Jüri Vips

Tsunoda, Lawson & Vips for FIA F3 Round 1 in Catalunya

#4 Liam Lawson (NZL – MP Motorsport)
#14 Yuki Tsunoda (JAP – Jenzer Motorsport)
#21 Jüri Vips (EST – Hitech GP)

The FIA Formula 3 Championship starts this weekend against the backdrop of the Spanish F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Three Red Bull Juniors, Liam Lawson, Yuki Tsunoda and Jüri Vips are part of the incredibly competitive field.

Yuki Tsunoda

The Japanese Honda Formula Dream Project driver turns 19 on Saturday and is frank about his thoughts on the Catalunya circuit and his weekend in the Jenzer Motorsport car.

"I can't say it's my favourite track, If I was ranking it out of 5 I would give it a 3," says Tsunoda with a grin. "It's OK, I haven't done the same number of laps round here as some of the other drivers but I am quite confident that I can do a good job here."

"The testing we did was good including here but I can still improve myself in some areas like braking so I will be working on that during practice. I believe we have a good base set-up, the team has done a good job but we'll see when practice starts."

Liam Lawson

17-year-old New Zealander Lawson is keyed up for a big step forward in his career and was reflecting on just where he was, sitting in the MP Motorsport truck in the Catalunya paddock on Thursday morning. "Of course I've watched racing here on TV for years and its quite surreal to actually be here driving at the Grand Prix."

"I am happy that I am as prepared as I can be, of course it's big step up from F4 and the sort of racing I was doing last year. This is a hugely competitive class."

"We've done as much testing as we are allowed, as much as anyone else but it's still a big unknown really just how competitive we will be. I think actually it is quite a big unknown for everyone."

"It's a great track, from the testing I believe that we have a good base but of course the temperatures is quite a lot different to testing so that will have an effect."

Jüri Vips

The Estonian 18-year-old matches confidence with a note of caution as he looks ahead to the first weekend of the new F3 series. "We've done a lot of work. The car is quite a lot different to last year's F3 and in the beginning I found it a little difficult to adapt. But we worked at it."

"The tyres are different, we are on Pirellis and they are very sensitive. It takes time to learn how to get the best out of them. The car is also a lot heavier this year so obviously that also makes quite a difference.

"But now I am feeling confident in the car. I think with set-up we have done enough work to understand the direct we are going in so I am confident in that as well but we'll know more when we get out on track tomorrow (Friday)," added the Hitech GP driver.

Catalunya weekend schedule – all times CEST
Friday 10th May
09:15 – Practice (45 minutes)
17:50 - Qualifying (30 minutes)

Saturday 11th May
10:15 - Race 1 (22 laps)

Sunday 12th May
10:15 - Race 2 (22 laps)