Mari Boya scored his maiden FIA Formula 3 points at Barcelona after qualifying in the top ten for the first time.
The MP Motorsport driver was seventh in the sprint race and sixth in the feature race, and reckoned he could have finished in higher positions if not for a technical issue in qualifying.
“From a long time, I think we have had a really good pace,” he said to Formula Scout.
“But especially on quali, I was struggling to get a good lap and take all the potential I have from the car. This time, it was also a bit like this because on my quali, in my best lap, I entered on the safety mode in the second to last corner, losing more than, let’s say, three tenths.
“That lap was for sure enough for being in P2, not P1, but close to P1. Still it was P8,” Boya claimed, with his best lap in the end being 0.495 seconds off the pole pace and 0.246s off earning a front row start for Sunday.
“On the races, especially race one, I had a really good rhythm but didn’t use it properly. Today, I didn’t have the same rhythm as yesterday, but I could extract a bit more and overtake two guys,” he said on Sunday.
“It was good racing. Really happy and we will try to keep this momentum through the season because it’s still long. And I think I feel confident.”
Scoring on home soil was “super special”, and Boya “knew testing was really good” at Barcelona in April so “had a lot of confidence in myself” going into last weekend.
“Also many people from my family come to see me. So I’m super happy about it. And also with a lot of people coming in here for supporting Formula 1, but they come to see all the racing. So it’s really beautiful.”
Boya remarked that strong qualifying performances are key if he is to succeed in F3, having stepped up after three Formula Regional campaigns.
“The potential already seems, let’s say since Melbourne that we have this speed, but the problem is that I couldn’t show it after a bad qualifying. So now the focus is still the same, to focus on quali because if you start at the front, the most typical thing is to stay at the front. So let’s try to focus on this and maybe let’s try and hope for some wins and podiums now.”
This year MP is also running Boya in the new FRegional-based Eurocup-3 series, so he has to switch between two cars.
“Maybe the thing that is making me a bit hard to adapt is the brakes because in the F3, the brakes are quite big. The Eurocup-3 is quite hard, it’s not possible to brake as hard as we brake here. But anyway, it’s good for me to adapt to one car, to another and get the maximum experience. So I’m happy and I will also fight in that championship.”