Home Formula 3FIA F3 Championship Kacper Sztuka motivated “seeing points are reachable” in F3

Kacper Sztuka motivated “seeing points are reachable” in F3

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Red Bull

Kacper Sztuka scored his first Formula 3 points at Imola after finishing fifth in the sprint race, which has fuelled him for the rounds to come.

The MP Motorsport driver has been facing a learning curve coming from Formula 4, but he has made progress with each lap completed.

The Red Bull junior started from reversed-grid pole position at Imola, but dropped to fourth in the opening lap. He then held on to that position until the penultimate lap, when he was overtaken by Prema’s Dino Beganovic. 

“Luckily, there was a safety car where I could build up the tyre temperature, which was not there fully on the first lap,” he explained to Formula Scout. “Then I had some fighting with Dino and Luke [Browning], which I think was quite good.”

Four safety car periods meant “it was basically quite a lot of push throughout the whole race” and tyre management was not needed.

Although fifth was “not the position I wanted to finish”, Sztuka was pleased to have his “first points on the board”. Those six points leave him 19th in the standings after Monaco, tied with his teammate Alex Dunne and AIX Racing’s Nikita Bedrin.

“For sure it’s motivating us more when we see the points are there, reachable,” he said.

“The qualifying was difficult as I had no new tyres for the last and the most important run. We could have been higher, but I mean it’s racing. We took some risks with the tyre choice. In the end, I don’t regret our decisions. We couldn’t predict what would happen, but for sure is something to keep an eye on for the next rounds. And I’m sure we can be in the top 12 again many, many times this year.”

Sztuka acknowledged that having previously driven at Imola, where he first drove the Dallara F3 2019 in the post-season test, as well as the mileage accumulated in the recent in-season test had contributed to his improved performance.

We also worked on the set-up in Barcelona and any kilometres done in this car are helping me. So I’m happy that we could reach the top 12 in the qualifying. This was the first step to make and now we work to climb higher in the top 12 and then to have good races.”

The Polish driver also reacted positively to being put through four safety car restarts, a procedure that “is different than what I’m used to”.

“It was the first time in this season that we had that many safety cars in one race. Also the virtual safety car and the double yellow flag zones. So it was something new. I saw it for the first time, how it works.

“It should be better for the future with more experience.”