Vesti is ready
The countdown has been going on for a long time. But now it's over. Or rather now it starts! The International F3 season is just around the corner. After a 3-month involuntary break, 18-year-old Frederik Vesti and 29 hopeful other young drivers are currently on their way to the Red Bull Ring in Austria, where the first "battle" will be fought this coming weekend.
Much has been turned upside down since the shutdown due to Covid-19. Thus, the crucial pre-season test days have been cancelled. When Vesti gets into his racer for the first practice on Friday, it will be with only 1 test day on his back plus one race in Macau back in the autumn of 2019. Quite a challenge in a field where half of the drivers are experienced drivers with one or several years on their backs but Vesti feels ready.
This is pretty crazy. To be thrown into something so big this way.
As a driver, I like to be in control. There hasn't been much of that lately. But luckily I have been able to fit my rhythm with everything I do off the track. My training has been great. And then I have been back to the roots, go-karting, which has brought many smiles to my face. I have used go-karting to substitute my race car in order to keep me sharp and give me back some speed in my body."
There's going to be plenty of speed on the Red Bull Ring.
Red Bull is a fantastic circuit! One mistakenly assumes that it is easier than it turns out to be. With often almost identical lap times, it really is a track where the driver can make an absolutely crucial difference in qualifying and in the races. And then there is the circuit situated in a mountain area where the weather changes constantly. It makes the outcome of the race very difficult to predict."
The big challenge for Vesti throughout the season will be the many races that fall one after the other. As it looks at the moment, there must be three race weekends in a row in 3 rounds. This means that the time required for recovery and analysis of data to constantly improve will be very limited.
Yes, we will definitely come to work in a different way. As a new rider, it's cool with the many races in a row, because I can get in shape pretty fast. Conversely, it becomes quite a task to take it all in - all the new things I have to learn and process - in a very short time. You must not get caught in the detail. On the other hand, I think it's important to constantly try to maintain momentum and be in the NOW so that I can take one step at a time."
Despite being completely new in the series, both Prema and Vesti have a clear goal. And they dare say it out loud!
My goal is to make it to the top of the podium. The same goes for Prema. I focus exclusively on where we are going and what we are going to achieve. Everyone on the team works exclusively for that, which is why we work so well together. My teammates, Australian Oscar Piastri and American Logan Sargeant are both super good drivers. We will learn from each other and I am really looking forward to challenging them on the track!"
But there will be more than Piastri and Sargeant to look out for.
Vesti himself believes that there may be up to 15 drivers who have the potential to win races this year among an F3 field that is the strongest in the world.
We are all extra motivated in that the team bosses in F2 and F1 are keeping an eye on us. It is now that our future is being decided.
It's a "pressure" I thrive on. If I can stay on top physically and mentally and being able to absorb the many impressions and learning, then I think - then I know that I have the opportunity to beat my competitors."
The coming weekend will show if Vesti can live up to his own expectations right from the start.