Max Verstappen celebrates maiden victory in FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Season round: 6 of 33
Track: Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg
Winner: Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing)
Pole position: Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing)
Weather: sunny

In the sixth season round of the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) claimed victory and thus also scored the maiden win for his team Van Amersfoort Racing in the world’s strongest junior race series. At the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the Dutchman, only 16 years old, led from lights to flag and thus won from Lotus F1 junior driver Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) and Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam), who is backed by the Ferrari Driver Academy. In the drivers’ standings, 17-year-old rookie Esteban Ocon extended his points’ lead with his fifth podium finish from six races.

Max Verstappen used the benefit of pole position and took the lead straight away. On the first few metres already, the Dutchman was able to pull clear a little bit from the rest of the field, led by Esteban Ocon and Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). Meanwhile, John Bryant-Meisner (Fortec Motorsport), Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3) collided in the midfield, which brought the safety car out for a brief while. After the restart, Verstappen remained in the lead from Ocon and Fuoco, who inherited third place as Swede Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) retired.

While the front runners took the flag after 22 laps with Verstappen from Ocon and Fuoco, the young talents in the midfield showed spirited position fights. Eventually, Roy Nissany (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Riccardo Agostini (Eurointernational) scored their first points of the season after finishing in eighth, ninth and tenth place respectively. In front of this trio, Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), Jake Dennis (Carlin) and Jordan King (Carlin) finished in fourth to seventh place.

Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing): “It is great and I am extremely happy. After I didn’t make it to the finish in the first race and couldn’t start in the second race due to a technical problem, I wanted to score points no matter what. My start was good and after that, I kept a consistent margin of around one second. Then, I tried to save my tyres a little bit and not to overdrive my car. Many thanks to my team that managed to repair my car in time after the problems in the second race.”

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “I think that the start was the key to success today and Max’s start was simply better than mine. In the early stages of the race, I was quicker than Max, but I just didn’t find a way past. Nevertheless, I am very happy with second place.”

Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam): “I am happy with this race, but not with the entire weekend. My start was good and I was able to overtake Felix Rosenqvist and Antonio Giovinazzi quite early. At times, I was quicker than the two drivers in front of me, but third place was all I could manage today.”