THOUGHTS FROM DARUVALA, PIQUET AND TSUNODA
FIA Formula 3: Hello and welcome to today’s FIA Formula 3 press conference following qualifying here at Spa. We are joined by the top three qualifiers for tomorrow’s opening race. On pole position Jehan Daruvala of PREMA Racing, in second place Pedro Piquet from Trident and in third place Yuki Tsunoda from Jenzer Motorsport. Jehan, you’ve had two wins already this season but finally your first pole position in Formula 3. How does it feel?
Jehan Daruvala: I’m very happy. I’ve always been in the fight for pole the whole season and to finally get it feels good because I’ve missed out and been really close a couple of times. It’s a few extra points which is also good. More than that it’s a big thanks to the team and the best way to bounce back after a disappointing weekend in Budapest.
FIA Formula 3: Could you talk us through your qualifying and your final lap that led to pole position? Traffic seemed to be a real challenge for everybody out there today.
Jehan: It was quite a complicated qualifying session. On the first run I was about six or seven tenths off but the majority of that was in Sector 1. I was thinking that the best way to fight for pole was to get behind a fast car. I got into a good place and there was a big fight. It was almost like a race to get into a good position. I managed to get behind [Devlin] DeFrancesco who was fast on the first set and that was perfect for me. The lap was good and I’m happy to be on pole.
FIA Formula 3: Congratulations. Pedro moving on to you now. You pulled out a stunning early lap in qualifying and sat on provisional pole for quite a while. To then end up P2 is it a case of mixed feelings, or are you happy to be on the front row?
Pedro Piquet: Of course here in Spa, second or third, it’s a bit of a gamble in the first lap because of the long straight. The first lap was really good. It was a good warm up with no confusion, no traffic, so that came out okay. Unfortunately for the second run everyone was looking for a tow and everyone was backing off. The warm up for myself was not the best. The lap in the end was okay for P2. I even got a guy with a flat tyre! Because of the people backing off I got a guy in Turn 5 and I had to avoid a bit. But yeah, it was good. I think for tomorrow it’s a big run to Turn 5 so a lot of things can happen, even from behind.
FIA Formula 3: As Jehan touched on, when you were going through that traffic did it feel a little bit like a race, sort of preparing for tomorrow even?
Pedro: Not really like a race because some people were backing off as well, letting you past, and before my second set I just wanted a clean lap for myself. I got one, almost, but it was quite confusing.
FIA Formula 3: Well done today. Yuki, welcome to your first FIA Formula 3 press conference. A really strong result today to finish third. How did your qualifying go?
Yuki Tsunoda: Yeah this is my first time in the top three and I am very happy. Qualifying was quite crazy. On the first push on the second set there were a lot of people to make the gap or make the position. I was at the back of the group and I felt that it would be impossible to make a lap like that in that group. I tried to overtake everybody and tried to drive by myself and that was good. The plan was really good and the car was also so good from free practice.
FIA Formula 3: Going into this weekend your best qualifying result was only ninth so to make this big jump up, does that really show the progress that both you and Jenzer have been making this season?
Yuki: At the beginning of the season I was qualifying in places like P27 or something like that, and it was not good for everybody in the team or myself. I’ve improved when it comes to warming up the tyres and that’s showed in today’s result. I think tomorrow will be quite different starting near the front so I’m really looking forward to that.
FIA Formula 3: Well done today. Jehan moving back to you now. You’ve got good history here at Spa. You won here from pole last year, you know what it takes. Does that give any extra confidence going into tomorrow’s race?
Jehan: I think everyone knows it can be pretty tricky here from pole but my main focus is to get a good start and see what happens. You can’t really work out what’s going to happen tomorrow, I’ve just got to see what happens and even if I fall back one or two positions I’m quite confident that the car is good enough to win. That’s the main goal.