After collecting two further trophies at Brands Hatch, the 19-year-old Linus Lundqvist now sits 111 points ahead of the competition, on the verge of securing the BRDC British F3 Championship.
Lundqvist chatted with thecheckeredflag.co.uk with the end of 2018 drawing closer.
As he looks towards the end of the season, Lundqvist knows that a strong finish will be vital for his forward progression. Donington Park was the site of his first F4 British Championship win, though he was adamant he shouldn’t take too much confidence going into the end of the year with Silverstone hosting the season finale.
“I like Donington as well, it’s a fun circuit,” reflected Lundqvist. “Obviously, it’s good if you can get a result, but I’m looking at every race weekend neutral, so you can’t go in with too much confidence, as you’ll probably be dead last if you do.
“We’ve now got a summer break of seven weeks, so that sucks, but I’m looking forward to the last two rounds.”
The Swede was clearly in a jovial mood at the end of a sweltering Sunday in Kent. You could hardly tell that it had been the worst round of the year statistically for the Double R Racing driver. He hadn’t won all weekend for the first time this year and recorded his worst finish of 2018 in race two.
“I think this says a bit about the standard we’ve had all season,” he laughed, when he was reminded of the stats.
“Coming away with a second and third is usually something you’d be happy about, but especially this time of year when you’ve had a win at every circuit and coming off of Spa with a double win.”
At Brands Hatch he had picked up a second and third during the opening and closing races, but was still very much a front-runner, with Jamie Caroline and then Nicolai Kjaergaard taking the feature race wins. Starting at the back for the fully reversed race two, he only managing an eleventh-place, his worst of the season.
“We just left a gap to the guy in front,” he explained, knowing that fastest laps determined the grid for race three. “Then we tried a few quali laps, but the track was a bit slower than race one so it didn’t really matter in the end.
“I had no problems, it was just about backing off, as you know it’s almost impossible to overtake around here.”
Other than the second race early on Sunday, the leading trio of Kjaergaard, Caroline and Lundqvist had been glued to each other all weekend, locking out the front of the grid in qualifying and the podium for two out of three events.
“It was very close in qualifying, race two we managed to come back and in race three everything was decided at the start, where I messed up. I think Nicolai didn’t have the best of getaways either, but Jamie got a really good start and pipped me off the line.” Kjaergaard went on to win the final race.
With only two rounds to go, Lundqvist only needs a 105 point gap by the end of the next round at Donington Park to secure the title. This means, providing he doesn’t lose 6 points to Kjaergaard over the course of the weekend, the title will be his.
For many drivers who start to run away at the top though, complacency can often kick in and the Swede did not completely disregard this.
“Maybe subconsciously, but I’m here to win that’s why I do this,” he said reflecting on his Brands performance.
“I’m not here to come second or third. If I’m going to be off the podium in the last two races, I’m not going to be a very happy man. I still want to win races and you have that in the back of your mind by not taking the extra risk.
“But I had that in the beginning as well and I think that’s one of our strong points, when the gap started to increase between me and Nicolai. But he had one or two DNFs and I’m proud of my work with Double R not to have a single mechanical failure and I haven’t done any silly mistakes to put myself at risk.
“So, going into the last two rounds, I feel if we have the pace, I want to go for the win.”