Jake Dennis scores his maiden Formula 3 race win
Season race: 7 of 33
Winner: Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam)
Pole position: Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: dry, partly sunny
In the seventh FIA Formula 3 European Championship season race, nobody was faster than Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam), who scored his maiden race win in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in the streets of Pau. The 19-year-old Brit took the chequered flag 0.68 seconds ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin). With his seventh podium finish of the season, the 21-year-old Italian extended his points’ lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings. Third place at the 2.76 kilometres long street circuit went to Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing), who was also the best-placed rookie driver.
Starting from pole position, Jake Dennis led all the way from the start. Throughout the race, he never managed to really pull clear from his nearest rivals Antonio Giovinazzi and Charles Leclerc, but his lead never was in jeopardy. For Dennis, who has been a long-time protégé of the British Racing Steps Foundation, this victory was his biggest success in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship to date.
Behind the three fastest drivers, the rest of the field was already a few seconds off. Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) came out on top in the battle for fourth place with Alexander Albon (Signature) and also collected the trophy for the second-best rookie driver. Behind Albon, Alessio Lorandi (Van Amersfoort Racing) scored his first FIA Formula 3 European Championship points for finishing sixth. The 16-year-old Italian crossed the finish line ahead of Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), George Russell (Carlin), Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) and Brandon Maïsano (Prema Powerteam).
The race, held on a dry track, was neutralised by the safety car on two occasions. The first intervention came after Dorian Boccolacci (Signature) had parked his car on track. When Michele Beretta (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) hit the tyre stacks shortly after the restart, the race director sent the safety car out once again.
Prior to the start, Pietro Fittipaldi (Fortec Motorsports) was already sidelined. During his accident in yesterday’s qualifying, the Brazilian injured his hand and the doctor gave him the advice to stay out of the race.
Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam): “So far, the weekend has been very good for me and the race went very well, too. Moreover, scoring my first FIA Formula 3 European Championship win at such a special track like Pau is great! Nevertheless, the race was anything but easy, because with Antonio and Charles right behind me, I wasn’t allowed to make a single mistake.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “First of all, I am happy with my seventh podium finish from seven races so far. My start was very good, but things got pretty close in the first corner. Fortunately, Charles left me enough room. After that, I tried to put Jake under some pressure, but I didn’t want to take too many risks, because I had Charles right behind me.”
Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing): “My start simply wasn’t good enough. After that, at least I managed to score valuable points by finishing third. To be honest, I had expected more from this race, because our speed was very good. The fact that I also drove the fastest race lap reflects this.”