Interviews by Sergio Álvarez; header image by Diego Merino.
Q to Franco Colapinto, pole, 1:46.249: “Huge congrats on the pole! Do you expect your team (Van Amersfoort Racing) to be up front this season after this result?”
A: “Hello Diego (our own Diego Merino is quite famous then!), well I hope so, of course. We are a new team and we don’t have a lot of experience in many tracks. But yeah, we’re working hard to do it. We’re consistently in the front and in the points – I think that is the key of this championship, to be consistent, to be there, to not have any crashes, to not lose points stupidly for any reason. I think it’s a key here to be at the top in the end of the season.”
And Roman (Stanek, P2, 1:46.314), what about you?
RS: “I hope so! The team has a lot of experience also from back in the day in GP3 so they have a lot of experience in the races. And also my two team-mates are strong, they’re good drivers, we can really push forward and stay there, all of us three.”
And Kush Maini, what’s your take on MP MOTORSPORT’s chances in 2022?
KM: “I think MP have shown last year that their level of improvement during the year was really positive and I think we have three good drivers in the team to push the team forward as well, so honestly I really expect them to be up there every round.”
Q to all three drivers: “We hear that Kush is under investigation for missing the weighbridge checks. Do you guys feel the rules should be revised so that nobody loses track time and to ensure fairness?”
KM: “Obviously, I’m under investigation but I’m pretty sure everything will be fine as I weighed myself off after the last run. It’s something to learn for me, to take forward. It is tough because in the heat of qualifying it’s very easy to miss (the weighbridge), it’s more my fault really. I’ll make sure I don’t do it again.”
FC: “To be honest, I have no idea about the weighbridge and my engineer told me all instructions and was telling me where to go because I was struggling quite a bit. Of course as Kush said, with the emotions of the moment it’s quite difficult to focus on where you have to go and to remember what they told you before so I don’t think it needs to be revised. It is how it is and you just have to follow the instructions that they are giving you. If the engineer is clear (about it), it’s gonna be like that.”
RS: “Did we miss the weighbridge?”
Nope, Roman, Kush had an issue. Just your thoughts on the whole procedure…
RS: ” Ah ok! Yeah, I think you really have to focus on the light but at the same time you have to focus on the driving so… It’s quite hard sometimes. I think one time I also missed it but then I stopped there and it was all fine. I think it’s fair for everyone because throughout the season everyone will be there.”
Q to Oliver Bearman (P2, Sprint Race): “Do you think that your PREMA car is better suited to conditions of race trim compared to qualy and is this a trend that we’re going to see throughout the season?”
A: “I don’t think that’s the case, it was just a tough session as I said for a number of reasons. I don’t think it will happen again and we’ll obviously make sure that’s not the case. We’ve got two tests after this to try things out so it shouldn’t be an issue.”
Q to Alex Smolyar (P3, Sprint Race): “Alex, given the international situation, how rewarding has been the support of the fans and sponsors?”
For those of you who don’t know, AS had previously announced he would not be racing in the FIA F3 Championship in 2022 due to this unfortunate “international situation”.
AS: “Well, I think I already answered more or less the topic so I will not add anything else to it. Thanks for the question.”
AS basically said his team (MP MOTORSPORT) had come up with a solution to save his racing programme for 2022. That’s your lot.
See you in Imola, folks.