Jul 29

Debut victory for Ferdinand Habsburg

Event: 06 Spa-Francorchamps

Debut victory for Ferdinand HabsburgAustrian Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin) won the second race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Spa-Francorchamps. At the 7.004 kilometres long Grand Prix track in the Ardennes, the great-grandson of the last Austrian emperor Karl I stood on the top step of the podium for the first time in the series.

Event: 06 Spa-Francorchamps
Session: Race 2
Track: Spa-Francorchamps / BEL
Pole position: Lando Norris (Carlin)
Race winner: Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin)
Weather: overcast, 19.9 °C

Joel Eriksson (Motopark) finished second in the 17th race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season, followed by Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam). The German remains in the lead of the drivers’ standings from Lando Norris (Carlin), who retired after an accident on the opening lap.

Lando Norris took the lead at the start, but collided with Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam) at the end of the long Kemmel straight and retired, as did the Chinese Ferrari junior driver. Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) returned from the opening lap as the race leader, but had to defend his position from the attacks by his team-mate Maximilian Günther. The Brit only succeeded for one lap, then the German went past. A little bit later, Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix) also overtook his compatriot Callum Ilott. An entertaining five-way battle for the lead followed that, next to Günther, also included Ilott, Hughes, Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) and Ferdinand Habsburg. Later on, the Indian dropped out of this battle, so that a quartet of drivers remained in the battle for victory.

Habsburg, officially named Ferdinand Zvonimir Maria Balthus Keith Michael Antal Bahnam Leonhard, gradually worked his way up through the ranks and finally overtook Günther for the lead on lap twelve. After that, he drove a safe victory home.

Behind Habsburg, who had started from eighth place on the grid, Joel Eriksson took the flag in second. The Swede, who had started only twelfth, made up a total of ten positions and was rewarded with 18 championship points. These allowed him to move up within one point from runner-up Lando Norris.

In a race that also had numerous battles in the midfield, Maximilian Günther eventually came third. Jake Hughes finished fourth from Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix), Jehan Daruvala, Callum Ilott, Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix), Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam) and Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing). Due to a two second penalty imposed on Nikita Mazepin after the end of the race, the Russian ended up in seventh place and Daruvala and Ilott were promoted to fifth respectively sixth position.

Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin): “Winning an FIA Formula 3 European Championship race is a really nice feeling, especially at a track with such a long heritage as Spa-Francorchamps. The race was great fun and especially from lap ten onwards, I had a really good feeling. Then, I gave it everything and indeed, it was enough for victory.”

Joel Eriksson (Motopark): “This race was really entertaining. My start wasn’t good and the first few laps weren’t great either. Then, I said to myself that I had to keep cool, which I did. Later on, I managed to overtake one driver after another, which brought me up into second place. In this race, my car was much better than in the first race in which I had too much oversteer. Now, the balance was really good, which is also making me optimistic for the race tomorrow.”

Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam): “I have to admit that the two drivers in front of me were simply faster. Third place was all I could do. My start was good and I had a nice battle for the lead with Callum over many laps. I was in front for most of the time, but I couldn’t pull a gap. When Ferdinand and Joel attacked, I had no chance. Still, Lando Norris, one of my main rivals in the battle for the title, didn’t score any points, which is positive for me in terms of the drivers’ standings.”

source: FIA F3, fiaf3europe.com


Prema Powerteam R06 Spa Francorchamps – Race 1 & 2 Report

The first day of racing for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Spa-Francorchamps ended up with two valuable podium finishes for Prema. Lining-up in the support event to the famed 24 Hours of Spa, the Italian squad saw Maximilian Günther cruise to a double third place in race 1 and 2. The young German once again delivered smart performances as he stayed out of trouble in two starts conditioned by contacts before maximizing his results extremely well. As a consequence, he was able to extend his championship lead to 43 points.

Mick Schumacher also left a really good impression after some qualifying woes yesterday, recovering in spectacular fashion up to the sixth place overall in race 1. The German youngster then proceeded to take home another top-10 overall finish and a rookie podium in race 2.

Callum Ilott and Guanyu Zhou had a more difficult day at the office. After being involved in an early contact, Ilott was penalized for rejoining the track too early and wounded up P14. In race 2, after contending for the lead, he suffered from late rear tire wear and had to drop down to P7. On the other hand, the Chinese driver finished the opening race in P12 and, after starting from third place on the grid for race 2, was put out of contention by Norris early at the Les Combes chicane. In race 3, due to the penalty assessed to Norris, Ilott will start from pole, followed by the Ferrari Driver Academy graduate and Günther.

# 3 – Maximilian Günther
“In race 1 I scored good points. My start was good and I was second after the opening lap. Then, I wasn’t able to attack Lando because the balance of my car wasn’t perfect. That was also the reason why Nikita was able to overtake me a little bit later. Third place was all I could do and despite the fact that towards the end the other guys were quicker, I’m also happy with third place in race 2. I had a positive start again and I gained two positions. Then I had a really good fight with Callum. We swapped positions many times. I was in the lead for most of the time and tried to pull away but it wasn’t possible. Again for me P3 was the maximum but I’m happy for the outcome considering that one of the main title contenders didn’t score points. We will keep improving and I’m positive for tomorrow.”

# 8 – Guanyu Zhou
“In race 1 we went for a different kind of set-up compared to my team-mates but in the end it didn’t work out. I was also one of the few drivers on old tires so the grip was not good and I kept sliding. In race 2 I made a great start and after the Eau Rouge I was fighting for second place. I was in front of Norris before braking. Turning in I left space for more than one car but I still got hit and spun around. The floor was damaged so I had to pit and retire.”

# 25 – Mick Schumacher
“We managed to go quite a bit to the front and score some points which was what we were planning  and hoping to do; and I am happy it turned out well. For tomorrow we have to see what the weather conditions will be as it’s quite difficult to say here at Spa, but for sure I’m looking forward to race 3.”

# 53 – Callum Ilott
“It was an up and down day. In race 1 I was involved in an early incident and the subsequent penalty pushed me to the back, while in race 2 the pace was there and I had a great fight for the lead with Maxi. Unfortunately, the rear tires dropped off quite a bit so I had to settle for P7. I will start from pole tomorrow, let’s hope for a clean run.”

source: premapowerteam.com