Formula 3Interviews

Interview: Calan Williams Aiming For Top Five Finish in Maiden FIA F3 Campaign

4 Mins read
Credit: GT Sport

Calan Williams has lofty goals heading into his maiden FIA Formula 3 Championship season, but the young Australian feels that with Jenzer Motorsport, those goals are certainly possible.

Williams is joining the Formula 3 field in 2020 after a couple of seasons with Fortec Motorsports in the EuroFormula Open championship, and he believes he can be a contender for the top five in the championship this year.

“The goal in every session is obviously to finish at the top,” said Williams to The Checkered Flag.  “However, over the course of the season, my aim is certainly to gain Superlicence points and ideally finish top 5 in the championship. 

“I believe achieving this would be a great way to make the next step up the motorsport ladder.”

Speaking about why he joined Jenzer Motorsport, Williams said that whilst talks were ongoing for a while before the announcement was made, the test at the back end of 2019 convinced him enough that they were a great team.

“We had been in contact with them for quite some months before the end of 2019,” he revealed.  “They seemed like a reliable and committed team who can deliver a great car. 

“When we tested with them in October 2019, we realised that they were a great team and signed with them.”

Williams will be partnered at Jenzer Motorsport by young Italian duo Federico Malvestiti and Matteo Nannini, and he cannot wait to race alongside and against them in 2020.

“I have had some great opportunity to get to know them both,” Williams said.   “They both come across as great drivers and great people.  I look forward to racing with them (and against them!).”

Williams Working with Jenzer to Improve Ahead of Season Start

Just prior to the postponement of the opening rounds of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Williams enjoyed a positive pre-season test at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain, and since then he has been working hard with the team on making improvements.

“The Bahrain test was my first time in the car since October, so it did take some time to really get back into the feeling of the car,” he said.  “However, once I got back into the rhythm, I felt like I performed well, however, with areas of improvement, which I have been working on with the team in Switzerland.”

Speaking about the enforced time off due to the virus, Williams says he has been enjoying the sim racing to fill the gap, but nothing compares to the real thrill of racing, something he cannot wait to get underway.

“Definitely the competition and the thrill, however, thanks to the availability of sim racing, there’s something to at least partially fill the gap!” added Williams.

“I think it might take a bit longer to get back into than usual, however, with my sim setup at home, it should be minimised, as I am using the sim to really make sure I’m ready for whenever I need to be!”

Calan Williams is ready for his maiden season in FIA Formula 3 – Credit: GT Sport

“I Definitely Improved and Really Felt Competitive’ – Williams Reflects on 2019 Campaign in EuroFormula Open

Williams arrived in EuroFormula Open in 2018 as the 2017 Australian Formula 3 champion, and whilst his first season in the category was one of learning, his second season in 2019 saw improvements, and he finished eighth in the final standings despite being the sole representative for Fortec Motorsports for periods of the season.

“Following the 2018 season I identified key areas of improvement,” said Williams.  “I took these notes with me to the 2019 TRS Championship and used the intense schedule to actively work on these. 

“2019 EuroFormula was really about putting these improvements into action.  I definitely improved and really felt competitive, especially with two top 5 finishes at the Red Bull Ring.

“I love racing at Spa and Red Bull Ring.  Spa is such a historical circuit, and such a challenge so it’s always a thrill to race there.  Red Bull Ring I just enjoy, especially the fast and flowing second half of the lap, and the elevation changes.

“Definitely the weekend in Austria is one of my favourite weekends, being able to finish strongly in each session and stick with the leading pack to finish top 5 in both races was just incredible.”

Williams enjoyed his time with Fortec Motorsports, and he admits there are certainly a lot of things to take from racing with the team, both on and off the track!

“I always travelled with them to and from events so there was a lot of time that I spent with them,” admits Williams.  “I’m sure they’d love to tell you about the time I spilled coffee all over myself and the floor at the Channel Tunnel cafe… 

“But certainly, the weekend in Austria was a great one for all of us.  It was one of my strongest performances, and I think it really highlighted the way a one-car team can work together and perform strongly against teams with as many as five cars.”

Calan Williams enjoyed his time with Fortec Motorsports in EuroFormula Open – Credit: GT Sport

“Four Australians in FIA F3 this year is a great sign of how strong Australian motorsport is at the moment”

Williams is one of four drivers from Australia to be on the FIA Formula 3 Championship grid in 2020 alongside Oscar Piastri (Prema Racing), Jack Doohan (HWA Racelab) and Alex Peroni (Campos Racing), and he gave some advice to young Australians trying to make it up the motorsport ladder.

“Four Australians in FIA F3 this year is a great sign of how strong Australian motorsport is at the moment,” says Williams.  “Short-term advice would be to really analyse every part of your racing and identify what you need to do to improve and really commit to improving in every session. 

“Long-term advice would be to do lots of in-depth research into what is the next step to take.  Every step you take needs to take you closer to your goal, and you need to have a clear and specific goal.  Look at the steps those above you have taken and how it has benefit them, and also look at how strong the series is and its reputation. 

“Moving to Europe was definitely a great choice for me, as it put me against some incredibly strong competition and really pushed me to improve quickly.”

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Long time motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1 and the occassional other series. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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