Thoughts from Colapinto, Bortoleto and Mansell
FIA Formula 3: Many congratulations to the top three finishers in the FIA Formula 3 Sprint Race here at Silverstone. In third place, Christian Mansell for Campos Racing. In second place, Gabriel Bortoleto for Trident. And taking his first win of the season, our race winner, Franco Colapinto for MP Motorsport. Now Franco, that was a very difficult race to manage, just talk us through it.
Franco Colapinto: It was really tricky. The car was amazing, and I was just quite fast at the start. I had quite a lot of grip I think compared to the others so I think that made me do a few overtakes. Then I just lost the rear at Maggotts and Becketts, it was still really wet out there so I lost a place. But then, it was all in the hands of the team and they decided to stay out, so the win is from them. I was not very sure about the slicks but I trusted them and they made the right decision. I’m super happy for them. They did an amazing job and as we already said before, this one was for Dilano. We were racing for him already on Sunday at Red Bull Ring. MP is going through a really tough moment and I’m really happy to take the win, more for him and for the family and for Sander – it has to be a super, super difficult moment for him and for everyone that knew him at MP. I used to know him really well and it’s a really really sad loss in motorsport. That these things are still happening in 2023, it’s just difficult to understand. Happy for the win, good points but more happy for giving him this win.
FIA Formula 3: Tell us a bit more about the decision to stay on slicks. How difficult were conditions out there?
Colapinto: They were really tricky. Maggotts and Becketts was super wet and high speed so the lack of grip was really really big. It just made it a bit more fun for us drivers out there but I think the slicks were of course the right decision but at one point, it was not really clear. It was very very wet, there was a lot of spray and the tyres were cooling down like crazy, so I had to work really really hard to keep them up to temperature. When I was at the front, it was a bit more easy because we had a lot of pace.
FIA Formula 3: And it is your first race win this season, just tell us what that means to you.
Colapinto: It’s actually the second time I’m sitting here in the middle of the sofa but afterwards, we were disqualified unfortunately for just a really, really small thing in Australia after an amazing race. So it doesn’t feel like the first one. Of course, that’s good for the points and good for the team mostly. I’m proud of the effort the people have been doing this season, and maybe the results haven’t been what we were expecting at the beginning, but the important thing is to come back slowly and we still have a few more weekends to keep getting good results and stay up there at the front.
FIA Formula 3: Alright, a very well done to you, thank you. Gabriel coming to you now, I saw you nodding when Franco was talking about a wet Silverstone on slick tyres. Just tell us about the decision from your point of view to stay on the dries.
Gabriel Bortoleto: It was not easy. It was a decision that we needed to take from the beginning of the race to be fair because it was raining a bit on the grid and then everyone decided to stick on the slicks because there was no sense in going to wets. But we knew the rain was coming through the race because we could see the clouds that were very dark coming to the track. I tried to make as many moves as I could at the beginning of the race when I was very fast and then the rain started to increase quite a lot and from one lap to the other, the rain was crazy and the Safety Car came out. I lost the first window to go in the pitlane so if I had an opportunity to put on the wets, it would have been that moment. But at the end of the day, to be fair I didn’t want to make the decision because I just could see the track in the moment where I was and the rain was very inconsistent. So I just asked the team because they know everywhere around the track, if the rain is increasing there. In the end, the only place it was raining was in Copse, Maggotts and Becketts so we decided to stick on slicks and fight in the first and second sector and when we arrived there in this last part where it was raining quite a lot, it wouldn’t be easy but we needed to keep the car on track, and I think we did that well. I’m happy with the decision we took.
FIA Formula 3: How good was the car today and what does it mean for the Feature Race tomorrow?
Bortoleto: I can say that at the beginning of the race I was very quick, I made up three places I think around that from the beginning in the first three or four laps. I think the car is good. I did a mistake on my Qualifying lap, so I think we have the potential for tomorrow to be fighting again for the podium. Let’s hope the car is the same.
FIA Formula 3: Best of luck with that, thank you. Well done today. Christian coming to you, your first podium in FIA Formula 3. Just tell us how you’re feeling about that?
Christian Mansell: Yeah, pretty over the moon to be honest. It’s obviously a very good feeling to be up here for the first time. I live in the UK so it’s a second home race for me but I’m pretty lost for words, pretty happy with that. The team, the car, the strategy - everyone nailed everything today so couldn’t ask for much more.
FIA Formula 3: Tell us some more about the performance of the car. Have you found something this weekend?
Mansell: Yeah well Campos and myself, we’ve worked very hard to put ourselves in this position. Pepe has been very good at the moment and I’m catching slowly, but I’ve made steps myself definitely. But I think overall, Campos and myself, we’ve definitely kept building and building so the car felt really good in Qualifying and the car felt good today so hopefully it feels good tomorrow.
FIA Formula 3: And what was the key moment in this race for you, Christian?
Mansell: It started raining! The call to stay out on the dries was – everyone who boxed, I definitely though was too soon because the sun was shining through the clouds for the most part of the Safety Car period, so I thought to myself that it might dry out. But I’ve raced here in the British categories and I know how quick this place can dry out so I have that experience in that sort of area so I used that to my advantage, I stayed out and it worked. Obviously the chaos at Turn 1 helped, but can’t do much about that.
FIA Formula 3: Very well done to you.