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Tramnitz “very happy with podium and really good points” on F3 debut

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Tim Tramnitz got his FIA Formula 3 career off to a flying start with two top-five finishes at Bahrain, putting him second in the standings.

Before qualifying, the 19-year-old had set out his targets for the weekend to Formula Scout: “To finish a race in the top five. Let’s see what’s possible with the reversed grid as well. To be on the podium would be really nice for me.”

The MP Motorsport driver finished fifth in the sprint race, and then after rising from seventh to third in the feature race he caught back up with Formula Scout in the paddock to say “I’m very happy with the results, especially today”.

“I think there were a couple of things to improve on yesterday, even though it was already a good start to the year. But I managed to do everything better today, so I’m very happy with the podium and really good points.”

Tramnitz gained two places at the start as poleman Dino Beganovic plummeted down the order, then was “quite surprised after turn one to be already in P3”. The lead group settled into a DRS train and “Christian [Mansell] was pushing quite a lot behind, so I decided to let him go and be a bit more careful about my tyres”.

Though content to bide his time, Tramnitz was keen not to repeat his mistake from the sprint race when he had also took care of his tyres but “towards the end, as soon as I was in the pack, it was so easy to overheat the tyres, even though you saved all the time”.

It meant that “when you catch up you also have to be still careful to not overpush”, and in the end that went “a lot better than yesterday” for Tramnitz.

In the final stages, he had saved enough to mount an attack on Sami Meguetounif for third, outbraking him with a decisive last-minute move at turn one.

“I was able to attack like the last four laps. I felt like the car in front of me was starting to struggle a bit more than me, and then I think I was surprising him a bit with the move in T1,” said Tramnitz.

“It was quite tight,” he smiled. “But [he] seemed to be really fast on the straight, so I thought if I have the chance, then I just have it now. So I took it, and it worked. That’s the most important thing in the end.”

A conversation with Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko provided “some tips on what I can improve for today”, and that conversation clearly helped.

“I think it worked really well. It’s really important to just keep cool and don’t stress about everything which is around you as it’s quite a big difference already compared to the Formula Regional European Championship. But usually, I was able to be in my rhythm, not really care what is around me and just focus on what I have to do.”