MAIDEN FORMULA 3 VICTORY FOR 16-YEAR-OLD LANCE STROLL
Season race: 31 of 33
Track: Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg
Winner: Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam)
Pole position: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: dry and cold
During the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season finale at the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, Canadian Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) celebrated his maiden race win in the category. Behind the member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, who is in his first season in Formula 3 in 2015, Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam) and the already-crowned FIA Formula 3 European Champion Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) finished second and third respectively. With his second place, Dennis remains in contention for runner-up spot in the drivers’ standings after his two main rivals Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing) only finished sixth and eighth.
Lance Stroll overtook Felix Rosenqvist on the opening lap already, the Swede having taken the lead at the start. After several minor collisions on the opening lap, with Zhi Cong Li (Fortec Motorsports), Wing Chung Chang (Fortec Motorsports) and Raoul Hyman (Team West-Tec F3) retiring, the safety car was deployed. Racing resumed on lap four and on the first kilometres already, Jake Dennis overtook his team-mate Felix Rosenqivst. The Brit, who still has chances to conclude the season as runner-up in the drivers’ standings, slotted in behind race leader Lance Stroll.
During the following laps, the order out in front remained unchanged, while Antonio Giovinazzi and Alexander Sims (HitechGP) were in a fierce battle for fifth place. On lap 14, the Brit finally took over fifth position and pulled away from the Italian. Later on, the latter had to deal with Charles Leclerc for a while, before the Monegasque lost his seventh position to George Russell (Carlin) on lap 16.
Out in front, Lance Stroll drove his laps unfazed and went on to score his maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship race win. Jake Dennis, Felix Rosenqvist and Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) rounded out the success for the Italian Prema Powerteam, that had already wrapped up the teams’ title prior to the season finale. Alexander Sims, Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell, Markus Pommer (Motopark) and Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) completed the top ten in the 31st season race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): “Scoring my first race win in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is a beautiful feeling. It was good that I already used my chances in the first race of the weekend, because I am a little further down on the starting grid for the other two races of the weekend. My start was great and I was able to overtake Felix relatively easily on the opening lap. That was also important for me, because I am still in the battle for second place in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship rookie standings and need all the points I can get. Now, the goal is to keep working, so that I can repeat this success.”
Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam): “Lance has done a good job and deserved this win. He has learned a lot this season. Personally, I was a little bit nervous in the opening stages of the race and made a few slight mistakes. After that, things went well and I was able to pull clear from Giovinazzi and to overtake Felix Rosenqvist. During the race, I looked at the big screens over and over again to see where Antonio and Charles Leclerc, my rivals in the battle for second place in the championship, were. My goal for this weekend is to be on the podium in the final FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings.”
Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “This weekend somehow has a strange feeling to it, because I am no longer under pressure, having sealed the title already. My main goal for this weekend is to help my team-mates. When Lance had a better acceleration out of the hairpin on the first lap and tried to overtake me, I didn’t defend my position with everything I had. However, that is okay for me, because Lance and also Jake, who overtook me soon after that, need the points more than I do.”