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Martí Barcelona Campos

F3: Martí reflects on the ‘combination’ of things that aided his performance at his home race in Barcelona

Pepe Martí now sits second in the Drivers' Standings for F3 after his win in Barcelona

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Formula 3 raced around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last weekend where Campos Racing’s Pepe Martí took victory at home for his first Feature Race win. 

Martí Boya F3 Formula 3 Qualifying Barcelona
Pepe Martí of Campos Racing winning the Feature Race in Barcelona. (Credit: Twitter @FIAFormula3)

Last weekend Formula One and its feeder series returned to Barcelona to race under the Spanish sun. For Formula 3, the weekend saw two different race winners in Zak O’Sullivan and Pepe Martí.

The latter secured pole position on Friday with a time of 1:27.587. Starting from P12 for the Sprint Race, Martí was able to make up four positions, finishing eighth, scoring the final points available. Ahead of him, MP Motorsport’s Mari Boya achieved his first points finish in F3.

Moving on to Sunday’s Feature Race, both Martí and Boya repeated their points-finish. Boya finished the Feature Race in sixth whilst Martí converted pole position to race victory.

For both Martí and Boya, the weekend is Barcelona was their home race. FormulaNerds spoke to Martí after his Qualifying lap at his home race.

A reflection on qualifying so far

2023 is Martí’s second Formula 3 campaign and it’s safe to say his performance has improved. Last year, Martí finished the season in 26th in the standings on just two points.

However, after five rounds of the season, at the halfway mark, Martí is second in the championship on 68 points. The Spaniard has won three races and scored points in all but two of the races.

Qualifying in Monaco saw Martí place P11 on the grid and over the weekend, he told FormulaNerds that qualifying wasn’t one of his natural strengths. However, in Barcelona, his one-lap pace proved to be strong.

Martí spoke to FormulaNerds in the post-qualifying press conference, where he touched on how he managed to put together his pole position lap. The Campos Racing driver explained:

“It was a combination of everything, I’d say. Obviously, home track so that’s a little bit of a boost, but I wouldn’t say a massive boost. I think mostly, this season we actually haven’t lacked the pace. I think the pace has been there since the beginning, the car we have under us this season is really strong in all senses. It was just a matter of getting it all down and putting a lap together.

“In Qualifying, I haven’t done my best this season, in Bahrain with two laps invalidated at the beginning and having to back off more or less in the last one. Australia, we all know what happened, unfortunately, and then Monaco I was just a rookie at the track so that didn’t help either.”

Barcelona and moving forward

Martí touched on the fact that Barcelona is the beginning of the European stint of the season. But it’s also a track that most racing drivers know to some extent, either from racing there previously or from testing. For Martí, he raced around the circuit last year in F3 but also completed in-season testing there back in April.

The Campos Racing driver continued telling FormulaNerds about the work Campos have done, which enabled him in getting pole. Martí said:

“I think here, we come back to the European season where we all know the tracks and there are no surprises. If we keep doing the work that we’ve been doing, especially keep the work determination, I think that’s the key factor not just in me but the whole team.

“I think the team has been dong such a great job over the winter and have the speed this season to get us a car that’s capable of fighting at the front and we have it.

“So it’s also thanks to them that I’m here today and we’ve been fighting for wins for the whole season, so I’m just hoping to keep this on and move ahead.”

With pole position for the Feature Race, Martí was able to drive a dominant race on Sunday to take the win. Speaking to Formula 3 on his victory, Martí expressed just how much it meant to him to win in Barcelona and what it means for his championship chances.

A victory in front of his home crowd

During the Feature Race last weekend in Barcelona, Martí not only converted pole position to race victory, but he took home the fastest lap as well. Securing maximum points on Sunday, Martí told Formula 3 that whilst winning “means a lot”, it’s also given him a “confidence boost.”

The Spaniard said:

“It means a lot, first of all, it means a lot to me to win, it gives me a big confidence boost going into the break before Austria. Out of all of that, it was great to win in front of the home crowd, but not just my home crowd, my family.

“It’s Campos’ 25th anniversary, a Spanish team, a Spanish driver, and the Spanish Grand Prix.

“We won, and we got the fastest lap as well so I’m happy. For the 2023 campaign, I’d call it a turning point, we’ve done a lot of good races but I’ve got to play a catch-up game now. We’re on the back foot at the halfway point of the season, but we still have a lot to do and if we can continue in this upward moment, I think we can catch Gabriel.”

So far this season, Gabriel Bortoleto, a rookie in F3, has lead the championship from the first race in Bahrain. Currently, with Martí in second, Bortoleto is 24 points ahead.

Both drivers are a part of A14 Management working alongside Fernando Alonso. But with the two of them showcasing strong performances and five rounds left to go, the question remains as to whether Martí will be able to beat the Trident driver.

Headline Image: Twitter @Formula3

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