Faria: “We had the pace for pole, we are quick”

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Credit: Jakob Ebrey

Roberto Faria took his 11th podium in the GB3 Championship in Race 1 at Oulton Park on Saturday afternoon, his first with Carlin.

The Sauber Academy prospect held off debutant, British F4 champion Matthew Rees for much of the race, before the JHR Developments driver’s challenge faded.

The Checkered Flag spoke to Faria after the race.

“Rees was a bit faster with used tyres. We had the pace in quali but then it dropped a bit,” he said.

“In the middle of the race he started to drop as well, probably because [the Tatuus MSV-022 has] more downforce this year, so he was probably more heavy and the tyres were overheating.

“So for the rest of the race I could manage the tyres more for the next two races. Even then I couldn’t afford to make any mistakes because I think the biggest gap between us was half a second.”

Faria qualified third for the race, but benefitted from a five-place grid penalty handed out to fellow British F4 graduate Joel Granfors which elevated him to second.

“In qualifying we did a different strategy from the others, we were on track and the others were still warming up. I got a bit of traffic, unfortunately I couldn’t do my best lap when I had four new tyres, so I had to stop and put two new ones on and go out again.

“So it was not optimum but we managed to have two second places, so it’s not bad and good points for the championship.”

Faria’s best lap was half a second off that of race-winner Luke Browning, but he is confident he could have taken his Carlin higher with a clear run at the Oulton Park circuit.

“I think we had the pace fight for pole for sure. We were fast, but I didn’t have much time to put a lap together because I had traffic on three of my best laps on my first run, then I had to stop and go out with seven minutes until the end.

“So I had to push straight away, and I didn’t prepare the tyres enough.

“We are quick, and we’re going to look at what we can improve for Monday to have even better races.”

The Brazilian’s positive qualifying performance does handicap him for the reverse-grid Race 3, as he will start 20th on Monday afternoon. We quizzed him on his chances of coming back through the field and gaining as many bonus points as possible for positions gained.

“It will be quite hard, I’m hoping to have some rain which could help a bit. Fighting from the back is always quite hard, you always have lots of accidents, crashes and safety cars, so let’s see what I can do.

“I prefer the wet because it’s easier to overtake here, it’s easier to [make] a mistake, so I hope the last race is in the wet [so we can] have fun.”

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Stickler for track limits, covering the GB3 Championship and the FIA Formula 3 Championship. Twitter: @MCallanderMedia
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