Carlin: Drivers the difference between poor F3 season and Macau success
Trevor Carlin says he never doubted his team's quality despite a difficult European F3 campaign in 2016 - and insists that the only change leading up to a successful Macau effort was in the driver line-up.
Carlin fielded three cars for much of the F3 season, with only two constant names in the line-up in Alessio Lorandi and Ryan Tveter.
Lorandi did take a maiden win at Pau and claimed a podium finish at Zandvoort, but the British team's season was largely unsuccessful otherwise - and its F3 campaign was suspended when the Italian departed the squad seven rounds into a 10-round season.
However, a wholesale change of line-up resulted in a successful return in the season finale at Hockenheim - and Carlin subsequently shone at Macau, with Antonio Felix da Costa taking the win, Sergio Sette Camara finishing third and rookies Jake Hughes and Lando Norris sixth and 11th.
Asked whether he expected such a strong performance in Macau, Carlin told Motorsport.com: "I knew that the team was as good as any team out there, and I believe it – and if you get the right drivers in the car, then you get the results, don’t you?
"All we have done is swap three drivers for four others. We qualified four in the top nine and finished with three in the top six.
"And that is the gospel truth: we changed nothing and I am really proud of the team sticking at it and believing in itself. At the end of the day, it is my job to give them the drivers – so it is brilliant."
Carlin is hopeful that the team's Macau showing will have put the team "in a good light" after the struggles of the regular season.
"Hopefully people will realise, we are who we are. We don’t lose the knowledge we have accumulated over the last 18 years overnight.
"And there has been an unfortunate situation where we have been up against it budget-wise against other people, but this weekend we, as Carlin, paid for Antonio to race out of our own pocket.
"Graeme Chilton and myself made the investment to show the team in a good light, and we helped with Jake – and I think it was a good investment."
Interview by Jonathan Noble
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