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Sep 24

Joel Eriksson wins, battle for the title remains open

 FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the Red Bull Ring

Joel Eriksson wins, battle for the title remains openJoel Eriksson (Motopark) already having won the 26th race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season, he also won the 27th race of the year a few hours later.

Event: 09 Spielberg
Session: Race 3
Track: Red Bull Ring / AUT
Pole position: Joel Eriksson (Motopark)
Race winner: Joel Eriksson (Motopark)
Weather: overcast, 17.5 °C

At the Red Bull Ring, he came out on top after a battle with Lando Norris (Carlin) that lasted many laps. In a spectacular final stage, Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix) secured second place from Tadasuke Makino (Hitech Grand Prix). While the Honda backed Japanese scored his maiden podium finish in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, points’ leader Lando Norris retired after an accident on the final lap. As his only remaining title rival Maximilian Günther (Prema Powertaeam) finished fifth, the battle for the title remains open until the season finale at Hockenheim.

At the start, Joel Eriksson already made it clear that he wanted to score his second race win of the day. He took the lead from Lando Norris, but wasn’t able to pull clear from the charging Brit. Norris tried everything to overtake the Swede, but didn’t succeed. On lap 19, the McLaren junior driver ran into the rear of the BMW protégé’s car and lost the right front wing endplate of his car as a result of the contact. Following that incident, he had to let Eriksson pull away, after which the Swede drove an undisputed victory home.

Behind Eriksson, Norris had to defend his second place in the closing stages against Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix), until the two young drivers collided and retired on the final lap. Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin) was second across the line, but the only Austrian in the field previously had exceeded the track limits which resulted in a five second time penalty. Thus, second place went to Nikita Mazepin and third to Tadasuke Makino. All that, only an unsatisfying fourth place was left for Habsburg.

After the action-packed final stage, Maximilian Günther was classified fourth which brought the German ten points. Thus, he reduced his gap to championship leader Lando Norris to 72 points and therefore he still has a mathematical chance of winning the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title. Jehan Daruvala (Carlin), Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing), Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam), David Beckmann (Motopark) and Marino Sato (Motopark) rounded out the top ten. For the Japanese rookie driver, this was his first point for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings.

Joel Eriksson (Motopark): “This race was harder than the one earlier today. I started with four used tyres while Lando Norris had two new ones. My start was good and I was first, but then had to defend my position from Lando. I succeeded and led throughout the race. Just before the end, Lando drove into the back of my car. Before that, I had a bad exit of turn three while his exit was very good. He swerved to the left and to the right behind me and then drove into the back. Fortunately, there wasn’t any damage on my car so that I was able to make it to the finish without any major problems. I am still in a position to become runner-up in the championship, but I am not looking at that. I am happy to be back on the top step of the podium and above all, I want to have fun during the finale.”

Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix): “My start was good, I was fast and I didn’t make any mistakes. Sometimes, it happens in racing that two rivals collide and others gain positions as a result. This time, I was the lucky one, but in the previous weeks, I have had a lot of bad luck as well. Now, it seems that my good fortune has come back and I hope for a similar result during the finale at Hockenheim in three weeks’ time.”

Tadasuke Makino (Hitech Grand Prix): “I started the race with four used tyres, which impeded the handling of my car. However, my engineer told me not to give up and to do my utmost. Apart from that, I had a very good feeling and my maiden podium finish in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is a great experience, too.”

source: FIA F3, fiaf3europe.com

 

Prema Powerteam R09 Red Bull Ring – Race 2 & 3 Report

Prema heads towards the final round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship determined to fight as hard as possible until the very end of the season. In race 2 and 3 at Red Bull Ring, the Italian squad ended up with some valuable points finishes, keeping the fight open in the drivers’ championship and pulling away in the teams’ competition.

After yesterday’s stellar win, British racer Callum Ilott scored a valuable fourth place in race 2. Unfortunately, he was put out of contention by a contact in race 3. German driver Maximilian Günther harvested more points in P7 and P5 respectively, adding up to yesterday’s podium finish.

Prema’s rookie Mick Schumacher left a strong impression too as he continued to improve his marks as the day progressed to capture 10th place in race 2 and 8th place in race 3. Once again, he proved highly-competitive in traffic, putting up a quick and consistent pace too. On the other hand, it was a day to forget for Ferrari Driver Academy graduate Guanyu Zhou. The Chinese race stalled on the grid of race 2 also due to a long starting procedure before being punted out of contention in race 3.

# 3 – Maximilian Günther
“I gained places in both the races and scored some acceptable points considering my starting position. By far not the weekend we hoped for, but at least we could keep the championship open until the final round. We will sort ourselves out again for the next race and I’m sure we will finish the season in a strong way.”

# 8 – Guanyu Zhou
“It was a very frustrating weekend with really unlucky races. At the start of this morning’s race I stalled on the grid so there wasn’t much I could do there. In race 3 I had quite a good start, I was in P9 and going into turn 2 I had a good margin. At that point though I got a big hit from the car behind which spun me around. My car was damaged and the incident basically ended my race.”

# 25 – Mick Schumacher
“It was good to be on the rookie podium again after yesterday. Even better was that the laptimes proved competitive with the ones set by the front runners, so all in all it turned out to be a much better weekend for us than Nürburgring.”

