Charles Leclerc wins and closes up in the drivers’ standings
Season race: 6 of 33
Track: Hockenheim Grand Prix circuit
Winner: Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing)
Pole position: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: rain, then slightly drying
Victory in the rainy sixth season race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship went to rookie driver Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing). At the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the 17-year-old Monegasque scored his second win of the season. The two Formula 3 stalwarts Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) completed the trio of drivers on the podium. In the drivers’ standings, Giovinazzi defended his lead. The best-placed rookie, Leclerc is in second place, five points down.
Felix Rosenqvist was the first driver to take the lead in a race that got underway behind the safety car on the rain-soaked track. In the opening stages already, Charles Leclerc put the Swede under massive pressure. Until lap 14, Rosenqvist managed to defend his lead. Then, Leclerc overtook the Prema driver coming out of the hairpin, immediately extended his lead and finally drove an undisputed victory home. The safety car phase that followed after a collision by Pietro Fittipaldi (Fortec Motorsport) and Zhi Cong Li (Fortec Motorsport) just before the end of the race, didn’t affect Leclerc’s victory.
Behind Rosenqvist and Leclerc, Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) had his eyes firmly set on his maiden podium finish in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Then, however, the German spun from third place and Antonio Giovinazzi went past. Thus, the Italian scored his sixth podium finish from as many races in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Günther eventually was classified fifth behind his team-mate Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). Lance Stroll, (Prema Powerteam), Markus Pommer (Motopark), Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam), Alexander Albon (Signature) and Callum Ilott (Carlin) completed the top ten.
Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing): “Finishing the weekend with a victory is great. My first attack on Felix wasn’t successful, but the second one worked out. After that, I could pull away immediately. My car ran very well.”
Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “Initially, things were going well, but after two laps already, my rear tyres started overheating. I reckon that we got the tyre pressure slightly wrong. Nevertheless, the race was fun, although I didn’t have a chance against Charles in the end. He and his team simply did a better job in this race.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “It was a difficult race, because I only started from sixth place. My plan was to make up as many places as possible during the opening lap. Eventually, I was lucky that Maximilian spun. Having scored six podium finishes from the first six races is great.”