How to assess my first season in the FIA ​​Formula 3 Championship is difficult. It’s something I haven’t really experienced before. I studied a lot. As a team, we’ve struggled a bit all year to get on the car. So there were some difficulties in that sense, but I think I learned a lot from my side. I really needed to make the most of every opportunity with the car; I was strong in some rounds and that really helped me develop.

It was quite an interesting experience because all the previous years I had been in a car capable of winning races and championships. I had great success with Carlin in British F4 and in GB3. We’ve had some good weekends with Carlin in Formula 3 this year, there was a highlight at Silverstone where I think a bit of track knowledge helped me – we took pole and finished second. In Hungary, where I was fourth, we made the right choice with the tires and took an opportunity that others might not have. So it was a unique year, but one that I enjoyed despite the ups and downs.

In previous years I could more or less fully focus on my driving and what I had to do, whereas this year I worked on my driving on the one hand, but even more, tried to work with the team to improve the car. I really enjoyed that element, trying to work through the areas where we were lacking. So even though I didn’t get the results I wanted, I think it opened up a different side of me where I had to look elsewhere and see what we could improve on and be quite observant of what others were doing teams.

It was really cool driving the Dallara F3 car. It’s a really nice car to drive. I think it’s the right ratio of power to downforce, especially in qualifying. The car has very good aerodynamics at high speeds, which you can definitely feel. You have to set up the car differently for the race. You automatically use less downforce, so tire degradation is higher. It took a bit of getting used to, especially in the first races in Bahrain where you were driving on sandpaper.

Driving the car for one lap is fun; in a race it’s a little different. Also, switching tire compound from round to round was quite a challenge trying to figure out where the tire should be in the right window. In some rounds you would be in a window and the qualifying round would be there. There would be no other times.

Later this month I will get the chance to drive an F1 car for winning the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award. It will be my first time and quite awkward: I will be driving an Aston Martin F1 car, but I am a Williams Academy driver. I saw some emails between the Williams and Aston Martin communications teams that were quite amusing. I’m sure my neck won’t be up all day, but I’m still looking forward to it.

Learning the vagaries of the Pirelli tires – with compounds that change at each event – and displaying them in the right window to race has been a key part of O’Sullivan’s learning curve in 2022

Photo: Mark Sutton / Images of motor sports

Last month I was fitting a seat in an Aston Martin and doing some sims. They were a little limited in what they could show me because of the Williams link. They can’t send me too many things to prepare in advance, so they will give me a driver’s manual in the morning. But I’ll be one of the elite few to have driven a turbo-hybrid F1 car, so that’s going to be pretty cool.

I was very involved with Williams, more than I ever predicted. I’ve been to two races as race support and done a lot in the simulator. I didn’t expect to be so involved, which is very refreshing. It’s interesting because some of the challenges they face in F1 are very similar to what I’ve been dealing with this year.

F2 was originally the plan for next year, but something changed at the last minute, so now it’s F3 again

Being a part of the BRDC SuperStars program is awesome. Having two big British names backing me at BRDC and Williams is amazing. The BRDC is very influential with Silverstone and supports British motorsport at its peak. Andy Meyrick is always available by phone. It has gone through most of the stages, questions, and challenges you may encounter throughout your career. So it’s nice to have someone to lean on when you really need it.

Also in the program, several pilots participate in Formula 3 races. Even some of the drivers above, you can often text them. I did this just before testing for the Autosport award last year, trying to get any information from Tom Gamble who had won it before.

Now the season is over, I will have a little rest and switch off. F2 was originally the plan for next year, but something changed at the last minute, so now it’s F3 again.

I just finished a three day test with Prema and I really enjoyed my time. It was a new environment: many of the things are very similar, but it’s no secret that Prema is very strong in F3. The pace was quite strong, but the focus was on getting to know all the team members – a new staff to me – and some new languages. So it was a bit of a learning curve.

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O'Sullivan will get his first F1 test after winning the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC

O’Sullivan will take his first F1 test after winning the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year last year

Photo: Images of motor sports