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Wurz targeting qualifying improvement to turn F3 confidence into results

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Good preparations has rewarded Charlie Wurz with a strong start to life in FIA Formula 3. But further work is needed to convert confidence into results more often.

The Jenzer Motorsport driver was running in sixth place in the 2023 Macau Grand Prix – his second F3 race – when he got caught up in another driver’s accident and retired.

He now has six F3 starts to his name, with two rounds of the 2024 championship having passed, and although he is yet to qualify higher than 14th he did finish fifth in the most recent feature race in Melbourne.

“The car sort of does what you want,” he told Formula Scout during last week’s in-season test at Barcelona. “The chassis is for sure quite good. Jenzer have a good package as well. So it just gave me confidence from the go.”

Joining Jenzer for 2023 post-season testing and Macau meant his 2024 preparations were “starting so early” and he feels that has helped him so far.

“You have to be ready because, for example, in Melbourne, new track, completely other side of the world, and we get four or five laps, maybe three laps in practice, and then you have to go straight to qualifying. In Bahrain in practice, we got one lap before qualifying, so you have to really be on it.

“Luckily, we have this test and we had the testing last year because F3 doesn’t give you much chance to really take your time and learn. You have to be fully on it. And that sort of dictates your weekend. If your first push lap in practice is good, normally you have quite a good weekend. So you really have to be from the word go on it.

“And also, the simulator prep is important of course. It’s more the preparation before the weekend than during the actual weekend,” he reckoned. “Because during the weekend, you don’t have much time to change anything on the set-up.”

So what is the next step for him? “I just need to put it together on the new tyres in qualifying.”

“In F3 one mistake in quali and then you are five, 10 positions back. So you really have to make sure you put it all together. But that’s part of the game. That’s the goal to learn in this test to really maximise everything, put everything together for the next races.”

Wurz’s tyre management has contributed to his stronger results in races, but what was an advantage can become a deficit as rivals improve.

“Everyone’s always improving, so we need to keep working on it. I need to understand the tyres, because it’s still I haven’t had that many sets of tyres since September. In the end, you don’t get that much running. So just the more laps, the better, and the more long runs, the better.

“We’re testing things out, trying maybe different types of driving styles, stuff like that, just to make sure that we’re fully on it and in the game for the races.”