THOUGHTS FROM LUNDGAARD, ARMSTRONG AND SHWARTZMAN
FIA Formula 3: Hello and welcome to today’s FIA Formula 3 press conference following qualifying here at Monza. We are joined by the top three qualifiers for tomorrow’s opening race. On pole position, Christian Lundgaard of ART Grand Prix, in second place, Marcus Armstrong from PREMA Racing and in third place, Robert Shwartzman from PREMA Racing. Christian, your second pole position of the year and the first repeat pole sitter in Formula 3 this season. How does it feel?
Christian Lundgaard: Obviously it feels amazing. After practice this morning and being P25, it was a bit of a mess. I’m happy to be P1. It’s four points, which is what we need at the moment. It’s a good way to start the weekend.
FIA Formula 3: It was a very difficult qualifying session, very greasy conditions after rain throughout the day and some traffic towards the end as well. Could you talk us through how you approached qualifying and your final pole lap? How did that come together?
Christian: My lap was actually on the first run. I didn’t manage to get a clean one in the end which was a real shame. I think everyone else was also on good laps at the end and we were all struggling to find the space to have one free lap. I’m happy to have made that lap on the first run.
FIA Formula 3: Well done today. Marcus, narrowly missing out in second place today. It was very close at the end. Talk us through your lap. Was there more you could have done today? Do you think you could have got pole?
Marcus Armstrong: I think as Christian said it was a bit of a messy session, but then again I think that it could have been a lot worse in many ways. I’m happy to be sitting here even if I do think there was the potential to do a lot better. The car was very strong. Just like Christian here, he actually did his best lap pretty much at the same time as me. I think that everyone had more potential, me included. Tomorrow’s going to be a big race, exciting for the fans as well, but it’s surprising that the entire day has been a little bit messy and I haven’t actually done many laps at all. I think everyone can agree with that, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
FIA Formula 3: You’ve had victories in Race 2 in each of the last two race weekends, tomorrow if you could break your duck for a Race 1 win and get a victory win on a Saturday, how big would that be for your title ambitions as we’re nearing the end of the season?
Marcus: As I’ve mentioned I think I have a lot of potential, especially here at Monza. I think that the car is very strong and over the last few weekends, for one reason or another, things haven’t been coming together as well as I would like. Especially in qualifying, but this week luckily we are on the better side of that, so we can take advantage of our speed in Race 1 instead of Race 2. Tomorrow’s going to be an exciting race. There’s plenty of long straights and, as I said at the beginning of the year, who knows. The guy starting in P20 could win this race here in Monza. Obviously yes, I want to win it for the championship, but anything’s possible.
FIA Formula 3: Well done today. Robert moving on to you now, P3 on the grid. Again, do you feel there was time on the table there to get pole position? It was quite a messy session for you as well.
Robert Shwartzman: Yeah I think it was the same for everyone. I was actually in a little bit of a different situation. I struggled at the beginning of the first stint, but luckily I managed to get at least a lap in, so I’m happy for that because it could have been much worse like Marcus said. The potential was there clearly. The car felt really good but there was so much mess going around and there was a bit of confusion. I felt like I didn’t do a proper job which I always try to do. But anyway, starting from third I think tomorrow’s going to be a really interesting race. We have really good pace.
FIA Formula 3: Again, nearing the end of the season obviously you are the championship leader. Are you changing your approach at all, trying to be a little bit more defensive maybe, or is it still all-out attack trying to get that race win and extend the points lead?
Robert: No, I’m not changing anything. As I said before my target is always to maximise every weekend possible, so if I feel like I’m quicker than the guys in front I’ll just do my best to make it safe, obviously, but to get past and to win – that’s the target. Tomorrow is going to have some attacking manoeuvres and the target is just to get as many points as possible.
FIA Formula 3: Well done again today. Christian, moving back to you now. Robert said there’s going to be some attacking manoeuvres, Marcus is expecting quite an exciting race, you’re the man on pole and you know how easy it is to overtake here. How are you going to approach the race?
Christian: I think I’ll approach it the same way as every other race. I want to win. That’s why I’m here. Tomorrow is going to be quite tough. I said to my engineer after quali that this is not going to be the same as Budapest where you make a good start and then you take the victory. It’s going to be a different story tomorrow. I think we have a good car after Spa. We were quite quick in the first race and I think if we can manage to put that together for tomorrow here it could be good.