Despite narrowly missing out on second place in the GB3 Championship, Christian Mansell is proud of how his rookie season panned out.
After winning the British Formula 4 Rookie Cup in 2020, Mansell made the step up into a Formula 3 car for this year, joining fellow Australian Bart Horsten in what turned out to be a competitive field.
Driving for prominent outfit Carlin, Mansell got off to a strong start, winning the third race of the opening round and making up six places in the process.
His impressive start set the scene for the rest of the season as he scored points in all but the final race, finishing on the podium a further four times – one of which was another win at the famous Spa Francorchamps.
That round at Spa, the only one outside of the UK, was Mansell’s best for the year as he nabbed a win, third place and P5 in the final race after passing eight cars.
Back in the UK, he performed well and was locked in an exciting battle with local driver Arton Simmons, who unfortunately went on to pip Mansell in the final round after the Aussie failed to score points in a chaotic final race.
Mansell was thrilled with a year where he was only driver to finish every race of the season.
“I had a very nice car, a good bunch people around me and had a couple of wins and podiums, so I think our season overall was pretty good,” Mansell said.
“I think P2 and P3 on the championship standings get looked at much the same at the end of the year, so I am not too disappointed with where we ended up (in third). I am honestly really happy with my season.
“The transition from F4 to F3 was pretty seamless and I think it's because I stayed with Carlin. I was used to the program, the factory and all the people too, so I was only required to get up to speed with the car as opposed to everything else.
“The cars are a lot different with the F3 one obviously having more power. It’s funny because when you drive an F4 car, you think it’s the best thing in the world, until you drive an F3 car, which was even better. It’s always fun to drive something new.
“I am very proud of my progress to be honest. I needed to have stepped up in maturity as well and I think I did that. I had to be a completely different person. I had to make sacrifices to continue improving and I did that.”
Outside of his British exploits, the 16-year-old also enjoyed a small stint in the Euroformula Open Championship where he took part in three rounds, one with Carlin and two with German outfit Team Motopark.
Competing at Formula 1 tracks Spa, Monza and Barcelona, Mansell held his own during his brief campaign, scoring points in all but one race and nabbing a podium at Monza.
Although he competed in only three rounds, one of which was as double duty when GB3 went to the Belgian Circuit, Mansell finished the year in P11 and only just missed out on a top 10 finish by one point.
“Spa was very cool. It was such a nice track to drive, and I had so much confidence in the car then,” Mansell added.
“The win I had there was probably the best race I have ever raced in my career. It was awesome.
“To then have the podium at Monza was just as cool.
“It’s such an awesome track but I don’t know how to describe it. My car was really nice to drive, and I had a really enjoyable weekend.”
Mansell is currently testing cars for both the Euroformula championship and the Formula Regional European Championship and has yet to decide where he will race in 2022.