The 16 year old driver concludes his Formula 3 debut with a great performance in the last race of the weekend, making a good comeback and finishing close to the points.
The Spaniard crossed the finish line in twelfth position but a five-second penalty relegated him to thirteenth, gaining a good amount of experience during 24 laps and a constant progress that will be key for the next rounds.
Martí and Campos Racing leave Bahrain with the initial objective accomplished, which was to get to know the category, the rivals and to go from less to more in every outing.
"In general I am happy with the weekend, we fulfilled our objective of learning and evolving with every outing. We were looking to make constant progress and avoid getting stuck, and that's what happened. I can't complain about my debut".
The Sakhir International Circuit hosted the start of the Formula 3 season, under the gaze of F1 specialists and the sand and wind of Bahrain. In a competitive grid of 30 drivers, with a lot of equality, Pepe Martí has managed to come out satisfied with his debut in the competition and to sign a great performance in the last race of the weekend.
On Friday in qualifying there were a total of 18 drivers within a second, which showed the equality and competitiveness that will be present throughout the season in the lower class. Martí, with a few hiccups in his best lap, claimed nineteenth on the grid for the weekend's two races.
Saturday was a Sprint race of 40 minutes plus one lap in which Pepe was able to get a good run and learn how the car and his opponents behave. Facing a complicated day full of penalties and with extreme conditions due to the wind and the dirtiness of the track, the driver from Barcelona managed to do his race, he climbed up to sixteenth place before another driver touched him and broke his front wing. In these circumstances it is always difficult to handle the car, but he continued for several laps until he was forced to pit and retire. Nevertheless, his performance was impeccable, worthy of a talented rookie who has a lot to say on the track.
On Sunday, in the last race of the weekend, starting from 19th again, Martí held his position in a chaotic opening lap. Martí then moved on to the phase of studying his rivals in order to overtake them and to do so when possible. His race went from less to more, adding experience and completing a great performance that allowed him to cross the finish line in twelfth position. However, he finished 13th after a 5-second penalty. Another of the other main issues of the weekend were the penalties. There were plenty of them during the two F3 races, a clear warning that this season the stewards will not let a single one go by.
"It was a positive weekend, especially the long race because we were able to show that we have the pace. We were able to make a step forward compared to the rest of the weekend. We had a good feeling, but starting at the back was our main limiting factor, as it difficulted progress.. We still have a lot of work to do, especially in qualifying. I think this is the area I am struggling the most in and I will have to put in extra work to improve it, but we know where we need to focus to get there. Overall I am happy with the weekend, we have fulfilled the objective of learning and improving on every outing. We were looking for progress and not to stay stagnant, and that's what we were able to do," said Martí.
"I can't complain about my debut, I'm happy because I learned a lot. It's clear that it was a shame not to score points because if we had been further ahead in qualifying, it would have been possible. But that makes me even more eager to go to Imola".