top of page

Christian Mansell takes maiden pole position: “It was just a matter of extraction”

Written by Sean McKean

Earlier today, Christian Mansell and ART Grand Prix took their first pole position of the year. For Mansell, this is an especially big accomplishment, as this is the Australian driver’s first pole position in FIA Formula 3.

“I was just waiting to get the radio message,” Mansell told DIVEBOMB and other selected media in a press conference. “As I crossed the line, my eyes were just straight to screen, and once I saw that, it was an amazing feeling and rewarding feeling. We [ART] have put in so much work, and to finally get a result that shows how much really goes into this is such an amazing feeling.”

“I think it [pace] was always there, it was just a matter of extraction.”

With an uncharacteristically low number of yellow flags, setting a good benchmark time proved to be key. This was proven when – by the end of the session – the top five drivers were separated by only one tenth. Does taking pole in such a close qualifying affect how Mansell views this accomplishment? He answers succinctly.

“Yes, and no. In my head, pole is pole. I didn’t care how I get it, by a little margin or big margin. Sometimes if you have pole by something silly like half a second, then you feel over the moon. But in F3, the level is so high, and you rarely get that unless it rains or it’s something changeable. 

“Pole is pole, I’ll take it as it comes.”

This pole position further adds to a tally of strong results for Mansell. In Monaco, he qualified in the top three and kept position to finish second in the feature race. Now, in Spain, he takes pole position and the points that come along with it. Mansell, however, simply takes these results as they come.

“You do get a good boost of momentum from this and I’m definitely feeling confident within myself – of course, you’d be silly not to,” he said. “At the end of the day, you just have to maximise your own package. Today, I was capable of P1, I got P1, and some days it’s just capable of P12. And you do just have to try to maximise the package the whole year.”

Within the walls of ART, the Monaco weekend was felt across every employee, as today they had all three drivers qualify within the top 10, two of which in the top three. Was Monaco the confidence-boost they needed?

“Of course, Monaco was such a spectacular weekend for everyone in ART. It was such a massive confidence boost for myself knowing that the team had such a capable car that weekend,” Mansell said.

“Coming into here, off the back of a really nice Monaco, is good so far… We’ll ride the wave of today, but tomorrow is such a different story. At the end of the day, F3 is basically up to luck and skill, and to be honest, some outweigh the other in different circumstances.”

Mansell will start Sunday’s feature – FIA Formula 3’s 100th race – from first position.


bottom of page