Franco Colapinto dedicated his first victory of the 2023 season in the Formula 3 sprint race at Silverstone to his late MP Motorsport colleague Dilano van’t Hoff.
Colapinto had previously finished first in the sprint race in Australia, but he was later disqualified from that race due to a technical infringement.
In the press conference after his Silverstone win, the Williams junior remembered team-mate van’t Hoff, who passed away as a consequence of a horrific crash in Formula Regional European championship race at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend.
“This one was for Dilano,” he said. “We were racing for him already in Sunday in Red Bull Ring. MP is going through a really tough moment and I’m really happy to take the win, more for him, more for the family, for Sander [Dorsman, team principal] that it has to be a super, super difficult moment for him and for everyone that knew him at MP.
“I used to know him really well and it’s a really, really sad loss in motorsport. That these things [are] still happening in ’23, it’s just difficult to understand.
“[I’m] happy for the win, good points and more happy for giving him this win.”
Colapinto was running in third place when the safety car neutralised the race on lap eight of 18 because of sudden heavy rain. He decided to stay out on dry slick tyres, and as the track went green again on lap 13, he benefitted from Jenzer’s Taylor Barnard running into the back of race leader Hitech GP’s Sebastian Montoya at turn one to move up to first place.
“The car was amazing and it was just quite fast since the start. I had quite a lot of grip I think compared to others in lap one. So that made me do a few overtakes. Then I just lost the rear in Maggotts, Becketts. That was still really wet out there in lap one and I lost a place,” he explained.
“Then it was all in the hands of the team and they decided to stay out. So the win is from them. I was not very sure about the slicks, but I trusted them and they did the right decision. I’m super happy for them. They did an amazing job.”
Expanding on the track conditions, he said: “They were really tricky. Maggotts and Becketts was super wet and all the high-speed. So the lack of grip was really, really big. It just made it a bit more fun for us drivers to be out there.
“I think of course the slicks were the right decision, but at one point it was not really clear. It was very, very wet; there was a lot of spray; the tyres were cooling down like crazy. So I had to work really hard on them to keep them up to temperature. When I was in front, it was a bit more easy. We had a lot of pace.”