Pepe Martí experiences a weekend of contrasts in Spa-Francorchamps, where the rain has impacted the strategies, and a wrong choice of tires has complicated the race.
The Barcelonian driver leaves spa occupying third position in the general classification, just 1 point behind second, and hopes to fight for the runner-up spot in the last race of the year.
“It's a shame because we've always had pace in wet conditions and I think we would have had a better chance of fighting for a good result if we had made the right decision.”
Pepe Martí lived an intense and complicated weekend in Spa-Francorchamps due to the weather conditions. Despite this, he leaves Belgium satisfied with the work done, since he has once again demonstrated his pace and competitiveness to be regularly in the front positions.
On Friday he achieved pole position in the closing stages of the session, which gave him the first position on the grid for Sunday's race, where most of the points of the weekend are distributed. On Saturday in the 'sprint' race he started from twelfth position by reverse grid. A session that ended when another pilot took him ahead. When Pepe wanted to return to the track, with no visibility, he obeyed the instructions of a commissioner to rejoin, and suffered the impact of a pilot who was arriving at that place. As there were clear images of the incident, the Campos driver did not suffer any penalties and was able to keep his pole for Sunday's race.
The long race of the weekend started early on Sunday morning, in difficult weather conditions, cold and the track wet. It was time to choose the tires correctly, which would mark the performance of the single-seaters. Pepe and his team opted for the dry compounds, hoping that the track would dry out exponentially. But as the laps went by, the track didn't dry out enough. Marti maintained a high level of driving, made no mistakes, and was able to qualify first of all the drivers who had started on dry tyres. He obtained ninth place in the final classification. The conditions of the track, very slippery and dangerous for that choice of tires, left him a great lesson and another day of demonstration, although without the expected result.
“It has been quite a disappointing weekend, when you see that you have rhythm and you don't get any results that you deserve. Yesterday we had an unfortunate accident. A driver passed us and then a marshal told me that I could return to the track, and because of that, I had an accident with another driver. The truth is that thanks to the safety of today's cars, we are both perfect. The current single-seaters are very safe. In today's race the track conditions did not favor us. Starting from first place, it is clear that you prefer it to be all dry or all wet, and it has been the opposite. The track was slippery and it was difficult to decide which compound to use. We put on the dry tyres, hoping that the track would dry out quickly enough to be able to overtake the riders who were on wet tyres, but unfortunately this was not the case. The cold conditions and cloudy skies have not improved the state of the track. It's a shame because we've always had pace in the wet and I think we would have had more chances to fight for a good result if we had made the right decision. Thanks to pole position, we could have cut more points in the championship, but that's how the races are and the positive part is that we are happy with the pace we have. We are competitive and we have shown once again that we can be on top.”
Pepe Martí and Formula 3 will enjoy a summer break to rest and also continue working and preparing for what will be the last round of the 2023 season in Monza, on the first weekend of September.