An unexpectedly great start into the season By winning the second round of the 2009 ATS Formula 3 season kick-off weekend at Oschersleben, young Dutchman Stef Dusseldorp caused a stir. Even more so as he had finished runner-up in his Formula 3...
An unexpectedly great start into the season
By winning the second round of the 2009 ATS Formula 3 season kick-off weekend at Oschersleben, young Dutchman Stef Dusseldorp caused a stir. Even more so as he had finished runner-up in his Formula 3 debut race, held on the previous day. Now he even holds the championship lead - ahead of his far more experienced team-mate Laurens Vanthoor who is regarded as the top favourite on the 2009 ATS Formula 3 Cup grid. But the 19-year old rookie just refuses to be intimidated by this fact - or the higher expectations he will have to meet, now.
How does it feel to be a newcomer and championship leader at the same time?
It feels just great! I never had expected to secure a runner-up finish and a race win on my first Formula 3 weekend. Our preparation for the season went really well but having experienced such a good start is something special.
What kind of expectations did you have when entering the ATS Formula 3 Cup.
For me, it was and still is the top priority to be competitive and be able to battle it out for podium finishes. Actually, I had set myself the goal to become a race-win contender sometime in the season - but now I've realised this goal far earlier than expected.
Has the pressure increased following your good results in Oschersleben?
Of course it has increased - and the same applies to the expectations. But I know well how to cope with pressure and it is good for my performance. Should we continue on this level we will be able to meet the expectations.
Laurens is the clear favourite but you have got more points on your tally. Does this situation result in tensions within the team?
No, there aren't any tensions or problems whatsoever. Far from it! Everybody in the team is excited that we made such a good start into the season. Furthermore, the season has only just begun and so many things can happen.
Why did you opt for contesting the ATS Formula 3 Cup season?
Quite obviously, the costs have been a vital factor for my decision to join the ATS Formula 3 Cup. Compared to other series, the Cup provides great motor racing at relatively low costs. Furthermore, there aren't any test limitations and that's good if you want to really understand a Formula 3 single-seater and learn how to race it. You can learn a lot in the ATS Formula 3 Cup.
You raced in Formula Renault before making the step to the Cup. Can you describe the differences between the two categories?
The Formula 3 car produces far more downforce and has got clearly better brakes. Therefore, the lap times are faster. That's the biggest difference. While the course of the race weekends is the same. So, I fortunately hadn't to adapt to a new situation, in this area.
How do you live your life between the race weekends?
When not sitting in a racing car I work a lot to keep myself fit. I work out in the gym, go jogging, mountain biking - and every now and then I go karting. And if I've got some time and haven't to work for my motor-racing career I attend a management school.