It may not have been a season of race wins, podiums or top 10 finishes, but Calan Williams believes his first year in the FIA Formula 3 Championship was a success.
Of course the West Australian would have loved to come away from the year with some points, however in a field of 30 of the most talented young drivers from around the world, it was always going to be a tall order.
Joining Swiss based team Jenzer Motorsport, Williams’ initial season in F3 saw him gain plenty of valuable experience.
Despite his tough initiation into the third tier of Formula 1, Williams remains upbeat about his season after having some time to reflect.
“I was quite happy with how I performed. I think the first couple of race weekends weren’t perfect, but the team and I managed to identify what was wrong and we moved forward from there. After that I was pretty happy,” Williams said.
“There were four opportunities throughout the season to score points and get good results, but unfortunately, none of them went my way.
“I think overall the results don't actually show how the season went for us though. The lap times in Monza and Spa for example, I still had really quick times in the top five, so I was happy with that.
“I was also really happy qualifying fifth at Hungry. I didn’t manage to get out of the first corner because I was tapped but then to be starting at P4 at Monza again, which was certainly the hardest qualifying session made me really happy.
“It was a real shame I had a few good results taken away, like in Hungary and Monza, because the incidents were in the weekend’s first race where there were more points on offer and it meant I had to start race two from the back of the grid.
“But all in all, If I were to combine all results and performances, I would say the season was a pass. I think having the experience this year will definitely help for next year and the mistakes I made shouldn’t happen again as I have learnt from them.”
With Williams to partner up with Jenzer again for the 2021 season, the 20-year-old is hungrier than ever to get his first taste of success in the championship.
And if some of the recent F3 testing sessions are to go by, Williams could be on track for a good points haul.
“We always had the plan to do two years in F3 and if you look at the results from last year to this year for the drivers who did both, it's clear first year experience is a huge benefit,” Williams added.
“I think the Barcelona tests results were really good. I was really happy to be third, second and to post the fastest lap. I think it’s a good indicator for the coming season. It’s great to see what’s possible.
“Of course you can’t get too hung up on testing, but it was nice to be at the top of time sheets consistently and it certainly gives me a huge amount of confidence ahead of next year.
“The goal is to win the title and to do well at every race and qualifying of course. I need to have high goals and I don’t think it’s terribly unrealistic to aim to win races next year.”
Williams confidence would have been boosted again at the most recent pre-season testing in Jerez after finishing all but one session in the top three, while another Australian to compete in F3 this year, Jack Doohan topped the charts in the second last session of testing in recent weeks.
The FIA Formula 3 Championship has yet to release its calendar for the 2021 season.