t have DRS and he had the DRS behind me - he was flying on some laps. I was really trying to out-brake him because I knew once he overtook me, I wouldn’t be able to stay with him. I’m happy that I was able to defend from him and I think we maximised what we could.
Overall, it's a positive weekend in Barcelona for you. Are you pleased with your performance and what does it tell you going forward and on to Silverstone?
Roman Stanek: I'm really pleased with the Qualifying because since the beginning of the year, we’ve had really good pace in Quali. We still have to work on the race pace a tiny bit more, together with the team. Straight after I finish here, we’ll go looking into it and try to find out why we were not able to be faster and overtake Victor.
Well done this weekend Roman. Isack Hadjar – top three in today’s Formula 3 Feature Race in Barcelona from P4 on the grid. It's another podium finish, it's good points, but that enough for you?
Isack Hadjar: Coming into the weekend, we wanted to close the gap to the leaders, which we didn't do with Victor's (Martins) race win. He's getting away a little bit, but we're not even halfway through the the Championship, so it's still very long.
The race looked to be very strategic. You put a lot of pressure on Roman Stanek, and you had some pressure behind from Alexander Smolyar – how were you feeling in the car?
Isack Hadjar: I had a decent start, overtook Alexander (Smolyar) into Turn 1. Then I was putting pressure on Roman (Stanek). There were two safety cars, so it interrupted my strategy a bit. It was never enough to overtake, but we take the third place here.
How was the tyre degradation, having to fight Stanek and defend from Smolyar?
Isack Hadjar: I think the safety cars didn't help us at all because I could see that he was degrading a bit more than me. Every time I was attacking, there was a safety car. It was a bit of a of a shame. While following you killed your tyres too, so I wanted to make the overtake quickly, but I just couldn't – he was too fast.
Next up is Silverstone. What are you going to do in the meantime? I know you're looking forward to Silverstone.
Isack Hadjar: I will prepare for the event as much as possible. I know that the team have done great in the past at Silverstone and they are very good there, so I expect to bring home some very good points.
Thank you very much, see you in Silvestone!