Oliver Bearman’s certainly been keeping himself busy during the break before the final round, getting his first taste of Formula 1 machinery and preparing to make his debut for Haas with a Free Practice 1 appearance in Mexico City.

Before that though, we caught up with the PREMA Racing driver to reflect on last year’s Silverstone Feature Race, a day that proved to be a pivotal moment for the Briton and began his transformation into a Formula 3 title contender.

“It was a tough call for me, I was starting P6 and of course, I had high hopes for the race. I wanted to get on the podium in front of the British fans, that was my goal. The race was a good one, I spent a lot of it struggling because basically, we set the car up to be really fast at the end, which meant I spent 80% of the race defending and waiting. Then the last five laps were where the car came alive, and I managed to come through the field and finish P3.

“It was super close across the line with Zak (O’Sullivan) and honestly, if there would have been one more lap, I’m quite sure I would have won the race because I had so much more pace at the end. It was quite a cool one because I spent the whole race just looking in my mirrors. I was hardly focusing on the racetrack ahead, just looking behind and waiting for the guys to pass me. Then suddenly, the coin flipped, and I was the guy going forward and that was a really nice feeling.

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“I really wanted to get at least a podium in front of the British fans, that was always my goal. Also, it’s a track that I knew a lot of people were watching me at like my friends from home. I had a lot of family there watching the race, so I kind of felt obligated to do well. It gave me extra motivation!

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“It was really close for the race win, and I was really close to my first win. It was only the fourth round of the Championship, so after that I was really confident that I could chase down that victory. That was my first Feature Race podium in F3, so it was a bit of a turning point. I remember that from Silverstone onwards, we were on the podium in almost every Feature Race after that, so it was definitely a turning point where something clicked.

“I started to understand the tyres, the racing and the strategy of F3 a bit better. Also, as a driver, it was a good lesson in keeping your emotions stable because I spent the whole race defending and then suddenly, I was able to go forward. I didn’t get frustrated or make any mistakes, which was a good lesson for me as well.

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“There are some races where there is a different way to approach it. We were trying to be there at the end, but sometimes if you’re starting a bit more at the back, you want to be strong for the start. It’s quite interesting because I was holding on for the whole race, just waiting for my time to come.

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“It can be a bit frustrating and annoying, but we managed it well and that was a really good lesson, especially having come up from Formula 4. There it’s not really like that, so when I got into F3 and there was a lot more stuff happening, it was a valuable lesson for me to learn early on.

“I realised that it's all about keeping your emotions low no matter the performance and no matter what’s happening. Now I’m trying to keep a cool head and just go with the situation to maximise it whatever’s happening, so that’s been a turning point in my persona.”