Ardennes rollercoaster the next venue for the Formula 3 young-guns
Track length: 7,004 kilometres
Lap record FIA F3: Félix Serrallés 2012 (2:16.123 minutes)
Distance: 16 laps
This weekend, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship teams and drivers will travel to Spa for the 13th to 15th races of their 2014 season. Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3) has particularly fond memories of the legendary 7.004-kilometre rollercoaster in the Belgian Ardennes that is regarded as one of the most challenging racetracks on our planet. Two years ago, the young driver from Puerto Rico won a Formula 3 race there and secured another podium by finishing third in the second round. In that year, Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) came second to join Serrallés on the podium.
Today, Tom Blomqvist currently is the toughest rival of championship leader Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam); on the other hand, the Frenchman’s lead over the 20-year-old Briton already amounts to 82 points. With 12 races contested, 17-year-old rookie Ocon is the only driver on the grid who succeeded in scoring in every single race. Blomqvist, the son of former World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist, failed to score in two races while third-placed Austrian Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) had to cope with this feat just once.
Currently fifth in the championship, right behind Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam), is Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing). The 16-year-old Dutchman, son of former Formula 1 ace Jos Verstappen, has a very special relationship with Belgium. The rookie was born in Hasselt, Belgium, and still lives in Belgium. So, it goes without saying that the reigning CIK-FIA World Champion who is contesting his maiden car-racing season, this year, would love to celebrate his second Formula 3 race win in his home event in Belgium. At the same time, Verstappen won’t be the youngest driver on the grid of the planet’s most competitive young-driver series, from this weekend, as US American Santino Ferrucci (Eurointernational) is making his long-awaited debut, at Spa-Francorchamps. The Eurointernational protégé who turned 16 only on 31st May – the minimum age for competing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship – will race the Dallara-Mercedes #29.
Santino Ferrucci (Eurointernational): “Having waited five months for it, I’m absolutely delighted with finally having the chance of racing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. I already contested two race weekends in the German ATS Formula 3 Cup and even secured a podium. But I raced an older car, there, and the level also isn’t as high as in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. I haven’t got any special goals for Spa-Francorchamps as I don’t really know what I will have to cope with. I just want to do a good job, avoid getting involved in any incidents and learn as much as possible. One of my main goals is to display a proper learning curve. And I would be happy if I should make it to the top 20, every now and then.”