Irina Sidorkova says her first W Series podium at the Red Bull Ring has boosted her confidence going into the third round at Silverstone.
The 18-year-old hailed her second place in round two of the season as the best race in her career, becoming the first rookie this year to make the podium after a confident race battling with Emma Kimilainen.
It was a stark contrast to the start of her year in Asian Formula 3, which uses the same Tatuus T-318 chassis and Alfa Romeo engine as W Series, with her maiden Regional F3 campaign including pace struggles, an injury and bruising while driving.
“It was I think the best race in my career, because it’s my first podium in formula  in single-seaters,” Sidorkova said of last weekend’s W Series race.
“It’s so opposite from the previous week because I had so much bad luck.”
Established names led the way in the season opener at the Red Bull Ring, with Sidorkova finishing eighth, and in round two reigning champion Jamie Chadwick dominated but rookies Sidorkova, Nerea Marti and Bruna Tomaselli performed well.
Sidorkova added that she thinks she “will have a good race at Silverstone” off the back of her breakthrough podium.
“Of course now I feel much more confident because I did better today [in round two] . It’s not a secret, so it motivates me more. But we will see, I will try my best.”
After a successful few years in junior touring cars, Sidorkova transitioned into single-seaters at the end of 2018 and contested a double programme in Formula 4 in 2019. She claimed a best finish of sixth in the Spanish championship, and made the podium twice in the SMP championship in her native Russia. Her W Series podium is her best ever open-wheel result.
“If we are comparing [the podium] to my race from the previous week, I had a lot of bad luck from the previous week and I did a lot of mistakes, so if we are talking about the race I was too aggressive.
“I was doing unneeded moves and my mission for this weekend was to correct all mistakes, and I corrected all my mistakes. I was calm in the race, calm in the quali, I was trying to go fast, so not nervous.”
Sidorkova’s place on the 2022 W Series grid has already been guaranteed on the basis of being the youngest of this year’s drivers, although series regulations would rule out a return if she was to win the title.
“The W Series championship has a lot of fast drivers so I will try my best,” she said, ruling out a title challenge.
“But I can’t say that I will be fighting for the championship because there are so many fast drivers who have much more experience.”