Looking ahead to Round 3

The third round of F1 Academy commences in Barcelona this week as the 15-strong gird returns to the site of their first pre-season test, Circuit Barcelona de-Catalunya.

Hamda Al Qubaisi scored the most points of any driver last time out in Valencia, with the MP Motorsport racer chasing Series leader Marta García in the standings. The Spaniard’s team, PREMA Racing, took another two wins at Valencia, with Filipino driver Bianca Bustamante securing her first win of the season in Race 2 and García sealing victory in Race 3.

Meanwhile ART Grand Prix’s Léna Bühler claimed her third podium in just six races as she secured P2 and P3 finishes in Valencia. The Swiss driver sits fourth in the standings, just two points behind Campos Racing’s Nerea Martí.

On the Grid – Megan Gilkes, Rodin Carlin

“It's definitely been a challenging start to the season. After the first two rounds, I was certainly expecting to be a lot higher than 10th in the standings. I worked really hard with the team at the two days in Valencia after the race weekend and we are hoping to put some of the improvements we found into the car and move on from there.

“I am really looking forward to Barcelona as we showed some really strong pace at pre-season testing there so I will try to convert that into the race weekend. Tyre degradation will be one of the most challenging things about Barcelona with it being the highest tyre energy circuit on the calendar this year. The front left tyres are going to be screaming at the end of each race, so it will be just about getting the most out of the tyres in both qualifying and the races.”

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On the Grid – Lola Lovinfosse, Campos Racing

“I am happy with the work we did in Round 1 and Round 2. We have a strong pace and I am quite confident for the rest of the season. I felt super good in pre-season testing in Barcelona, so I am really looking forward to getting back out on track there and racing. I think we can have a good set of results as a team.

“Tyre degradation will always be difficult around Barcelona due to the heat, and it will probably be at its highest amount this season when we head to the Circuit Barcelona de-Catalunya. Nevertheless, I am sure we will manage to find good pace in the car.”

Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director

“The third F1 Academy event takes place at Barcelona, a well-used and known track with a good mix of 14 high and low-speed corners. The Spanish circuit has a wide layout of 4.657 kilometres, with a very technical final sector that is particularly important when it comes to looking after the tyres, even though the final chicane has now been removed.

“The F1 Academy contenders have already driven at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit during pre-season testing and have picked up some useful lessons on how to manage the tyres. We are expecting more wear than at other venues this season due to the expected track temperatures. Wear will be mainly on the left-hand side of the car, which is the most stressed due to the track layout.”

Stat Pack

  • 3: Marta García. secured her third race win of the season, meaning she has won half of the races this season.

  • 7.1s: MP Motorsport’s Hamda Al Qubaisi won Race 1 by over seven seconds, the biggest race-winning margin of the week.

  • 1: Only one point separates Rodin Carlin in P3 (79pts) and ART Grand Prix in P4 (78pts).

  • 2: Two teams have won races so far this season, PREMA Racing and MP Motorsport, and all five teams have been represented on the podium.

  • 6: There have been six different nationalities represented on the podium already this year (Spanish, Emirati, Swiss, British, French and Filipino).

  • 48: Garcia currently has 48 laps led across the season, more than the rest of the grid combined.