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Hedley describes “crazy” circumstances around F3 debut in Monaco

by Formula Scout

James Hedley has described the “last-minute” circumstances around his FIA Formula 3 debut in Monaco this weekend.

The former GB3 racer has stepped in at Jenzer Motorsport for Matias Zagazeta, who underwent an operation to have his appendix removed while travelling from last weekend’s round at Imola.

Speaking to Formula Scout, Hedley revealed he received the call to drive on Tuesday evening, arriving to Monaco late on Wednesday ahead of free practice on Thursday lunchtime.

“Crazy,” he said. “Not a lot of sleep, as you can imagine. I’m just trying to get through everything and just try and take all the stress away from things.

“I was actually at the airport already, but going off for other reasons and then decided not to get on that flight, just in case we come up here and yeah, we went from airport to airport to here.”

Hedley, who successfully completed the FIA jump-out test on Thursday morning, said he is “really liking the guys” at Jenzer.

“They stayed up late for me yesterday to go walk the track because I think they did it at nine in the morning and then they had to do it again at nine in the evening. So it was a long day for them, but it’s just got to be done.”

Hedley had no time for simulator practice, “not even for Monaco or just anything in general, it was that last minute” and says his aim is to “just go drive and go learn the track and go learn the car and just learn as much as possible, basically, and keep on improving.”

“You never know what could happen. It’s a lot of people’s first time in Monaco, too – I know they’ve driven the car – but I think that helps.

“I’m just going to focus on ourselves and see where we end up and just do the best job you can in this situation.”

Hedley raced in the first two GB3 rounds of this year with VRD by Arden but does not expect to continue there as Nikita Johnson becomes old enough to compete.

“You might see me doing some test days in the car or something at the European tracks. But the biggest thing this year is for us to just learn the European tracks and prepare for next year. So this is such an important weekend for us because you don’t get to test around Monaco. To have that opportunity was just amazing. It will definitely help us when we come back here next year, if we’re lucky enough to do so.”

Hedley had been in talks with Formula Regional team Monolite before it dropped off the grid.

“Even though that would have been a great opportunity to go learn the tracks, both parties didn’t want to do it unless we could be really competitive. At the moment, we couldn’t have been competitive, mainly just because of budget, but other reasons as well.

“I think they’re going to come back stronger,” he added. “I wish them all the best. Maybe we can do something this year but I don’t know. That was obviously the main plan, but now we’re just dabbling.”