Italian Antonio Fuoco made the move up from the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps series to the FIA European Formula 3 Championship for the 2014 season, and made an immediate impact by winning race three of the opening round of the season at Silverstone.
The seventeen–year-old Ferrari Driver Academy driver admitted that he did not expect a win to come so soon in his season, but the victory has changed his own expectations somewhat and he now hopes to build on his Silverstone weekend and confirm his position amongst the best in the series.
“I achieved far more than I expected prior to the race weekend and consequently, I’m really very happy about my debut weekend in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship,” said Fuoco on the official European F3 Website. “During the official pre-season tests I made it to the top 10 but never to the top three. But I have to admit that we tested and tried a lot of things. At Silverstone, however, I was able to battle it out for the top positions from the first practice session and in the end, I even won a race. What a great weekend!
“Prior to the Silverstone weekend, I just wanted to first of all gather a lot of experience. After all, I’m a rookie and am competing with really good drivers who have got a lot of Formula 3 experience. The second half of the season was the point in time when I wanted to try to battle it out for race wins. But now, having already achieved my original goals by winning at Silverstone, I want to establish as one of the top-three drivers in the championship standings.”
Fuoco spoke about why he is contesting the FIA European Formula 3 championship in 2014, but was happy to be remaining with Prema who had helped take him to the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps title in 2013, where he won six of the twelve races.
“Last year I won the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps title and already raced for Prema Powerteam. The team won the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship title courtesy of Raffaele Marciello who also is supported by the Ferrari Driver Academy. So, going this way was more or less logical for my management and me.
“It goes without saying that doing so is great – and even more so as Prema proved to be the dominating team in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, in recent years. Making my debut with this team represents a great chance for me. And the fact that the team comes from Italy is another aspect I really like.”
The Italian arrived at Silverstone having contested the Florida Winter Series hosted by Ferrari. He admitted that he began working with his Formula 3 race engineer during that series, and that helped them get used to each other before the new season got underway.
“I stayed for several weeks in Florida to contest the Florida Winter Series and covered a lot of race kilometres. I also collaborated with my current race engineer, in Florida and consequently, we had the chance of getting to know one another and adapting to each other. So, we already were a good team before the Formula 3 season even had begun.”