How Zak O’Sullivan is working to ‘find answers to the questions that come up’

In a special column for F1 Feeder Series, Carlin F3 driver Zak O’Sullivan reflects on the start of his 2022 season and his time with the Williams Driver Academy.

By Zak O’Sullivan

Hi everyone, and welcome to my column with F1 Feeder Series! I’m writing this in the week leading up to the British Grand Prix – not only my home race but also a home race for my teams, Carlin and Williams Racing. With three FIA F3 rounds complete, I’m taking a moment to review the season so far.

It was always going to be a big step up joining FIA F3 following our strong season in the GB3 Championship, and our expectations were clear from the outset. As I explained in interviews, this season provides an opportunity to work closely with the Carlin team as they aim to return to the front end of the grid, where they belong. Whilst we have found some of these early rounds frustrating, it has been positive to build a deeper understanding of the car and the conditions in which it performs best. We enjoyed some decent speed at Imola in the wet, for example.

However, despite a lot of hard work behind the scenes, we haven’t yet found the performance gain that we had hoped for. This weekend is another opportunity, but with only six rounds remaining, we need to do it quickly! I’m working constantly with my driver coach Kieren Clark and the engineering team at Carlin to find answers to the questions that come up.

Outside of the car, I have been fortunate to work closely with the Williams Racing team as part of my role in the Williams Driver Academy. I’ve attended several gruelling but fun fitness boot camps and spent time in the simulator at Grove. The team have been very supportive in my FIA F3 campaign and understand the challenges I’m facing in comparison to my biggest competitors. Most recently, I joined Alex Albon, Nicky Latifi and the rest of the team in Baku, where I shadowed them and learnt a lot about how a Formula 1 team operates. Shout-out to the lovely marketing team, whom I also latched onto for some of the event!

Looking forward to this weekend, I am excited about racing in front of the home crowds at Silverstone. It’s a track I really enjoy and where I’ve experienced plenty of success in the past! Make sure you tune in bright and early on Saturday and Sunday for our races, and if you’re in the crowd then give me a wave. Thanks for the support.

Header photo credit: James Gasperotti

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