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2011 has seen Spain’s Roberto Merhi win both the Formula 3 Euro Series and the FIA’s Formula 3 International Trophy in dominant fashion. The 20-year-old from Castellón discusses the past, present and future, exclusively with GPUpdate.net.
Roberto Merhi: 2011 F3 Euro Series Champion. A pretty good feeling?
Yes, it’s a really good feeling. The year has gone really well, also for the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy. It was my goal to win both championships this year and I have done it, with a really comfortable gap in both, and I have been really competitive in all races. It feels so good.
You appeared to dominate with ease – was it the same from inside the car?
It’s always hard work because, when you want to finish first all the time, it’s very hard to finish first all the time. But you do need to try and do it: to claim all the poles, to win as many races as possible and to record all of the fastest laps. You need to concentrate in every race to be competitive every time and that is really hard sometimes.
Nowadays there is a wide range of junior formulae such as Formula 2, GP3, Auto GP and various Formula 3 championships. Does the driver have to work harder than before, with so much competition from so many categories?
That is certainly possible. Before, it was mainly just the Formula 3 Euro Series which was the most competitive championship. Now there are many championships mixed between Formula 3 and the next step, but F3 is always going to be the best to learn how to prepare a car; there is much more information that you can give to the team in comparison with maybe GP3 or Formula 2. I still think F3 is the best for learning.
Your next big challenge with Prema, in November, is the Macau Grand Prix. How are you feeling about that?
Macau is the next step. It’s my favourite track and it’s very important to have a good result there. It will be hard but we are going to try and win it.
2012 will then follow quickly. What are your plans?
I don’t really have any at the moment. I really want to know because everybody is asking me (laughs)! Maybe I’m going to do DTM or GP2, I don’t know. I think GP2 is maybe a bit expensive and I don’t have the budget to do it at the moment, but DTM is a really good championship now and, for sure, next year is going to be really interesting because there are new cars for all of the teams and BMW joins Mercedes and Audi. It could be a really nice fight. But at the moment I don’t know about next year - we need to look around for the best option.
Roberto Merhi was talking to GPUpdate.net’s Gregory Haines
Twitter: @GregoryHainesF1, @robertomerhi
F3 Euro Series
DTM Tickets (best price guarantee!) at Sportstadium.com
|22 Oct '12||Juncadella to test Ferrari in Italy|
|25 Oct '11||Interview with F3 Euro Champion Roberto Merhi|
|23 Oct '11||Merhi wins final Hockenheim race|
|22 Oct '11||Merhi triumphs in Hockenheim opener|
|21 Oct '11||Merhi secures both Hockenheim poles|
|3 Apr '12||Schumacher to mentor Mercedes Junior Team|
|3 Apr '12||F1 video: Schumacher meets Mercedes Junior Team|
|18 Nov '11||Juncadella gains penalty as Merhi loses one|
|17 Nov '11||Pace-setter Merhi docked ten grid places|
|17 Nov '11||Merhi on provisional pole but crashes at Macau|
|F3 Euro Series|
|1 Feb||Goddard to race for T-Sport in European F3|
|14 Aug '12||Too many junior series, says Berger|
|30 Jun '12||Berger wants standardised F3 regulations|
|11 May '12||Latest F3 photos: Friday at Pau Grand Prix|
|31 Dec '11||Video of the Day: Vettel versus Hamilton in F3|
|More Roberto Merhi photos|