Japanese Formula 3 racer Keisuke Kunimoto surprised himself, his TOM'S team and most of the rest of the pitlane when he took a convincing victory in the Macau Grand Prix on Sunday.
As well as upstaging Edoardo Mortara, one of the pre-event favourites, Kunimoto delivered the best performance of his short career after admitting that he changed his mindset for the blue riband event.
Autosport.com spoke to the Japanese driver after his victory to find out how surprised he was, whether he felt the pressure from Mortara and why he does not know what his rookie win means for his future.
Q. When you arrived here before the race, were you expecting to be standing here on Sunday on the top step of the podium?
Keisuke Kunimoto: "I didn't expect that I would be in the middle of the podium. Everything went very well and that is it.
Q. What was the secret to your weekend turning around? In practice you did not do much, and then suddenly in second qualifying you were right on the pace.
KK: "Yes, I was quite slow in practice. I was just learning the circuit because it was my first time here. That was my plan to try and get on the podium here."
Q. Where did you find the speed in qualifying then?
KK: "Qualifying was quite lucky, because Carlo (van Dam, TOM'S teammate) was in front of me, so I got a quite good slipstream. That is why I got a good lap time."
Q. Did Carlo help you a lot this weekend in terms of setup and advice for how to deal with the Macau Grand Prix?
KK: "Yes. I think the driving of the track was the main thing, because we didn't change the setup that much - just a little. So, it was just a question of driving."
Q. In the qualification race yesterday Edoardo Mortara overtook you, but you said at the time you didn't care as it was only qualifying. Were you confident yesterday you could be as quick as you were today?
KK: "Yes, of course. Edoardo is a very fast driver and I think he was stronger than me yesterday - but today we were the same. So it was just a question of changing my mindset - to push harder and it just went my way."
Q. So you were much more aggressive today then?
KK: "Of course, I was pushing harder - and also having fun. That was the most important thing for the race I think."
Q. Were you aware that you needed to build up a big gap at the restarts, because of the way Mortara used his tyres?
KK: "I think what was important was that after the safety car, I was pretty fast. So I could get a good gap from him - which meant pushing after that was easy."
Q. Were you mindful that he was closing in?
KK: "I didn't care. I didn't look for him."
Q. What does this result mean for next year? Does it change your plans?
KK: "I don't know yet. I am a member of TDP (Toyota Young Drivers Programme), so they decide where I go next year."
Q. So do you think you will stay in F3, or can you see yourself moving up now?
KK: "I don't want to say!"