FELIX ROSENQVIST WINS – LANCE STROLL TAKES FIRST PODIUM
Season race: 23 of 33
Strecke: Red Bull Ring
Winner: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Pole position: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: sunny and warm
In the first race of the weekend, Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) was still beaten by his team-mate Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam), but he came out on top in the second race at the 4.326 kilometres long Red Bull Ring. Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) took the chequered flag in second place and thus extended his points’ lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings. In third place as the best rookie, 16-year-old Canadian Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam), a protégé of the Ferrari Driver Academy, celebrated his maiden podium finish in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
Felix Rosenqvist took the lead from pole position and went on to pull a gap of almost two seconds from his nearest rival Antonio Giovinazzi on the first three laps. Later on, the Italian managed to reduce the gap, but never put Rosenqvist’s lead in jeopardy. A safety car intervention, the result of a spin by Ryan Tveter (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), didn’t affect the Swedish stalwart either. He went on to bring first place home safely as Giovinazzi came second.
In third place, Lance Stroll already found out early in the race that he wasn’t able to keep up with Rosenqvist and Giovinazzi. However, he was quick enough to keep Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing) at bay to claim his maiden Formula 3 podium finish. Initially, Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark) was fourth, but wasn’t able to hold on to this position for long. A drive-through penalty for a jump start made the Brazilian drop out of the top ten. Alexander Albon (Signature), on the other hand, was in the top ten from the very beginning. The Thai was under pressure from his rivals George Russell (Carlin), Markus Pommer (Motopark), Jake Dennis and Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) throughout the race. On the final laps, Pommer still found a way past Russell to finish sixth behind Albon. Russell, Dennis, Jensen and Gustavo Menezes (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) completed the top ten.
Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “I reckon that I have learned from the first race and I made a better start. On the opening laps, my car was very good and I was able to pull clear from the rest of the field. Towards the halfway point, Antonio came closer and I had to give everything to keep a margin of one second. I think that I couldn’t have gone much faster, it was almost like in qualifying. The race was good fun.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “My start wasn’t very good and Lance managed to overtake me right away. In the course of the opening lap, however, I managed to get second place back and I also reduced the gap to Felix, who was in the lead. I am happy with second place, because it brings me a lot of points again.”
Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): “I had a good getaway and I moved up one place right away. Admittedly, I lost it again soon after that and I was third, but I was able to hold on to this third place. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to follow Felix and Antonio, but I am also very happy with third place. After a good start of the season, I had a low point between the races at Monza and Norisring, but now, I am on the right way again.”