Ben Collins Q&A

A race winner in British F3 and a podium finisher at the Marlboro Masters, Collins is one of just two British entries for the Macau Grand Prix, the world's most important - and dangerous - Formula Three race. The law graduate took time out from his preparations to speak to Autosport.com

Ben Collins Q&A


"Not at all! You get to drive around one of the most happening cities in the world at over 160mph - it's like a dream come true! I just wish they'd let us do it in London. The buzz from driving here is like driving at Brands GP, Cadwell Park or Spa - the trick is dealing with the walls and enjoying it. I've had a good look around this week and track itself is in really good condition - they've worked really hard to get it better than ever."


"To be quick at Macau you need straightline speed and a good balance in the city section. The real key is being fast in the last two corners, which lead on to the straights. The track has every kind of corner and it's easy to make a mistake - if that happens you start building a relationship with the spare parts guy."


"I think this year is special because there are more quick cars than ever before with quick guys driving them - it will be a real race. The car has to be right and the driver needs an unusual degree of focus to win, but one is no good without the other."


"Traditionally F1 teams have looked at the top drivers from Macau because if you can cut it on this track against the best drivers outside F1, you're ready to move up. I genuinely believe F1 teams will have more to look at this year than ever before."


"RC have given me a great opportunity to race here and I wouldn't really have been able to race otherwise. Everyone involved in the team wants me to do the business and that's a great feeling."


"My caffeine level has gone up, because they drink coffee at RC like it's water! The boys have a fantastic sense of humour and do a great job, so it's not really different to driving for a top British team. I hadn't realised Italy ruled the entire world until I came here, but I'm learning!"


"The teams I rate at Macau are TOM'S, Signature, Carlin, BSR, Swiss Racing and RC Benetton. Each team has at least one quick driver and most of them raced here in a single-seater last year, which probably gives them a small advantage early on. Everyone will push like hell, but if we get the breaks I'll beat them - that's Macau."


"Despite popular opinion, I'm not the leading authority on engines in F3 this year! I know Taku will be using a Mugen-tuned Honda from Japan, and that combination beat the TOM'S in Japan's F3 series, so I guess it's quite good. Neil Brown's people do a great job too so I'm sure the British Mugens will go well also. Funnily enough, Renault won the international races at Pau and Zandvoort, Toyota won both races here last year and Opel have a strong history too, so let's cut the engine bullshit and just race!"

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