Pietro Fantin press release
Welcome back to your 2nd season of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series Pietro. Sum-up your ‘rookie’ season.
My 2011 season was 100% learning. From the first test until the last race all I did was learn. Learn how to drive, learn the tracks, learn how to be on pole, learn how to win. I started the year with a podium in Oulton Park in the second race of the second round, which gave a boost to my and Hitech's confidence. I was really pleased with that podium so early on my rookie year and I tried to keep it up the speed until the end. Five rounds later we went to Rockingham where I got my first pole position and race win. I was up against 6 powerful Carlin cars and drivers. Gary Davies, my engineer last year, did an amazing job and worked really hard to make sure I had a competitive car every race. It wasn’t easy as it was only me and him in Hitech against 20 other cars on the grid, so sometimes was hard to be on the top because I didn’t have a regular team mate. This aspect was really tough throughout the year, as I wanted to learn from others and we could see Carlin with a brilliant set up everywhere and 6 good drivers to share information and data with 6 good engineers and create the perfect lap.
You have some very competitive team mates this year, who will be your biggest rivals this year?
Now I am at Carlin with 4 strong and experienced team mates. I know that I’m capable of fighting for the title so what I mainly need to do is focus on my car, my job, and work with my engineer, gathering information from other drivers so I can perform my best. All 4 team mates will be really quick throughout the year, but I’m sure I will be too. I have an excellent engineer, I’m physically and psychologically prepared to win races and fight for the championship this year.
You are good friends with last year’s Champion Felipe Nasr, do you think that you can be the next name on the trophy and take the honours for Brazil again?
Last year in Hitech I was really happy for Felipe. He was very fast, but most importantly he drove with his brain, avoiding contacts and accidents, being patient and calm, which was clearly the difference. He deserved the championship more than anyone, no doubt about it. I experienced that last year with him on and off track, chatting, watching and racing against him, and I will take that as a goal for me this year and motivation. I will take a deep look at what he did well last year, try to improve it even more and try to bring the championship trophy to back to Brazil again.
What race are you most looking forward to?
The only track that I didn’t drive last year and which is in the calendar this season is Pau, in France but I really enjoy street circuits. Besides that, I think Spa Francorchamps is the one which all drivers love to race. In the UK, even though overtaking is limited, I really like Oulton Park. The high speed corners and slow speed chicanes make it quick, fun and challenging. And also Monza, simply it is a real racing circuit. We are lucky to get to historic, great F1 tracks in British F3.
Have you changed your preparation, training, or anything from this time last year?
In terms of training, as I am now with Carlin, I will be working with Pro Performance. They are specifically racing focused. I have a full time trainer who I train with every day when I’m not away testing. It is much better as now I have someone to discuss what I’m doing and why.
How has testing been going? Are you looking forward to the first race?
Testing has been really good. The car is really good to drive, a high level of down force, good braking, quick front end. I cannot wait to jump in for my first quick lap in qualy at Oulton Park on April 7th. After that, it is a long championship, I’m sure Carlin will give me a good car, and I’m prepared to be full time fighting for the lead.
The Cooper Tires British F3 International Series starts this weekend at Oulton Park.