Round 9 of the FIA Formula 3 Championship was always going to be a huge challenge for both Calan and the team. Calan has never been to this circuit before, and the team have not run a FIA F3 or GP3 car here previously either. Becuase the venue was added to the calendar after the condensed season had started, there has been no opportunity to find a way to familiarise with this circuit prior to the event taking place.
On the flip side of this, a number of the teams conduct frequent testing at Mugello, and the majority of drivers in the field have raced and tested here before.
With that in mind, practice was very much an exploriatory process, with Calan improving his lap time with each one of his 8 flying laps which were possible on the single set of tyres across the 45 minute session.
Mugello is a challenging circuit to learn, full of fast corners where you must flirt with disaster in order to gain a lap time, so even in the beginning of qualifying, Calan was still continuing to learn the circuit. In the end, to continue to improve lap time and to qualify P24 with a 1:36.8 (1.5 sec off pole) was a solid effort under the circumstances.
Starting from P24 in Race 1, Calan got away well off the line and held position through the inside of turn 1. In the subsequent corners however, the field was very condensed and being held up on the inside he lost one position around the outside of turn 3. From here Calan drove and outstanding race, picking off those ahead of him and making 5 excellent moves on a circuit which is very difficult to overtake on.
The final result was P19, and the most positions gained of anyone in the field once again for Calan, continuing his reputation for string overtaking.
Sunday will bring Race 2, and the final race for the 2020 FIA Formula 3 Championship.