Interview with Renger van der Zande
4 October 2010 – After suffering a dismal campaign in GP3 this season, The Netherlands’ Renger van der Zande made a Formula 3 Euro Series comeback in Germany last month. The 24-year-old compares the two championships as well as looking on to 2011.
You have contested the GP3 season this year, having competed for several years in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Could you please describe the biggest difference between the two single-seaters?
Taking a Formula 3 car to its absolute limit is extremely difficult, as it’s an extremely fine line - if you are too far away from the limit you are too slow, but exceeding it also means that you will lose a lot of time. In a GP3 car, the width of the limit is clearly bigger, so being fast with such a car is far easier.
How do you assess the future of the Formula 3 Euro Series?
I think that the organisers have made good decisions regarding the coming years. Formula 3 still represents one of the most important steps for a young racing driver, as it offers him the chance of learning a lot.
On a Formula 3 Euro Series race weekend, for instance, you spend far more time on the track than in GP3. In addition, the atmosphere in the joint paddock of the Formula 3 Euro Series and DTM is nicer and more enjoyable than in the GP3 paddock.
Here, the fans have still got the chance of getting close to the drivers, while that isn't the case in GP3 as it’s part of the Formula 1 support programme.
And what are your plans for the future?
First of all, I want to contest the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix later this year and, as I have had ties with Mercedes-Benz for quite a while now, I'd prefer doing so with a team using the Mercedes engine.
Securing a DTM cockpit remains my goal for the 2011 season. Having the opportunity to represent the Dutch colours on the DTM grid would be just great.