Podium finish in one of world’s top F3 races
The Grand Prix de Pau is one of the world’s most important Formula 3 races. Maximilian Günther achieved his goal in the 74th running of the French street circuit classic, securing his first podium in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The 17-year-old finished second in the main race on Sunday and was also best rookie. Maxi placed fourth overall in the first race around the track at the foot of the Pyrenees and was the second most successful series newcomer. He had to retire from the second race while in third position after a no fault collision. Maximilian moved up to fifth place in the overall standings in a field of more than 30 cars. He is second in the rookie championship.
Maxi, how does it feel to achieve a podium in one of the top F3 races?
“It’s a mega feeling, just phenomenal,” said Maximilian after securing P2 in the race on Sunday. “Being so close at the last race weekend in Hockenheim made me even more determined to finish on the podium in Pau. The race on the street circuit was a real challenge, so now I can really savour that success.” Günther laid the foundations for his excellent result with strong performances in qualifying. He started from third position in all three races in Pau, which meant that he has now secured a grid position in the top three for the sixth consecutive time. “As far as speed goes, we are not yet quite where we would like to be,” said Maximilian. “We need a little more edge in order to win a race on our own account. I’m sure we can improve even more along with the team.” Maximilian became the first kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport driver this season to finish on the podium for his team.
The Grand Prix de Pau was your first race on a street circuit. What were the biggest challenges?
Maximilian: “A street race is completely different to racing around a circuit. Driving within just a few centimetres of the crash barriers was brilliant fun, like flying a helicopter in your living room – that’s it in a nutshell! You have to be fully focused all the time. You cannot relax one bit, because the tight turns come thick and fast. Here, mental strength is vital if you don’t want to end up hitting the barriers.” Former winners at the legendary street circuit include Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Jim Clark and reigning Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
Maxi’s lessons from Pau
1. “Podium debut in this legendary race! It doesn’t get any better.”
2. “Beating drivers who are much more experienced is a tremendous boost for my self confidence.”
3. “Everything has to be right in Pau – head space and the car – many thanks to the whole team!”
Next stop: Monza. The fourth race weekend of the FIA Formula 3 Championship will be staged at the Italian Formula 1 race track, May 29th-31st. Maximilian: “Monza is the absolute antithesis to Pau. The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is a real high-speed track with an incredible history. Whether you’re referring to the Parabolica, the Curva Grande, the Lesmos or Variante Ascari – each one of ten turns in all tells its own story. In Monza, it’s going to be a case of setting the wing flat and stepping hard on the throttle!”
Foto: Mario Bartkowiak