SAHARA FORCE INDIA MONACO GRAND PRIX PREVIEW
LANCE STROLL ALSO WINS RACE THREE IN STYRIA
Event: 04 Spielberg
Session: Race 3
Track: Red Bull Ring / Austria
Pole position: Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam)
Race winner: Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: sunny, 25.7 °C
For Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam), his second victory at the 4.326 kilometres long Red Bull Ring also was his third race win in the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Behind the 17-year-old Canadian, equally old British driver Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing) took the flag in second place while 18-year-old German Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) was classified third in the twelfth race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season. Stroll is heading home from Styria as the leader in the drivers’ standings, he is now 38 points ahead of second-placed Ilott.
Starting from pole position, Lance Stroll managed to hold on to first place at the start and led Callum Ilott and Niko Kari (Motopark) into the first corner. David Beckmann (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) also found himself among the front runners, but then dropped back to the end of the field following a collision with George Russell (HitechGP) and the subsequent spin. Due to the accident, Russell retired in the pits. On lap three, Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Alessio Lorandi (Carlin) retired. After that, Jensen’s race came to an end in the gravel trap and the safety car was deployed.
After the restart, Stroll remained in front from Ilott while Kari was involved in a hard fight with the drivers behind him. The Finnish rookie driver eventually had to admit defeat to Maximilian Günther in the battle for the final podium slot. Ben Barnicoat (HitechGP), Joel Eriksson (Motopark), Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark) and Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) also overtook Kari at this stage of the race. Red Bull junior driver Sette Câmara overtook his Swedish team-mate for fifth soon after that. Out in front, Lance Stroll drove an undisputed victory home. Callum Ilott and Maximilian Günther joined him on the podium, Ben Barnicoat finished fourth as the best-placed rookie driver, but lost this position due to overtaking under safety car to Sette Câmara. The Briton was classified fifth from Eriksson, while Guanyu Zhou (Motopark), Kari, Ralf Aron (Prema Powerteam) and Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam) were in seventh to tenth place.
Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): “The race wasn’t as easy as it perhaps looked from the outside, because there are always possibilities to make mistakes. For instance, I had to be careful at the start. At the restart and in the first few free laps, it would have been easy to make mistakes. However, it all went well. Initially, I tried to build up an advantage and then keep it without taking any risks. All in all, I had a fantastic weekend with two victories and one second place at the Red Bull Ring.”
CALLUM ILOTT WINS AT RED BULL RING
British driver Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing) has won the tenth round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season at the 4.326 kilometres long Red Bull Ring. Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) finished second from Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) to extend his lead in the drivers’ standings. The race was stopped early after an accident involving Ryan Tveter (Carlin), Zhi Cong Li (Carlin) and Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing).
Callum Ilott took the lead at the start, but had to defend his position from a charging Maximilian Günther. The two youngsters having battled for the lead on the opening lap, Ilott eventually came out in front before the safety car was deployed for the first time following an accident involving Ryan Tveter, Arjun Maini (ThreeBond with T-Sport) and Weiron Tan (Carlin) on the opening lap.
After the restart, Ilott stayed in front while both Stroll and Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) managed to overtake Günther, the German dropping back to fourth. A little bit later, however, Günther countered against Jensen and moved back up into the top three again. Meanwhile, Pedro Piquet had to come in from fifth place for a drive through penalty following a jump start and dropped back considerably. Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam) inherited fifth place.
On lap 17, the race was stopped after an accident involving Ryan Tveter, Zhi Cong Li and Pedro Piquet. Tveter had spun through the gravel trap and returned onto the track where Li, unable to see Tveter’s car due to the dust that was whirled up, hit the American’s race car almost at full speed. The upcoming Piquet was unable to avoid the two, but the Brazilian escaped unscathed. Tveter and Li incurred injuries and were taken to hospital for further examination. The race was stopped immediately.
Thus, Callum Ilott took victory from Lance Stroll, Maximilian Günther, Mikkel Jensen, George Russell (HitechGP), Nick Cassidy, David Beckmann (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing), Ralf Aron (Prema Powerteam) and Ben Barnicoat (HitechGP). For Beckmann, the best-placed rookie who only drove his fourth Formula 3 race at the Red Bull Ring, this was his first top ten result while his fellow rookie driver Newey also scored his best result in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship to date by finishing eighth.
Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing): “I had a good start, but Maximilian was able to overtake me on the opening lap. After he had made a mistake, I managed to get past him again. Right after this overtaking move, the safety car was deployed. After the restart, I tried to pull a gap and to avoid any mistakes. Of course, this victory is a great result. However, it is even more important that Ryan, Zhi Cong and Pedro hopefully are okay.
RED BULL BARCELONA TEST
ITALIAN ALESSIO LORANDI WINS GRAND PRIX DE PAU
Event: 03 Pau
Session: Race 3
Track: Pau / France
Pole position: Alessio Lorandi (Carlin)
Race winner: Alessio Lorandi (Carlin)
Weather: sunny, 18.9 °C
In bright sunshine at Pau in the south of France, Alessio Lorandi (Carlin) claimed his maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship race win. The Italian led from the first till the final lap at the 2.76 kilometres long street circuit at the foot of the Pyrenées and thus also secured the first win of his team Carlin in the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) crossed the finish line of the prestigious Grand Prix de Pau, one of the world’s most important Formula 3 races, in second place from George Russell (HitechGP) and thus took over the lead in the drivers’ standings.
Right after the start of the race, Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam) and Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark) collided. Some of the drivers who followed were unable to avoid the two, resulting into the retirement not only for Cassidy and Sette Câmara, but also for debutant David Beckmann (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Zhi Cong Li (Carlin). Nikita Mazepin (HitechGP) headed into the pit lane after one lap and also had to retire. After the accident, the safety car was deployed and the race was neutralised until the end of lap five.
At the restart on lap six, Alessio Lorandi stayed in front, but Lance Stroll was right behind him and waited for the Carlin protégé to make a mistake. Initially, the two were able to pull clear from third-placed George Russell. While the positions out in front remained unchanged, the best-placed rookie Joel Eriksson (Motopark) overtook Ryan Tveter (Carlin) on lap nine to take sixth place.
Among the front runners, Russell was able to close up to Lorandi and Stroll in the final part of the race, but a slow puncture stopped his progress just before the finish. Thus, the Brit remained third behind winner Lorandi and second-placed Stroll. Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing) finished fourth from Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Joel Eriksson, Ryan Tveter, Niko Kari (Motopark), Arjun Maini (ThreeBond with T-Sport) and Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing).
Alessio Lorandi (Carlin): “It was a very good day for me, because I have won the Grand Prix de Pau! We had already done a good job in qualifying, allowing me to start the race from pole position. At this track, that is extremely important, because one can hardly overtake here. Admittedly, my start wasn’t fantastic, but it was enough to take the lead. After the safety car, Lance kept me under pressure, but I didn’t make any big mistakes and I managed to stay ahead of him until the finish. Now, I hope that this victory will not remain the only one for me and that I will still be able to be a contender in the battle for the title.”
Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): “My start was good, but Alessio did what he had to do to stay in front. Throughout the race, I was within striking distance and I was a little bit faster, but he didn’t make any mistakes. Had he made one, I would have been ready for an attack, but I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks and rather settled for the points for third place. Congratulations to Alessio for this victory! I reckon, the race wasn’t easy for him, especially as it was his first time in the lead. He has done a good job.”