The rookie Jake Dennis secured three podiums, so far, and currently holds sixth position in the championship.
Apart from the two rookies Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) and Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) who currently hold first and second positions in the drivers’ championship, the FIA Formula 3 European championship grid features several other newcomers who also convinced, in the season to date. One of them is Briton Jake Dennis (Carlin). The Briton secured three podiums, so far, and currently holds sixth position in the championship.
What is your interim conclusion with 24 races of the season contested?
My season had ups and downs. I was fast at Pau, Hockenheim and Spa while the race weekends at Silverstone and Budapest were very difficult. Therefore, it’s a season of mixed emotions, for me.
Why did you opt for advancing to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship?
I contested the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, last year and so, Formula 3 represented the logical next step. And in the Formula 3 world, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is the best series as it is contested by the best drivers. Furthermore, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship calendar features great circuits and with the new engines used from this year, we can race with slightly more power.
What makes the FIA Formula 3 European Championship special, from your point of view?
First of all, it has got a well-known name: everybody knows the FIA and Formula 3 and consequently, the people know what it’s about. But even more important is the fact that we, the drivers, have got a lot of track time. A race weekend comprises an 80-minute practice session, two 20-minute qualifying sessions and three races with a maximum length of 35 minutes. So, we’ve got a lot of time for gathering experiences.
Why did you opt for contesting your FIA Formula 3 European Championship debut season for Carlin?
Carlin is a successful British team and they are based just a two-hour ride from my hometown. This rather short distance makes it easy to also meet between the race weekends. In the past, my engineer inter alia cooperated with Jack Harvey who is supported – like me – by the Racing Steps Foundation and won the 2012 British Formula 3 title. Altogether, signing the Carlin deal was an easy decision, for me.
Could you please describe your goals for the 2014 season?
Right from the start I set myself the goal to make it to the top five in the championship. Currently I’m sixth so, realising my goal definitely still is possible.
Which are your favourite circuits on the 2014 calendar?
Racing in Pau was just great. Street circuits always represent a special challenge for us drivers as there aren’t any run-off areas. Making a mistake often results in a close encounter with the crash barriers and so, precision represents the top priority, here. On the other hand, I also am looking forward to Imola.
How do you prepare for a race weekend?
I think that the majority of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship teams have got simulators. Prior to every race weekend I drive to the team headquarters and work half a day in the simulator. Afterwards, we discuss the forthcoming weekend and analyse the data to be well prepared for the practice session on Friday.