Carlin’s Andy Meyrick has been the revelation of the National Class championship so far this season, taking 83 points from a possible 84 and four race wins in as many starts. Despite his success, the Welsh racer admits he still isn’t completely happy with his own performance in his first year of British F3…..
How has it been going at Monza?
It’s been a bit mixed to be honest. In the first session I was quite pleased with our pace, we were tenth quickest overall and quickest in the national class. In the second practice session the car felt good, but I wasn’t happy with my driving. I think there’s more time to be made up in the first chicane and the last corner. It doesn’t matter that I was quickest in the National Class when I know I should have been quicker and didn’t drive to my full potential – that’s when it’s frustrating.
Have you been surprised at how well you’ve done in British F3 so far?
I’m a little bit surprised. I’m relieved – that’s probably the best word. I think some other people are quite surprised, because they haven’t seen me at many race tracks before or haven’t heard of me because I’ve not really done that much racing. But I had belief in myself that I could do well in British F3 so I’m relieved at how it’s gone so far.
Do you enjoy driving the F3 car?
Yeah it’s a great car. It’s got more grip than anything I’ve driven before. Obviously, it’s quite different to the Formula Renault. In many ways it’s easier to drive fast than the Renault was, but its finding those few final tenths that’s difficult.
What have you enjoyed most about the season so far?
Obviously you’re happy when you win, and every time you do well; get pole or win a race, it’s a highlight. But it doesn’t mean anything if I don’t keep doing it. At the end of the season no-ones going to remember I won the first four races if I don’t win the championship.
You seem to judge yourself quite harshly, even when you’re taking pole position or winning. Do you think you’re your own worst critic?
I think I probably am, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. I think you should judge how good you are and how good your performance is by what you believe you are capable of. If you do your ultimate best then fair enough, but if you’re quickest and you feel you drove badly, then personally you can’t be completely happy with that.
Who do you compare yourself to in British F3, the National Class drivers or your International Class team mates?
As I’ve said I think really I measure myself against what I believe I’m capable of. And also you look at the quickest International Class car – which has to be some kind of bench mark. You know within yourself how far off you should be from that time. At some tracks it’s going to be a lot, and others, it might not be too much.
How much do you work with and share data with your International team mates? Is there much of a separation between the National and International drivers within Carlin?
Basically we’ll be looking at the data of whoever was quickest on that day so we all work together quite closely. There are areas at some tracks where we shouldn’t be that much different from the International Class cars – the National car is only a year older; it isn’t that much different really, so some of the data is very useful.
You were studying for your finals at Manchester Metropolitan University during the first two rounds of British F3 – how much of a difference did that make to your concentration levels when you were racing?
It was difficult, but you just need to manage your time. The last couple of weeks have been difficult just because of the pressure of having exams and having a timetable to follow. It means I’ve missed both tests the team has done at Rockingham, which is obviously far from ideal. I’ve been round the circuit, I know the layout, but I’m still missing the experience in an F3 car. But it shouldn’t really hurt too much.
A year ago you were racing historic cars. Did you ever think that a year later you would be leading the British F3 National Class by such a large margin?
I wasn’t in a full-time race programme last year. In fact I’ve just realised I’ve only done 20 competitive races so far, which surprised me a bit! I suppose it feels really good to sit back and think about it like that. And I’m obviously happy with the results. I hoped back then I had the potential to do well in British F3, and coming to Carlin I’ve been able to reach the standard I’d hoped to. We’ll be working hard to make sure it lasts for the remainder of the season.