Esteban Masson insists that his priority remains securing the Eurocup-3 title, despite making an impressive comeback to the Formula Regional European Championship.
The Sainteloc Racing driver held off a challenge from series frontrunner Tim Tramnitz to finish second in the most recent FREC race at Paul Ricard after heading his qualifying group to start on the front row.
It marked Sainteloc’s best result since joining FREC at the start of 2023, having acquired the assets and entry of the Fernando Alonso-backed FA Racing team.
“Amazing! Just super happy,” a jubilant Masson told Formula Scout post-race. “The whole team deserved this. The team is working really well, super professional.
“For me, the first podium in FREC, big points – that’s why I’m here to help the team. For them to trust me. Just super grateful to be here this weekend,” he said.
“We showed great pace this weekend, the car is just very good. We could face to big teams and finishing P2 is just amazing.”
After winning the 2021 French Formula 4 title, Masson struggled in his rookie FREC season last year. He says that was mainly due to “a lack of experience”, and scored just one point. Six rounds were spent with the MP Motorsport-run FA Racing, then he moved to ART Grand Prix for four rounds.
“[It] was quite hard. Not enough learning before the season. I came from French F4 after a really good season, and it was hard to start further back in the field. A few issues with the engine, a bit of everything but I went through a hard year and that is making me better today,” he told Formula Scout.
“FREC was not supposed to be in the plan [for 2023],” he revealed. “But I got a call from Sainteloc, so I’m super happy about it and we are doing a great job together for three weekends now.”
After returning to FREC at the Hungaroring, he scored Sainteloc’s first point at Spa-Francorchamps. His third appearance was at Paul Ricard, and he sits 17th in the standings having contested half of the races held so far.
“My goal is to help the team develop. I’m pushing to the limit to help the team as much as I can. That’s why I’m here, it’s my work,” he said. “I think I’m doing it quite well. I’m happy with how I work and how the team works.”
“I have no clue if I’m going to do more races or not in FREC but my main goal is to be champion in Eurocup-3 and then we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the season. I have a long summer break now until the next event at Jerez.”
Masson drives for Campos Racing in the FRegional-based Eurocup-3, and comfortably leads the series with four wins from eight races. Only one of Eurocup-3’s remaining rounds clashes with FREC, meaning Masson could be seen there again.
“I am taking it race-by-race. If they call me, I’m here. I’m ready to race.”