Joel Eriksson: “It proves that people should never count us out”


Joel Eriksson took two second place finishes in Belgium despite poor qualifying results - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship / Thomas Suer

Joel Eriksson finished twice in second place at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, which he admitted was a surprise after struggling for pace during qualifying.

The Motopark driver started twelfth for the opening two races and then tenth for race three, but after a ninth place finish in race one, he found a much better set-up for the rest of the weekend, which culminated in two strong drives to the podium.

The results from the final two races ensured the Swede remains firmly in the championship battle, sitting as he does just twenty-six points off Maximilian Günther with four rounds of the season still to run.

“If someone had told me after qualifying that I’d be standing on the podium in two out of three races this weekend, I’d have taken it any time,” said Eriksson. “We really struggled with the balance of the car and I didn’t have very high hopes.

“Then the team did an amazing job to turn it around ahead of the second race, and suddenly we were flying. It was a strange weekend, but good fun getting to do all of those overtakes!”

Whilst Eriksson was happy to be able to turn his weekend around, he knows that qualifying outside the top ten will not be advisable at other venues. Whilst Spa-Francorchamps offers opportunities to pass, the next venue of Zandvoort does not give the same chances, and as a result a poor qualifying performances may see poor race results.

“It’s great to be leaving Spa knowing that we were the fastest package on track in the final race,” admitted the Swede. “It proves that people should never count us out.

“That said, we need to make sure we stop qualifying this poorly. It may have turned out alright here in the end, but it could have been a lot better.

“The next track we go to is Zandvoort, where it’s much harder to overtake. Those are normally the most static races of the season, and we can not afford to qualify in tenth or twelfth there.”