When Alex Peroni lined up for the first race in the FIA Formula 3 Championship this year, redemption would have been one of the biggest things on his mind.
The Tasmanian entered the 2020 season having had a premature end to a difficult rookie campaign in 2019 after a huge crash at Monza, while his team Campos Racing had struggled to have any impact in the Championship, finishing dead last.
Despite missing the last round due to the horrific incident, Peroni was the Spanish team’s best performer and the only driver to secure any points for the season thanks to a P8 and P10 throughout the year.
Fast forward to 2020 where the Campos team had made a number of changes, and with a fully recovered Peroni with a year under his belt, both team and driver were ready to showcase their quality.
And right from the get-go, the 20-year-old meant business as he secured a well-deserved career high Formula 3 result with third place in the season’s first race in Austria – a podium he shared with eventual champion and compatriot Oscar Piastri.
From that race, the scene was set with Peroni and Campos Racing delivering on their expectations for a better 2020 as the Tasmanian once again led the Spanish team’s charge – picking up another two podiums and five top 10 finishes over the rest of the season.
Another third at Silverstone was bettered just weeks later when Peroni scored a runner-up placing in Barcelona, finishing behind only Piastri.
It should have been a cause for celebration, but for Peroni, who eventually finished the season in 10th place, his disappointment overshadowed the result, with a burning desire for more success.
“I was a bit disappointed with the Barcelona podium because I often wonder about what could have been on that weekend,” Peroni said.
“Honestly, I really wanted to get redemption by winning the second race of the weekend. It could have been so different if I led the first lap because it’s hard to overtake and all the dirty air. But it seemed at the end of the end I didn’t have the pace to overtake Oscar.
“I am happy for Oscar that he eventually won the title. He was in a good car and good team and he a did really good job. He was consistent. He had a bit of luck in the end, but he deserved to get there.
“For me, I rate my season slightly above average. Somewhere around a six (out of 10). It had the potential to be an eight or a nine, but we just made too many mistakes and we didn’t get those finer details correct. In some events we paid that price.
“My most memorable podium though was the first one at Red Bull Ring. We struggled in qualifying and we're unlucky to qualify in eighth. I thought we had the pace to be a bit further up.
“My original aim for that race was top five. I knew it was going to be hard to overtake. I managed to make some good overtakes in the first few laps and had the pace, which was slightly quicker. It was a great way to start the year.”
Peroni was once again Campos Racing’s shining light and he believed the team were much better this year, with dramatic improvements made all round.
“We definitely made a jump from last year. I think that was pretty clear. When we had the car in the window, we were fighting for podiums and constantly in the top five,” Peroni explained.
“Definitely improved myself this year and felt like I Improved as a driver and bought that experience from last year with me.
“I feel like I drove the best I have in my life so far and the team also made a big jump.
“Obviously last year we were struggling a lot more and yes I finished 20th , but the team didn’t have a great year either, finishing last in the Championship. So we were fired up this year to come back strong. Some changes were made in the team and it really showed.
“I am really happy we made that jump but I am little disappointed we didn’t go ahead.”
After two seasons in the Formula 3 Championship, Peroni is likely not to continue for a third season and has begun working on plans for 2021.
Team: Campos Racing
Overall Position: 10th
Race Wins: 0
Podiums: 3 (Austria, Silverstone, Barcelona)
Best Result: Race 2 Barcelona – 2nd