FIA F3, #SpanishGP, Sunday: Instant Classic


Interviews by Sergio Álvarez; header image and photos by Diego Merino.

After our absence from F3 action yesterday – correction: my absence – we’re transmitting LIVE from Iberianmph HQ at the Portuguese capital of bullfighting. Take a wild guess. It’s starts with a ‘V’.

You’re picking up our bullish signal?

At any rate, despite some (relatively speaking) drama in the headlining F1 race (I’m referring to Tsunoda’s sweary outbursts), it’s safe to say the FIA F3 stole the show in Barcelona. It should’ve outgrossed F1 in terms of TV figures had people tried to invest more time and attention into junior support categories. I mean, what a weekend for lil’ F3 racers. Collisions at the front of the pack, Fittipaldi 45th and Schumacher 12th duking it out for P1 on Saturday and taking each other out, inevitably. Then Hauger I coming together with Nannini II, with both drivers redeeming themselves on Sunday in style. As fans, we couldn’t have asked for more. As sure as eggs is eggs, the drivers prefer a quiet afternoon’s racing: start from pole, lead every lap, take the win, spray the Ferrari on the podium. However, we want drama, bread and circuses. Some call it ‘a difference of opinion’.

Following Race 3, after the dust on and off the racing line had settled down, we spoke to the third placed second generation Italian ace Matteo Nannini to find out what are his impressions of competing in Formula 3 and Formula 2 in the course of one and the same 2021 season. MN is rather unique in that respect, dare I say he’s a fully fledged racing unicorn, no matter how inappropriate that sounds. The nephew of the former flamboyant (you can’t be a proper Italian without all the theatrics that go with the territory) F1 and DTM racer turned coffee distributor Alessandro Nannini, the Faenza native is a bit of a trailblazer amongst other Generation Z folk with his combined F2/F3 HWA RACELAB engineered campaign this year, which would’ve been normal somewhere in the fifties or sixties. Let’s say he’s a modern reincarnation of Giancarlo Baghetti like: he’s a modern reincarnation of Giancarlo Baghetti like. Not a 100% valid comparison but you get (the championship) point: guys used to race in every category across the board in those days, jumping into any race car which was available to them, often switching from F1 to F2, etc.. We’re not here to re-write, re-tool or re-Pete history books.

Sergio was at the virtual Barcelona scene to talk to giovane Matteo about his Spanish rollercoaster ride fiesta at Barcelona: P3 on Sunday, DNF in Race 2 and a P10 in Race 1.

But first, we need to take a closer look at the championship standings, simply click on the image to enlarge.

Q: Matteo, how would you describe your feelings, from a physical perspective, fitness-wise, if you compare Formula 2 Feature Races with Formula 3 Feature Races, full distance. How different is the challenge of coping with it?

Matteo Nannini: For sure, racing in F3, as in a race like this, is much harder, I would say there is some tyre degradation but you can push almost every lap and that’s what I was trying to do now.

MN’s HWA AG Official ride

In Formula 2, instead, you can’t push really even after the beginning (of the Feature Race) because otherwise you don’t have any more tyres.

So I would say that up to now, today was one of my toughest races physically because, you know, I had a lot of pressure for almost all of the race as I was out of the DRS range and so no mistakes were allowed for me.

We’ll have a lot more exclusive FIA F3 content for you next week. Just remember to sign up for our regular updates below. Don’t comment, don’t like but do subscribe. Dot, dot, dot.

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