There were big smiles all round on the Race 1 podium, but nobody was beaming as much as Nerea Martí as she bagged a P2 finish in front of a jubilant home crowd in Barcelona.

She wasn’t the only home hero celebrating, with Campos Racing sealing a double podium finish with Haas’ Chloe Chambers in third. Crucially for Martí, her second podium of the 2024 campaign has added 18 points to her tally, promoting her from sixth to fourth in the Drivers’ Standings.

“I feel really excited, it’s a good result,” she said after the race. “We take some points that are important for the Standings. I’m really excited because I saw all the Spanish people that are supporting me.

“Also, my parents and my family are here, so it’s really exciting for me. Tomorrow, we have another race, I will start from P4, so we will fight to be on the podium and take more points.”

The Spaniard delivered a textbook example of how to ace a race start. Timing her reaction to perfection, Martí managed to get the jump on second-place starter Chambers. She might have had a chance to seize the lead at Turn 1, going side-by-side with Pulling, but she couldn’t quite find the overspeed to make a move stick.

Reflecting on that critical getaway, Martí continued: “I’m really happy with my start, I think it was mega! I could overtake Chloe at the start and then I was really close to Abbi. I’m excited, I’m happy — let’s see if tomorrow we can repeat it and do the same.”

Martí made the most of a stellar getaway but couldnt quite match Pullings pace to challenge her for the win
Martí made the most of a stellar getaway, but couldn't quite match Pulling's pace to challenge her for the win

Securing a 33-point haul for Campos alongside Chambers is vital for their title aspirations. After a challenging year last season for the team — who finished fourth in the Drivers’ Standings with Martí but bottom of the Teams’ table — she believes that their well-rounded line-up is spurring on their upturn in performances round-by-round.

“I think it’s super important to have a fast driver next to me,” Martí remarked. “For example, this season I can improve a lot from Chloe and also from Carrie. She was really strong here and also in the test she was really fast, so I’ve already learnt a lot of things from her. I think it’s really good, firstly because we got points for the Standings as a team and then, because I can keep improving and learning from her.”

READ MORE: RACE 1: Pulling drives to perfection with fourth win on the bounce

Now her attention will turn to Sunday morning’s Race 2, where she lines up one place further back in P4. Anticipating wet running by preparing early, Martí said her strategy will be to stick with pole-sitter Pulling to get a better understanding of the conditions and then wait for the moment to strike for the podium, or a first win of the season if luck is on her side.

“I think it will be raining,” she noted. “Let’s see what happens because in wet conditions a lot of things can happen. We’re close to being on the podium and we need to get as many points as possible. We will push, we’re already talking about tomorrow with the team because we had a long day before the race.

“I don’t think I’ve driven her in wet conditions, I don’t remember, but for sure Abbi will be fast. So, I will try to follow her to learn as much as possible because she’s fast. I will fight for the podium. Let’s see if something happens and we can get the victory.”