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Make or Break Year for Calan Williams in 2021   
Story By: Administrator  Date: 9/12/2020 at 1:50:16 PM 
Former Australian Formula 3 Champion Calan Williams acknowledges 2021 will be a make or break year in his quest to join Daniel Ricciardo on the Formula 1 grid.

After a tough first year in the FIA Formula 3 Champions in which Melbourne’s Oscar Piastri came away with the title, Williams season was not smooth sailing with a best finish of 14th far from a fair reflection of his ability. “Unfortunately, the results didn’t reflect the performances. I qualified fifth in Hungary, and was third at the first corner, then unfortunately I got hit from behind which not only took me out of that race, but that meant I started last on the grid the next day.” Williams said. “It was the same at Monza, I started fourth and got hit a few laps in and had to start from the rear in the second race. It’s a tricky format, and it didn’t work for me this year.”

The 20-year-old, who won the Australian Formula 3 title in 2017, says it’s clear where he needs to improve next year. “There were a few qualifying sessions where my track position wasn’t ideal, and I lost some time there, which you just can’t afford to do,” he explained.
Being a support category to Formula 1, track-time on a race weekend is limited. Drivers have just one practice session before qualifying, and a poor grid position for race one can ruin the weekend before it’s even started.

With the recent passing of Williams’ former team boss and mentor Errol Gilmour, Williams has been reflecting on his time in Australian Formula 3 and how it helped prepare him for his international career. “The 2017 season in Australian F3 was brilliant preparation for the move to F3 in Europe. The years’ experience in an F3 car, along with the experience of needing to learn new circuits, gave me the foundations I needed to make the jump overseas. It meant I could focus more on adapting to the intensity of the competition than also having to learn a brand-new car.” Williams reflected. When asked about his fondest memory of racing in Australia Williams replied “It’s hard to pick just one! Working with Errol and the team at Gilmour racing was fantastic, and I really enjoyed working with such a professional and friendly team. But I’d probably say when we managed to secure the championship, with all the hard work that everyone had put in that season I was really happy to be able to finish on top and give the team the championship they deserved!”

Calan Williams with the late Errol Gilmour

International Formula 3 is cut-throat, if you’re standing still you’re going backwards, and Williams acknowledges that 2021 is a make-or-break year for his career in order to move up the ladder to Formula 2 in 2020. “Racing Formula 3 in Europe has been a huge step up. The level of competition, and the quality of the circuits has been unlike anything I was used to previously. Being in the ‘Road to F1’ means you’re against the highest competition there is to offer at the F3 level, and you start finding ways to gain every little advantage possible. The trick at this level is that everyone is a talented driver, the real gains come from your mindset and dedication off-track.”

The early signs are positive, with Williams amongst the front runners in post-season testing. “I was very happy with the testing. Having a couple of weeks after the season to reflect and switch off before testing again, was really important in helping me to assemble all the experience I gained and use it to improve. “That was reflected in the test. I was P2 at Barcelona and Jack Doohan only beat me by two-thousandths of a second, which was annoying!

Williams has now returned to Australia for the Christmas break where he will relax and enjoy Christmas with family and friends before returning to Europe for the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship.

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