Pepe Marti claimed his maiden FIA Formula 3 pole at Barcelona, in a qualifying session in which he was fast from start to finish.
The Spaniard shared with Formula Scout in the paddock how proud he was of his Campos Racing team and was delighted the result came on home soil, in the same weekend the team celebrates 25 years competing in junior single-seater series, while also revealing how prepared he was going into qualifying.
“To get a pole at home is great, but to get my first pole is even more special to do it at home,” he said. “I’m just so, so happy.
“Like I always say, the team works really hard, and they’ve worked so hard over winter, and the start of the season is just a product and end result of what we’ve been through.
“From the beginning of the season, I’m really, really pleased, really proud of everyone back at Campos and everyone here at the track. Thrilled to get racing on Sunday, and get a win out of it.”
Marti sat in the top five through qualifying after everyone had completed each of the three push laps using three different sets of tyres, and did so despite a lack of representative running in practice.
“I only did one [representative] lap in free practice. That’s all we got, I only did one. Going into quali, I was a little bit, you could say I had a blindfold on going into the first push. So I was expecting some kind of grip, and I didn’t know how much.
“Started the lap, did a good first lap, I think I was P4. And then the second push lap, on the second set, really nice, clean lap, no mistakes, and I was on P1, provisional pole.
“The last set, I mean I fully sent it most of the lap. I was really close to track limits, I was really close on many corners to actually having going off. So just a really good lap.
“I actually had one mistake in the lap which kind of didn’t allow me to get purple, purple, purple, which is a bit annoying,” he joked. “But really, really happy, really pleased with everything and how the car worked, and the way that everybody worked.”
“Obviously I was really nervous,” Marti said about the moments prior to his last run that delivered him pole by 0.250 seconds.
“I was quite nervous going into the lap. But I think as soon as the engine started, I kind of forgot about them. I was just like ‘okay, one more lap, let’s close it, let’s finish it off, let’s do a good job’. And I think that really helped me.
“When you’re sitting in P1 with one lap to go, there’s five minutes on the cloc, obviously the pressure can get to you. And I think today was one of the best days I’ve managed it. Just really happy with everything. And even though the nerves came in, I think we delivered as a team, we all did a great job.”