# 53 – Callum Ilott
“It was an up-and-down day. Race 2 was ok the car was quite quick and I eventually brought home points in P4. Then race 3 ended quite quickly as I was forced over a sausage kerb and that unfortunately damaged the chassis.”

source: premapowerteam.com

 

Callum Ilott wins at the Red Bull Ring and Maximilian Günther takes third

The Austrian hills greeted the Prema Theodore team for the penultimate round of the FIA F3 Championship this weekend. Free Practice set the team off in great spirits after Callum Ilott topped both sessions ahead of the first qualifying session later in the afternoon.

It was a superb qualifying for Ilott who took his 8th pole position ready for Race 1. For the entire session it was Ilott and teammate Maximilian Günther who kept taking provisional pole from each other but it was the Brit who came out on top with a 1:29.132. The Ferrari star Guanyu Zhou had a solid run and took P13 followed by Mick Schumacher in P15.

Snow Capped mountains greeted the team ahead of Race 1 where Callum Ilott sat on pole. Lights out where initially the Brit was side by side with Joel Eriksson creating a breath taking fight into the first few corners but it was Ilott who kept P1. Günther fell to P3, Zhou, after gaining three grid positions due to rival penalties went into P11 and Schumacher had an exceptional start gaining six places.  For the remainder of the race Ilott cruised around the 4.3km circuit to take the first win of the weekend. Schumacher managed to pass Ferdinand Habsburg to cross the line in P7. Guanyu Zhou held his own race taking P9 after a controlled run and Günther added another podium into his collection in P3.

# 3 – Maximilian Günther
“My start wasn’t good, so I lost a position to Joel as a result. That was it in a race that had relatively little action. To be honest, third place wasn’t my goal, I wanted to win the race. But still, I finished ahead of Lando Norris and therefore was able to slightly reduce his margin in the drivers’ standings. Starting from P9 and P6 won’t be easy tomorrow, let’s see how it goes.”

# 8 – Guanyu Zhou
“For today’s race, we made some changes to the car compared to yesterday’s qualifying which turned out to be in the right direction. I had an average first lap though, and after that, it was hard to overtake. In qualifying 2 the track with an increased grip didn’t suit our balance and I also didn’t feel comfortable with the car so it was a shame…”

# 25 – Mick Schumacher
“Race 1 went quite well and I could recover right from the start with lap times comparable with the front-runners. It was nice to score overall points and to step on the rookie podium again.”

# 53 – Callum Ilott
“For me, it has been a good weekend at one of my favourite tracks so far. Qualifying was a close affair, but I managed to come out on top. My start into the race wasn’t particularly good, Joel’s getaway was considerably better. However, I was able to decide the battle with him on the opening lap in my favour. After that, I controlled the race and I am now happy with today’s win.”

After the second qualifying Ilott started race 2 from P4, Günther P9 and Zhou sat in P10. At the lights, Schumacher who started P12 nailed his start taking three positions whilst Ilott attempted to get by Nikita Mazepin for P3. As the minutes went by Günther maintained P9 whilst Zhou fell to P19, having receiving a driver through penalty after a jump start. Falling to P15 Schumacher started to make his way back up the field finishing P11 just outside the points. A great battle emerged between Günther and Joey Mawson but the German kept his cool not allowing the Van Amersfoort driver past taking P8. Ilott settled for P4 unable to catch Mazepin and Zhou P19.

The last race of the weekend turned into a crazy battle. The first lap saw Ilott being taken out of the race after contact with Ralf Aron, ending what had been a positive race for the rising star, having had a flying start from P4. Guanyu Zhou suffered a spin caused by Jake Hughes instantly putting a negative outcome onto the Chinese drivers race after starting in the top ten. A safety car was called for a lap and once it had returned to the pits Günther fought with Mawson to try and regain P6. Mick Schumacher was all over his rookie Championship rival Jehan Daruvala only having a 0.3 second gap, however was unable to find a way through. As the last lap approached drama struck up ahead of Günther allowing him to take P5, Schumacher took a valuable P8 and Zhou P14.

It is three weeks now until the last round of the FIA F3 2017 Championship at Hockenheim 14-15th October. The Drivers Championship will be decided at the last event of the season where Maximilian Günther still has a chance to become the 2017 Champion. With 75 points still up for grabs and Günther 72 points behind Lando Norris, with some luck it is all to play for! Prema Theodore still has a 84 points lead to Carlin but the Team Championship will also be decided at the last event.

# 3 – Maximilian Günther
“I gained places in both the races and scored some acceptable points considering my starting position. By far not the weekend we hoped for, but at least we could keep the championship open until the final round. We will sort ourselves out again for the next race and I’m sure we will finish the season in a strong way.”

# 8 – Guanyu Zhou
“It was a very frustrating weekend with really unlucky races. At the start of this morning’s race I stalled on the grid so there wasn’t much I could do there. In race 3 I had quite a good start, I was in P9 and going into turn 2 I had a good margin. At that point though I got a big hit from the car behind which spun me around. My car was damaged and the incident basically ended my race.”

# 25 – Mick Schumacher
“It was good to be on the rookie podium again after yesterday. Even better was that the laptimes proved competitive with the ones set by the front runners, so all in all it turned out to be a much better weekend for us than Nürburgring.”

# 53 – Callum Ilott
“It was an up-and-down day. Race 2 was ok the car was quite quick and I eventually brought home points in P4. Then race 3 ended quite quickly as I was forced over a sausage kerb and that unfortunately damaged the chassis.”

source: theodoreracing.com

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