Formula Renault 3.5

CARLOS SAINZ UNTOUCHABLE AT SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

Championship leader, Carlos Sainz (DAMS) scored his third win in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series this season. The Red Bull Junior Team driver ran the table at Spa-Francorchamps, increasing his lead in the general classification after running away from the field in dominating fashion. Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport) and Jazeman Jaafar (ISR) completed the podium in what was a chaotic race, where Beitske Visser (AVF) scored her first point of the year.

Championship leader, Carlos Sainz (DAMS) scored his third win in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series this season. The Red Bull Junior Team driver ran the table at Spa-Francorchamps, increasing his lead in the general classification after running away from the field in dominating fashion. Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport) and Jazeman Jaafar (ISR) completed the podium in what was a chaotic race, where Beitske Visser (AVF) scored her points of the year.

Saturday morning, Carlos Sainz won his fourth pole of the season, ahead of fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver, Pierre Gasly. Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports) and Richie Stanaway (Lotus) shared row two on a starting grid where the top 17 were separated by less than a second.

Following an aborted start due to a light failure, Carlos Sainz put in a perfect start to pull away from Pierre Gasly, who was under attack from Matias Laine (Strakka Racing) and Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing. Further back, Matias Laine (Strakka Racing) and Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) made contact, collecting Zoel Amberg (AVF) and Sergey Sirotkin in a multi-car crash, calling out the safety car.

At the re-start, Carlos Sainz escaped, while Norman Nato (DAMS) attacked Fantin with success in the Radillon to take fourth place. The Brazilian was then overtaken by Jazeman Jaafar (ISR) and Marco Sørensen (Tech 1 Racing), before his race ended following contact with Meindert van Buuren (Pons Racing).

Untouchable, Carlos Sainz won going away with a 17-second margin of victory from Pierre Gasly. Jazeman Jaafar ruined Matias Laine’s chance of a first ever podium result in the category with a last lap pass. Norman Nato finished fifth, ahead of Luca Ghiotto (International Draco Racing), Will Stevens (Strakka Racing), Marco Sørensen and Marlon Stockinger (Lotus). In passing Roman Mavlanov (Zeta Corse) on lap 12, Beitske Visser (AVF) scored her first points in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.

Quotes

Carlos Sainz: ”I don’t know how we were able to be this fast in the race, while the qualifying was extremely close. I was able to pull away in the opening metres, which wasn’t easy with the aborted start. I had to put my head down after the safety car, but I was able to control these challenges to take the win.”

Pierre Gasly: ”I am very proud of the work by the team because after yesterday’s difficulties we were able to fight for the pole position. Alas, I had a problem with the brake pedal, which made braking very hard. Even though it got better lap after lap, it was impossible to catch Carlos. We will try to do better tomorrow.”

Jazeman Jaafar: ”We didn’t have the necessary speed, so we decided to be more extreme during the race. This allowed me to move from 14th place to third during a race where there was a lot of overtaking. It was nice, although I am disappointed that the two Red Bull cars pulled away.”

Provisional General Classification* : 1. C. Sainz – 99 points, 2. P. Gasly – 69, 3. O. Rowland – 59, 4. W. Stevens – 50, 5. R. Merhi – 38, …
*Subject to confirmation of the results following the technical and sporting verifications.

F3 EURO CHAMPIONSHIP

Tom Blomqvist wins, thus reducing Ocon’s lead

Race No: 10 von 33
Venue: Hungaroring
Winner: Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin)
Pole position: Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: overcast

Briton Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) secured the winner’s trophy in the first of the three FIA Formula 3 European championship races contested this weekend at the 4.381-kilometre Hungaroring. At the Formula 1 circuit located not far from Budapest, he passed pole-sitter Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) for the lead right at the start and afterwards, he controlled the race to clinch a never jeopardised win. Esteban Ocon and Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) joined the Briton on the podium. In the championship standings, Lotus F1 Junior Econ defended his lead but second-placed Blomqvist succeeded in reducing the gap to 50 points.

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 4, race 1, Hungaroring (HUN)

Pole-sitter Esteban Ocon lost his lead to Blomqvist as early as on the way to turn one and Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) also passed the 17-year-old Frenchman early. A short time later, however, the Dutchman was re-passed by Ocon and on lap six; he pitted due to a clutch problem and was forced into retirement. So, Felix Rosenqvist inherited third position.

In the opening stages, Ocon was able to match the pace of race leader Blomqvist but then, the 20-year-old succeeded in opening a gap on the championship leader and increasing it lap by lap. Afterwards, Ocon drove a lonely race as Rosenqvist in third position wasn’t able to pressurise him. Behind the Swede, Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Jordan King (Carlin) followed in fourth and fifth positions.

While the battle for the positions at the front end of the field ended early, quite a number of drivers in the midfield were ‘rewarded’ with drive-through-penalties. The first driver to receive a drive-through was seventh-placed Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) for having ignored the track boundaries. The penalty cost the US-American his best FIA Formula 3 European Championship position to date and in the end, he had to settle for finishing 17th. Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) even received two drive-through-penalties: the first for having ignored the track boundaries and the second for having crossed the white line at the pit lane exit. Consequently, the Ferrari Driver Academy protégé finished 19th. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Dutch rookie Jules Szymkowiak (Van Amersfoort Racing) celebrated his best FIA Formula 3 European Championship result to date by coming sixth. Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3), Dennis van de Laar (Prema Powerteam), Mitch Gilbert (Fortec Motorsports) and Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) completed the top 10.

Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “I made a good start and also prevailed in the battle for the lead against Max Verstappen. My car was really good and proved to be particularly fast in the second third of the race. So, I was able to increase my lead lap by lap. I knew that I would have a good chance of winning the race – as long as I wouldn’t make any mistake, that is.”

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “I had too much wheel spin at the start and therefore, I wasn’t able to take the lead from my pole position. On the first four or five laps I was able to go the pace of Blomqvist but then, the performance of my tyres slowly began to decrease and I had to back down to go easy on them, thus offering Tom the opportunity to open the gap.”

Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport): “Having secured my second podium of the season is nice although this isn’t the result I had expected. Our car is quick but unfortunately not too consistent and therefore, driving it can be difficult, every now and then. But I was able to gain three positions in this race and this increases my confidence regarding the other two races of the weekend.”