THE GRAND PRIX DE PAU – A HIGHLIGHT ON THE FIA F3 EC CALENDAR
This weekend, the young FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers will take part in a special highlight: the Grand Prix de Pau. In the event held on the 2.76-kilometre-long street circuit located in the heart of the city of Pau with its 80,000 citizens, Formula 3 has been the main attraction for many years and this year, this tradition-rich event celebrates its 75th anniversary. Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) travels to the Southern-French circuit located at the foot of the Pyrenees as championship leader while rookie Anthoine Hubert (Van Amersfoort Racing) represents the French colours on the FIA Formula 3 European Championship grid, thus being the local hero. Meanwhile, German newcomer David Beckmann (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) will make his first appearance in the series.
The FIA Formula 3 European Championship rounds at Pau’s tight and twisty circuit are among the highlights of every season. Last year, Prema driver Jake Dennis won two of the three races, with the third win having been secured by Antonio Giovinazzi who raced for Team Jagonya Ayam with Carlin. The only driver of this year’s field who made it to the podium was Maximilian Günther. In the third race of the weekend – the official GP de Pau – the 18-year old German finished second. Meanwhile, Lance Stroll and Arjun Maini (ThreeBond with T-Sport) came close to making it to the podium in 2015 but in the end, they both had to settle for having finished fourth, in one of the races. Now, both the 18-year-old Indian and the Canadian, who is one year younger, want to up the ante by achieving the goal they didn’t last year: a top-three result in Pau.
A driver who knows how it feels to win on the streets of Pau is Anthoine Hubert. The 19-year-old who lives in Chartres, between Paris and Le Mans, won both Formula Renault Alps 2.0 rounds held at Pau last year and definitely would love to repeat this success in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, this year. In addition to his regular rivals, he also will have to take on a new opponent: German David Beckmann is going to contest his first FIA Formula 3 European Championship weekend. The now 16-year old young gun, best rookie in the 2015 ADAC Formula 4 season, celebrated his birthday just a few days ago and now has the minimum age for racing in the category. So he combines his Formula 3 debut and his first races on a street circuit at Pau.
Arjun Maini (ThreeBond with T-Sport): “Pau is a fantastic circuit. It definitely is one of my favourite racetracks. It’s such a tight circuit and nonetheless, we are racing here at speeds of 200kph and more – just incredible. Last year was my first race weekend in Pau and things ran well for me right from the start. I hope that I will be able to also secure good results this year. On the first two race weekends, at Le Castellet and in Hungary, we had problems with our car but we think we have them solved, now. Therefore, I hope that we will be more competitive, in Pau and will be able to battle it out at the front end of the field.“