Q & A with Edoardo Did you expect to be leading the F3 Euroseries championship after three race meetings? "No, definitely not. Naturally, winning is always my aim -- but with a brand new engine, it would have been unrealistic to have expected...
Q & A with Edoardo
Did you expect to be leading the F3 Euroseries championship after three race meetings?
"No, definitely not. Naturally, winning is always my aim -- but with a brand new engine, it would have been unrealistic to have expected to be leading the championship so soon in the year. I would certainly have aimed to be in the top five at this stage, so to be actually in the lead is a fantastic surprise and an unexpected bonus."
So how have you been able to achieve this?
"As always in motorsport, it is down to a number of factors coming together rather than just one single thing. First of all, Signature and Volkswagen have come up with an excellent package very early in the partnership, which I am extremely grateful for. That is not a co-incidence though: it's the result of a lot of sustained hard work from both sides. Secondly, we have managed to find a balance between speed and consistency that is better than that of our rivals so far. Thirdly, my own approach is stronger this year: both mentally and physically. But it's very important not to get carried away: we are still extremely early in the championship. I am taking each day as it comes."
How difficult will it be to sustain your championship lead?
"There is an old saying in motorsport that says it is comparatively easy to get to the front but much harder to stay there, and for sure that is very true. It will be extremely tough, as our rivals are getting stronger all the time and the pace is so hot that it is extremely easy to make just a small mistake that could cost several places on the grid and then compromise your entire weekend. Having said that it's not impossible to lead from the front by any means, and having reached this position my target is to stay there."
This is your second year of the F3 Euroseries. How does the level of competition compare to 2007?
"It has definitely increased. As a rookie, there is less pressure anyway and your priority is to learn the car and the circuits rather than push all-out for results. In your second year, there is definitely a bit more pressure as people quite correctly expect you to win. In motorsport you are learning all the time, but there is a definite shift in your priorities from learning to getting results. We are fortunate to have the backing of Volkswagen this year, competing against Mercedes, so when global manufacturers on this scale are involved, it is clear that the stakes are extremely high. But it's also important to remember that this is only Volkswagen's first full season, so we have to manage our expectations accordingly."
What are your long-term plans, and have they altered in the light of your success?
"Not really. My long-term plan has always been to push myself as hard as possible and reach the maximum of my capabilities. Obviously I would love to be in Formula 1 one day if the time is right, but at the moment I am fully focussed on my short and medium term objectives, which are to do with success in this year's Formula 3 Euroseries. I won't start thinking about 2009 until much later in the year: there is more than enough to concentrate on in the present!"
As you are leading the championship, does this mean that you will not have to push quite as hard in future?
"Yes and no. Obviously, part of the art of being a driver is to make the most out of any situation tactically and so I would be doing my job badly if I took any unnecessary risks to jeopardise my opportunities to continue leading. One of the most important lessons I have learned over the last couple of years is that you cannot win all the time: sometimes it's necessary just to take the points that are on offer. Having said that, it is far too early in the championship to start playing a numbers game as anything can still happen. The truth is that the Formula 3 Euroseries is far too competitive to make it possible to back off or drive with anything less than full commitment. Even if you lift just a fraction, that always equates to several places on the grid -- and this can ruin your weekend. I'll still be pushing hard and aiming to win: it's what I feel naturally programmed to do anyway!"