(L-R) Aussie F3 drivers Tommy Smith and Christian Mansell at Albert Park. Photo: Xavier Rodrigues

(L-R) Aussie F3 drivers Tommy Smith and Christian Mansell at Albert Park. Photo: Xavier Rodrigues

Australian FIA Formula 3 drivers Christian Mansell and Tommy Smith are ready to take on Albert Park this weekend for the second round of the championship.

Mansell lands in Melbourne off the back of a podium in the feature race at Bahrain, and he says he’s “over the moon” with the result.

“It was a shame that it didn’t go as planned in race 1.” he said. “We accepted that fact, tried our best.”

“The good thing is that we knew exactly what we needed to do to get the most out race two, and I don’t think we could’ve gotten any more out of race two.”

Mansell said that the race win, taken by Luke Browning was out of sight, as he had already been forced to work his way up from eighth on the grid.

“There were no tyres left to attack Luke,” he said. “If we did potentially attack Luke, there was a greater threat of Sami [Meguetounif] and Tim [Tramnitz] attacking. So it was a smart decision, bittersweet, but it was the smarter, more mature call.”

Mansell is third in the championship leading into the two races this weekend in Melbourne.

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The other Australian hopeful at home is Tommy Smith, who is 25th in the standings.

Smith’s weekend in Bahrain was largely one to forget. He qualified 27th and while making progress in the feature race, he couldn’t get further than 22nd.

“I think I had good race pace, but I think I was just stuck.”

“It’s so hard to go forward. This championship is all about tyre management and to pass people you need to use a lot of your tyre.”

Smith will be aiming for a points finish this weekend at Albert Park, something that just eluded him a year ago.

“I am confident, I think I’ve just gotta maximise [Friday].” he said. “FP1 leading into quali, it’s such an important day.”

“It was a tough one in Bahrain, but I’m sure we’ll bounce back.”

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