Markus Pommer takes his maiden win

Season race: 21 of 33
Track: Circuit Park Zandvoort
Winner: Markus Pommer (Motopark)
Pole position: Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin)
Weather: sunny

For Markus Pommer, the trip to Zandvoort in The Netherlands paid off: on Saturday, he scored his first-ever FIA Formula 3 European Championship podium finish at the 4.307 kilometres long ex-Formula 1 circuit; one day later, he scored his maiden victory. Thus, he also secured the first win for his team Motopark in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Behind the German, Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) took the chequered flag in second and third place respectively. As Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing), who started the race as the points’ leader, only finished tenth, Giovinazzi took over first place in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings.

Markus Pommer already laid the foundation for his success at the start as he overtook pole-sitter Antonio Giovinazzi on the way to the first corner and took the lead. On lap three, Matt Solomon (Double R Racing) spun into the gravel trap and got stuck. In order for his car to be recovered, the safety car was deployed. Within two laps after the restart, a crash by Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) brought out the safety car once more.

Racing resumed on lap eleven, but this time, the youngsters from the FIA Formula 3 European Championship didn’t get much further either. Gustavo Menezes (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Nicolas Pohler (Double R Racing) collided, which triggered the third safety car intervention. After the third restart, there were only three laps remaining, which Markus Pommer completed without any problems to drive his first FIA Formula 3 European Championship victory home.

Behind Pommer, Antonio Giovinazzi took second place from Felix Rosenqvist. Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam), the best-placed rookie Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam), George Russell (Carlin), Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark), Alexander Albon (Signature), Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing) completed the top ten.

Markus Pommer (Motopark): “The start was key to this success. In the early stages of the race, my car was fast, but because we had opted for a relatively aggressive set-up, I was slightly concerned that my tyres could degrade too much. Therefore, I didn’t mind the three safety car interventions that much. Of course, it is great that I finally pulled off my first victory. When we started our preparation for our maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship season, we were over a second down on the fastest drivers. And now, we are all the way up front. My team Motopark has done a tremendous job and I am delighted to be a member of this team. For this weekend at Zandvoort, I also had the benefit of the data from Max Verstappen, who won the Masters of Formula 3 at the same venue with Motopark last year.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “Of course, I am really happy that I am now back in the lead of the drivers’ standings again. Prior to this weekend, I would never have thought that I would make up my gap to Charles Leclerc. In this race, Markus had a great start, which allowed him to take the lead. In the three restarts, I couldn’t overtake him either. He has done a good job and I congratulate him on this victory.”

Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “Once again, I didn’t have the best of starts, which we now have to analyse. My car was good and I tried to be particularly aggressive during the restarts. Too bad that it was not enough to mount a challenge. Nevertheless, I am happy with my third place and my three podium results of this weekend.”