FIA Formula 3: Hello and welcome to a special press conference with the 2020 FIA Formula 3 Drivers’ Champion Oscar Piastri. Oscar, just how good does that title sound?
Oscar Piastri: Definitely sounds pretty cool. It’s still sinking in at the moment. Obviously, it was a pretty chaotic race to decide the Champion, so firstly, I feel really sorry for Logan (Sargeant). I think it would have been awesome if we’d have had a straight fight for the title. But I guess that’s part of the game that is motorsport. To come out on top is pretty cool, and it’s going to take a few more hours or days to sink in.
FIA Formula 3: It will take some time. What does this Championship mean to you?
Oscar: It means a lot. A lot of people regard F3 as one of the most competitive championships in the world. It’s full of up and coming drivers. To be able to say that I’m the Champion of it is an awesome feeling. Now that I’ve won F3, I can’t do it again, so I guess that means I’m doing something else next year. It’s an awesome feeling to win F3.
FIA Formula 3: From the start of the season you were one of the early favourites for the Championship. Did that add any pressure at all?
Oscar: Not really no. Being with PREMA there was some pressure to do well, but then again, it’s my rookie year as well. I could have probably fallen back on that a bit if I’d wanted to. I think after I won my first race I couldn’t really do that as much! I didn’t really feel like there was any added pressure by the way I started the year. I think, if anything, it helped to prove what I could do rather than add any pressure. I don’t want to say that it surprised people, that I could fight at the front so quickly, but to be honest, even myself, I wasn’t expecting the first part of the season to go as strongly as it did.
FIA Formula 3: You mentioned Logan already. It’s been a fierce competition throughout the year, and your main rival has been your teammate. How difficult was that to manage?
Oscar: To be honest, not that difficult. We’ve been friends for a while now. We’ve known each other for four or five years. We’ve been good friends and we didn’t come to blows this year, so that helped! It really wasn’t difficult to manage. We worked well all year, and I think that was a big part of our success in the Teams’ Championship and the Drivers’ Championship. It was great working with Logan and with Fred (Vesti).
FIA Formula 3: You were so closely matched that you went into this final round level on points. In what mindset did you wake up this morning to approach this race?
Oscar: Basically, I thought I had nothing to lose. After yesterday, it was a bit annoying finishing 11th and one spot off the reverse grid pole. After Qualifying that was the aim – to finish 10th. That was pretty painful if I’m honest. I had a good start, picked up a few spots… This morning, I went into it knowing that anything was possible. We certainly learned that in
Monza. Even yesterday I think the race was a bit unpredictable. Today it definitely was. I never gave up hope. I always believed that there was a chance to still win, even if it was pretty slim, but here I am.
FIA Formula 3: You mentioned Monza, and I’m sure you don’t want to recap that too much, but is there any race or round that stands out? One you’ll always remember from this year?
Oscar: I think the first one in Austria is going to stick with me for a while. That really set the tone for the rest of my Championship and gave me a lot of confidence. To be honest, after Bahrain, I wasn’t fully confident in myself that I was going to be able to do it. Then after the first race, it put those doubts to bed. I think Monza will stick with me for mainly bad reasons, rather than good reasons, but Austria was probably the highlight, and also Hungary as well.
FIA Formula 3: Let’s keep focusing on those good reasons. How are you going to celebrate this? Have you been on the phone to anyone yet to speak about it?
Oscar: I haven’t spoken to too many people. I just went and had lunch really! I haven’t really had time to speak to that many people, but Rob, who is with me, was on FaceTime to my whole family when I came in. I got to see them which was nice. That’s basically all the people I’ve spoken too. I’ve seen a few messages, but there’s still hundreds more to look at, so I’ll get back to them once my phone recharges. It died from all the excitement!
FIA Formula 3: I bet it did. Is there going to be a celebration?
Oscar: I hope so. At the moment I can’t get back to Australia because Victoria’s on pretty strict lockdown. I don’t know when I’ll be going home. Hopefully Christmas, but I’ll go back to the UK tomorrow. My girlfriend is going to uni in a week, so she’s going away, and I don’t really know who I’m going to celebrate with, but I’ll find someone!
FIA Formula 3: Your phone will be going off again now, with everyone offering to help celebrate! What’s next for our newly crowned Formula 3 Champion?
Oscar: Providing everything goes well in the off-season, I think a move to F2 is on the cards. Obviously, I can’t do F3 again, so ideally I’d be doing F2 and hopefully that’s where I’ll end up.