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Meguetounif: Silverstone qualifying “very important” to fulfil F3 potential

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Trident’s Sami Meguetounif felt reinvigorated by claiming third place in what he described as a “very important” qualifying as he looks to fulfil his Formula 3 potential.

The French racer was 0.092 seconds off Hitech GP’s poleman Luke Browning on his first day competing at Silverstone.  

I’m very, very happy about this one,” he told media including Formula Scout. “I’ve done many mistakes this year and this quali was not on the paper the easiest one.

“It’s the first time I come here in Silverstone. Even if the prep has been massive before to come here, it’s always different in real life, especially on an impressive track like this. So this quali is very important for me, and I enjoyed it. But at the same time, it is only the beginning of the weekend. The points are tomorrow and Sunday.”

Meguetounif’s qualifying strategy was disrupted by some light rain mid-session, which set the alarms off.

“The experience was low going into quali, so the target was to do as many laps as possible to do then at the end of the session put something good,” he explained. “When I did my first push, that was obviously not so great because I was discovering everything, I think I was P19 and then the rain started to come.

“It was a disaster for me. In my mind I really felt like it was the end of the session. I needed to drive and I couldn’t because of the rain. So it was very much pressure and stress. But then when I arrived in the last lap, the engineer just told me ‘they are improving. You can do it. Focus on the basics, what we talked about.’ And that’s what I did.

“Being less than a tenth from pole at the end is good. I would have signed straightaway.”

Meguetounif is aware he “really need to deliver” after scoring just one point since winning the feature race at Imola four rounds ago. “It will be no stupid risk. But starting from third, like in Imola, it’s all to play for the win as well,” he affirmed.

Now he targets a “much more consistent” second half of the season. “Even if it’s not a win, big points every weekend was the target.

“I couldn’t do it in Red Bull Ring because of some incident in the quali. But I knew the potential was there. Here in Silverstone, I managed to start well the weekend. I really hope from there I can stay up at the front and finish my season with the results that my potential deserves. When I say my [potential] is obviously me and with the team and the car. So this is very important for me and I hope it’s the start of a good end of the season.”

Meguetounif, Jenzer Motorsport’s Max Esterson, Campos Racing’s Mari Boya and ART Grand Prix’s Nikola Tsolov will serve a three-place grid penalty in the sprint race for impeding other competitors during qualifying.