Jenzer Motorsport’s William Alatalo believes there was more time on the table in Formula 3 Qualifying and that he could have been inside the top eight. The Finnish driver was downbeat after the session but did look forward to both the Sprint and Feature Races.
So far this season, Alatalo has finished higher than the position in which he’s qualified in every single race this season, and the Jenzer driver believes there’s no reason that will be changing this weekend in Spielberg.
“Even though it's my best Qualifying so far, I actually hoped for a bit more. It wasn't really a clean session from any aspect. The driving wasn't really there, I wasn't one with the car, the placement on the track wasn't really perfect. There wasn't one big thing, just the little things that could have gone better. Even though it was P14, I could have come somewhere in the positions eight or somewhere. It wasn't too bad, but I guess we'll have to learn from it and just do better in the future.”
His P14 starting position combined with the layout of the short Red Bull Ring circuit is something that Alatalo hopes to exploit. With less cars to clear to make it inside the points-paying positions, The 20 year-old believes that a finishing position as high as fifth could be possible tomorrow.
“Here the overtaking is quite hectic. There are three DRS zones next to each other. I hope I can climb up tomorrow and you never know what can happen in a race. I think that we can get to the points and even hopefully to somewhere in the top five or some somewhere around there. But in Qualifying, I wanted to be in the reverse grid pole position or inside the top 10. That would have put me in the top three tomorrow. We'll have to just sort out everything in the race tomorrow and on Sunday.”
Though it has made for a positive record in the races in terms of positions gained, Alatalo is under no illusions that his Saturday efforts need to be improved. The lowly grid positions have cost the Jenzer driver and team points according to the man himself, something that he has been working hard to address so far in his rookie season.
“Qualifying for me has been tricky. Getting the tyres into a good temperature window and not overheating them and then just getting a good Qualifying without doing any mistakes on my side and having a good balance with the car. That’s just one of those things I have to fight every race and just keep on getting better at. I think the race pace has been much better than the quali pace and normally I’ve gone up positions in the race which I’m hoping for tomorrow. Definitely it’s learning how the tyres work and just getting a good qualifying lap in, that’s what I’m working on.
“I want to get in the points and just get as high as possible. It's been a while since I was in the points. Back in Imola was the last time I was in the points. Now I’m starting 14th so I hope I can get there. But you never know in the race what can happen and hopefully we'll get somewhere up there.”