Linus Lundqvist spoke to The Checkered Flag before the opening qualifying session of the BRDC British F3 Championship weekend from Snetterton. The Swede currently leads the championship as well as the Sonoco Standings, hoping to maintain his run of success this weekend.
He started his weekend in the best possible form, topping both the Thursday and Friday practice sessions, pulling out an advantage in the dry. He’s yet to record a pole position, but seemed up for the challenge during an overcast day.
“Of course, considering we’ve been on the front row two times now, but never been able to take pole.” said Lundqvist. “Last time we got nicked but 15 thousandths of a second, so hopefully we’ll have the thousandths on our side this time and we can take pole.”
“So far so good. It’s only testing, so you can never draw too many conclusions from that, but I think we’re in pretty good position for the weekend.”
In the standings, Lundqvist leads on 156 points, but with Nicolai Kjaergaard just 11 points behind, the Double R Racing driver will know that results will need to come at Snetterton, especially with fourth place Kush Maini being his closest competition in testing.
“Championship wise, obvious Nicolai is the closest contender and Tom Gamble is right there in third, but it can change so much from weekend to weekend. As you’ve seen this season, with five different winners from six different races, so it can mix things up.
“Considering how qualifying will be now as it might be spitting down, it might mix up the field a lot. I’m just trying to focus on me and just do the best I can do and hopefully that’s better than anyone else.”
Snetterton though is famously difficult to overtake, though Lundqvist admitted he hadn’t given the reverse grid race much though as he climbed towards the car.
“Haven’t thought about race two that much, we’re still trying to make small tuning changes for qualifying to hit the sweet spot. So focus on quali and then we’ll look at the races to come.
“From what I experienced from F4 last year, it is very tricky to overtake, so it is going to be a more difficult one. So the first lap of race two is going to be very important and it’s about who can lose or gain the most places. It’s going to be a fun one.
So far Lundqvist has faced stiff competition not just from Kjaergaard and company, but also from his own team. Indian driver Krish Mahadik has been a regular at the front and although has yet to pick up a podium still sits sixth the championship despite a retirement.
Lundqvist seemed wary of both the threat from Mahadik and fellow Double R racer Pavan Ravishankar, but ensured TCF he remains friendly with both of them.
“Throughout the team we work together to try and find the optimum time to help move everybody forward and we try to learn from each other, but we still have the rivalry within the team, you always want to be the quickest one. So it’s good to have someone that pushes you a bit and if you find one or two tenths that’s only positive for myself and the team as whole. So I’m happy to have some quick guys in the team as well.
“The worse thing you can do is retire from race one as race two is going to be so difficult. You might be able to pull some of it back in race three, but by then you’ve potentially lost 50-60 points in all.
“So the aim is just to score and hopefully score a lot.”