Italian GP, F3 – Oh My Goodness! This is FAANTASTIC!


I’ll be honest with you peeps, my dream is to be cryogenically frozen between races and to be brought back to consciousness only to watch TV – FIA F2 and F3 in particular. Travelling to races after being frozen at −196 °C or −320.8 °F or 77.1 K is kinda dangerous, your head may fall off in the process. Not good. For sure, y’know.

So imagine, nevertheless (caught it from Mick SCH), that I’m one of those ‘richie rich’ guys and I have a secret futuristic bunker retreat hidden somewhere in California’s Mojave desert (and why not?), I’ve a bunch of loyal and dedicated servants who carry my sybarite body around, from cryogenic chambers to my luxury vegan leather sofa designed by Konstantin Grcic, to the Rosa Portugués lavish marble dining room decorated with Dali paintings, to a solid gold toilet and then I watch FIA F3 or F2 on my Stuart Hughes Prestige HD Supreme Edition – $1.5 million. Beautiful. Innit. Gr8 life. Opulent. Pampered.

I’m a crazy billionaire (in my second imaginary life), so it’s Friday of the Italian GP in Monza, September 4, 2020 (good year to cryogenically freeze oneself and wake up feeling as F1 Pirelli C1 which stands for Compound 1, “the hardest tyre in the 2020 Pirelli range”).

By the same token, I’m also a clever billionaire, I’m super-, mega-smart, that’s why I regularly visit my favourite website, Iberianmph Dot Com (no app for the time being, sorry guys, I’m on the mother****r to produce a good app to mess up your precious smartphones) for exclusive insider info on F2 and F3. It’s Friday, remember, so that can only mean one thing: completely motionless I watch F2 and F3 qualifying sessions (with commentary by Peter Windsor, preferably) and then I turn my attention (via Google Voice Assistant) to Iberianmph Dot Com to check out Sergio’s Column. What else? And what a bliss!

But lo and behold, what do I see? The same drivers as last week in Spa! F3 pressers are becoming predictable now?! Must be due to the quality of the field. Abso-bloody-lutely. They even have a bit of a Jerez 1997 moment, with Smolyar and Lawson posting exactly the same flying lap.

Shades of F1

Shades of F1

Just kidding, we appreciate the effort these young drivers and their sponsors put in. Well deserved.

  1. Théo Pourchaire (ART Grand Prix)
  2. Lirim Zendeli (Trident)
  3. Alexander Smolyar (ART Grand Prix)

Sergio (SA): A question to all three of you – how much of you having a clean lap has been down luck, like Lirim has just said. And how much to having a good track position strategy on your part and your engineers?

TP: Well, for me I think it’s not luck, for sure. The team did a really good job to place me in front, it helped me a lot. But yeah, I mean like every qualifying you have to be at the right place at the right time. Now Monza it’s even more important with the slipstream. Yeah, everything went well for me so for me it’s not luck. For the guys behind, I saw the videos, it was kind of difficult to do a lap. But yeah, I mean they could’ve maybe slowed down, I dunno, but it’s like that.

AS: Well, in the last part of the session, as we go out on the track, it’s the team who’s deciding when should we go. So I don’t really think you can call it a luck, it’s a team decision, so we decided to go the way we decided to go so we were in the top of the field and I think it’s a really good decision from our team. And then we had a good position, we used it, and for sure it was already hard in Spa, we for sure knew it would be hard in here and that’s what happened to the people who were in the back of the field. I dunno, same as Théo, I didn’t really see the situation for them but maybe they could’ve done better, maybe not. For me it was not luck but really good team decision.

LZ: It was a bit of a weird situation because on my first push I didn’t have the tow because they were quite quick on the warm-up lap and I just did a lap alone then. But on the second push then everything seemed to slow down so I was lucky to be at the front for sure and I just had to keep my position and do the lap.

SA: Question to all of you again – if you were the rulemaker or the Race Director, what would you suggest to avoid the situation with cars queueing to get each other’s tow from quali?

Little did they/we know….

LZ: Woah, it’s hard to say. I mean everyone hoped that this year would be cleaner than last year but that’s the characteristic of Monza. Everyone’s have the tow. I mean I did one lap without the tow and it was nowhere, not like with the tow – there’s the reason why everyone wants to have it. Yeah, unfortunately sometimes it can get worse and sometimes not but it’s up to the situation and you cannot plan this. I don’t think there’s any fault of anyone, it’s just the situation I think.

AS: Um, it’s really hard to find the solution to fix it because again, as I said in Spa, it’s 30 cars and they all look for tow, especially here where, as Lirim said, it’s really, really hard to make a good lap, almost impossible without the tow. So I leave it to the Race Director to think about it but I have to be honest – I’ve no idea how to fix it. But I’m sure we will find a solution.

TP: Yeah, sure. I think it’s difficult to say something, everyone wants the tow. Some drivers want basically one driver to give them the slipstream. At the front we’re all lining up and at the back I don’t know why it was bit of a mess, I can understand it’s difficult for them to find a place and everything but, as Alex said, I leave that to the Race Director. It’s not my job to change the rules of Formula 3 so…

I then command my literally obedient servants to take me off the plush vegan sofa (I’m a fattie billionaire in my fantasy bunker) and place my overweight 150 kilo frame in the palatial dining room for a meal of exquisite nigirizushi.

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