Caio Collet showcased once again his ability to master wet and damp track conditions in the FIA Formula 3 races at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Van Amersfoort Racing won the sprint race from fourth on the grid and rose from ninth to fifth in the feature race. It was not the first time Collet has shone in variable conditions this year.
He was on the podium in a properly wet sprint race at the Red Bull Ring and finished fourth from 17th on the grid in the Silverstone sprint race a week later by keeping slick tyres on while the track was damp. The Brazilian’s maiden win in the series also came in a wet race, at the Hungaroring in 2022.
Formula Scout spoke with Collet in the Spa paddock about being able to perform in the “really tricky” conditions (his words) of the feature race there.
“Slicks on a wet condition, wet track especially like Spa, is not so easy,” he said. “We thought that the track would have dried up a bit quicker than it did. And then sector two was still pretty, pretty wet the whole race and it didn’t dry up like we expected to, but in the end it was a strong race.
“We were the first one with slicks [to finish]. Obviously from the start, I was at a good pace compared to the guys around me. [I’m] really happy overall.”
It took laps after a safety car period in the first half of the race for Collet to open a nine-second gap to the next car on slicks and, on the last lap, he even overtook PHM Racing by Charouz’s Sophia Floersch and Hitech GP’s Sebastian Montoya, who were on grooved tyres.
“I was starting P9 and I saw the eight guys in front of me [at the grid] with slicks I knew that I could make the difference and fight with them, but I was just trying to stay in the same sink because I knew in that condition with the guys ahead, I could make the difference and maybe overtake a few of them. So I was not really thinking about wet tyres, just the slicks.”
“In the end, you just have to deal with the grip you have and it was quite low. I think I did a good job trying to find where there was a dry line and where there was a bit of more grip compared to the wet areas on the track.”
Formula Scout asked Collet why he is always fast on wet surfaces. “I just try to find a grip where the others don’t and I do a good job. I really like the conditions. It’s where I think I can show a bit, make a bit the difference and it is what I did in all these [wet-weather] situations. I’m just really happy and I think I can use my experience and also the feeling and the confidence to push in conditions like that and make the difference.”