Home Featured Tsolov’s maiden F3 win in Monaco ‘a step out the hole I’ve been stuck in’

Tsolov’s maiden F3 win in Monaco ‘a step out the hole I’ve been stuck in’

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Nikola Tsolov was delighted to claim his maiden Formula 3 victory at Monaco in a sprint race he described as “quite dynamic”.

The ART Grand Prix driver controlled the race from reversed-grid pole position, overcoming an early red flag and a safety car.

“It’s a great feeling for me,” he told media including Formula Scout after the race. “It’s been a tough season so far. So it’s a good time to step it up and get in that loop of good results and hopefully end up in a better position by the end of the season.”

Tsolov stepped up to F3 last year as Spanish Formula 4 champion and finished 22nd in the standings, and had scored points in just one of the first six races of 2024 prior to his Monaco win.

He added: “It is a step outside of the hole where I’ve been stuck in the past year and a half where I just couldn’t get a good result or something like that. You try every race, and then there’s something wrong happening.”

Making the top step of the podium for the first time at Monaco felt “extraordinary” for Tsolov, and his mentor, double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso, made it even more special as he joined the celebrations.

“That moment in real life realisation is just something, I would say for your brain, a bit hard to think about it and, you know, actually take in.

Having him [Alonso] there, it just motivates me even more to keep working hard and having him to go to the podium at every race. Hopefully he gets bored of that,” the A14 Management protege joked.

“He’s been helping me a lot I think on tricky situations, tricky tracks like Monaco. He has a lot of experience and I can always ask him for any help. And I think this is what gave me a little bit of a step forward as well this weekend.”

“The race was quite dynamic the whole time,” said Tsolov, who didn’t think his launch was “great”. “I think we went too aggressive but still manage to keep the lead so that’s important.

“Then with the safety car there was a bit of confusion there as they [the team] told me I might get a five-second penalty. So I had to push quite a lot towards the end of the race to build a gap. And then, with three laps to go, they told me I’m not no longer under investigation, so I could chill out and just finish the race.”

Tsolov was three-and-a-half seconds ahead of second-placed MP Motorsport’s Tim Tramnitz when the stewards decided that his restart weaving required no further investigation. The Alpine junior was “really relieved” to learn so, although he reckoned “he would have made that five seconds”. In the remaining three laps, he “was just trying to not touch any walls and finish clean”. Still, he grew his lead to 4.328 seconds at the flag.