Home Featured Trident delighted by its top-three lock-out in F3 qualifying at Imola

Trident delighted by its top-three lock-out in F3 qualifying at Imola

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Trident enjoyed a dream FIA Formula 3 qualifying at Imola as it locked out the top three spots of the feature race grid.

Santiago Ramos edged local star Leonardo Fornaroli by 0.053 seconds, with Sami Meguetounif 0.252s behind in third.

“I never really aimed for pole position at that stage [end of qualifying],” Ramos admitted in the press conference afterwards.

“I tried to make a clean lap, and at the end, it ended up being like a really good lap. I felt like I pushed on the limit in high-speed corners, on traction, everywhere.”

The Mexican was “super happy” with his lap, and had “never imagined” he would claim his maiden car racing pole position after a tough previous round at Melbourne, although said that “Imola is a good track for me” the result “definitely helps a lot and brings the confidence back”.

Ramos qualified 18th in Melbourne. while Fornaroli took pole. After narrowly missing out on another at Imola, Fornaroli said: “I just wanted to put a clean lap together without doing any mistakes. So maybe there was a little bit of time [to find], but I’m still very happy with my lap.”

Meguetounif pointed to off-track work for Trident’s enviable qualifying results.

“We’ve been lucky to have Leo, a second-year driver, to help us to learn quicker, and let’s say catch the pace. We spend a lot of time at the simulator, [and] on a tricky track like here, I think it really pays off a lot.

He added: “The first push [lap in qualifying], you really need to approach it as taking information for later in the session. And if you made this one correct, then you can just add the small details, knowing that you will get a bit more grip by having a lighter car in the second and third set of tyres.”

The trio agreed that the team’s interest must prevail in the feature race over the individual urge to win against each other.

“The quickest is going to win, so it’s just a matter of fighting properly,” Ramos stated.

Formula Scout caught up with team manager Giacomo Ricci, who was delighted with Trident’s performance.

It’s the first top three in qualifying in our history. So it is really, really special,” he remarked. “We risked quite a bit with the strategy, but at the end it paid off. So I’m really happy and really proud of the job of everyone involved in the team.”

Trident opted to use all three sets of new tyres in qualifying, completing a single flying lap on each.

“For the feature race, we will not have the new tyre. That’s a factor. But at the same time, you’re starting in front. So I still believe that the clean air, it could be an advantage. During the races there can be also plenty of safety cars. So we will see.”

Ricci is “optimistic” and reckons the lower temperatures with the race’s early morning Sunday start time may play in Trident’s favour.