Caio Collet’s third season in FIA Formula 3 finally kicked into gear at the Red Bull Ring, as he finished third in both races.
In the first eight races the Van Amersfoort Racing driver had only scored twice — finishing third and ninth in Bahrain and Monaco’s sprint races.
Last Saturday, Collet was more than satisfied to return to the podium, a result which meant “quite a lot”.
“The last three rounds, we struggled quite a little bit. Also, we were in a few places that we could finish the race in the top five like Monaco or Australia and then getting like punctures or incidents,” he said.
“It was very hard for me and the team. But for us to reset and bounce back, I think we did a pretty good job yesterday in the top five all sessions and then today with the podium and starting tomorrow the feature [race] in the top five again. I think it’s a weekend that we can reset and start from here.”
Collet only grabbed third on the penultimate lap, which was “pretty chaotic”.
“Pepe [Marti] was struggling quite a bit. I made a mistake. I went a bit too early to do the move the lap before. So I lost a bit of ground and I went all in in the last lap. All I was thinking about was the podium.”
The Brazilian needed “just to maximise the potential we had” to be at the front.
“We did that yesterday [qualifying fifth], we did that today. And I think in a couple of weekends [this year] we couldn’t do that, maybe from mistakes from my side, from also a little bit the situation we were in.
“This weekend everything is going as planned and really well. So we just need to keep this mindset and go attack tomorrow.”
Collet hit trouble at the start of Sunday’s feature race, dropping from fifth to ninth on the way to turn three. However, great tyre management and a lot of patience rewarded him with another podium.
“At the start I lost a little bit of ground, I went into safety mode at the exit of turn one when I hit the yellow sausage kerb,” he told Formula Scout.
“Then I had to move all the way up to the fight for the win again, so that was quite tough. But I had a really good car the whole weekend, especially in the feature race. This helped me a lot, so big thanks to the team. I think they were spot on.
“In the end of the race, I knew that the drivers were a little bit aggressive around me, so I was just playing safe and waiting for something to happen. I took all the opportunities I had. I was really, really happy to be again on the podium.”
Collet sat eighth in the standings 10 races into his rookie and sophomore seasons, with 41 and 39 points respectively, and he is currently 11th in the 2023 standings with 33 points.