Exclusive Q&A: Jack Harvey aiming for GP3 title with ART Grand Prix
Reigning British F3 Champion will make his debut in Spain
By William Esler. Last Updated: 17/09/13 1:22pm
After winning the British F3 Championship with Carlin last season, 20-year-old Jack Harvey is stepping up to GP3 with ART Grand Prix and Sky Sports Online caught up with the Briton ahead of his debut in Barcelona.
How are you finding the step up to GP3 this year?
Jack Harvey: "The car itself is quite a big improvement from last year. I think after testing we have got a good feel but it hasn't always been easy for us - a few reliability problems hampered us in Estoril and Barcelona. Silverstone was probably the strongest we have been as a team, we pretty much always had two cars in the top four and we finished with three cars in the top four. It is hard to know how Barcelona is going to go in the first race, but we should be confident that we have been fast and if we do a good job again we could fight for the win. That is a realistic target for us."
One of the reasons GP3 introduced a new car this year was to ensure it stayed a tier above F3. As the reigning British F3 Champion, you are probably the best person to judge if it is.
JH: "Yeah, for sure. I can only imagine what driving a GP2 car is like to drive, but I think this style of GP3 car is going to help us in the future. I think Mitch Evans is a good example of how the styles are similar, and to honest after driving a Formula 3, I really had to adapt quite a lot over the winter to get back into the style of a GP3 car. It is definitely a step forward and I think F3 are in a dangerous place that they are now nearly half a stepping-stone again, because the new Renault is quite close to it and GP3 is quite a bit in front of it."
You're a member of the Racing Steps Foundation, as is James Calado who raced for ART in GP3. Has he had any advice for you?
JH: "James and I get on pretty well, but I would say we have better banter than specific tips and what not. Going from Carlin to ART was quite a change and he was definitely on hand if I wanted to give him a call. James did quite a good job when he was here - hopefully we can go one better and win the Championship."
How much of a help have the Racing Steps Foundation been in getting as far as GP3?
JH: "They have probably been one of the sole reasons. They help us all out and without them I wouldn't be here now - I certainly wouldn't be racing this year and I wouldn't have done F3 or Formula BMW. Realistically I would have been a paid karting driver and that is not what I wanted to achieve in my life. I met Graham [Sharp, RSF programme founder] and Derek [Walters, RSF co-ordinator] and they decided they wanted to support me. I am now moving into my fifth year with the RSF and I am very grateful for the support I have got and I just have to keep doing a good job and hopefully the support will stay there."
Are you aiming for the GP3 title in your first season?
JH: Yes definitely - I think we have been on the pace everywhere, especially in the rain and we were strong in Estoril, strong at Barcelona and strong at Silverstone. On my in-lap at the end of testing I was fastest through the first two sectors and already fastest in the final sector, so I think we could have gone a lot quicker - but maybe it is not a bad thing to not show your hand. To win the Championship is the clear target and I think there is a mutual interest for me and the team to try and achieve that. We are all going to work hard to try and make that happen."
Could you see yourself graduating to GP2 with ART in the future and staying within the family?
JH: "That is certainly a nice thought and it is something to work towards. If I do a good job this season that could be an option."