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“In Victory and Defeat”

Tom Blomqvist (left) with Carlin stablemate Jake Dennis. © FIA F3 Media Service.

Tom Blomqvist (left) with Carlin stablemate Jake Dennis. © FIA F3 Media Service.

Tom Blomqvist was the big winner of a subdued final weekend of the 2014 FIA European F3 Championship.

The 20-year-old ended his stint in the European Championship by securing 2nd in the title race ahead of future star Max Verstappen.

While the 17-year-old Max struck with a win in Race One, the Dutch teen’s efforts were hampered in Friday evening’s second qualifying session, dropping him to the lower reaches of the top ten for the final two races.

Blomqvist on the other hand took two poles and with a win in the second race, the job was almost done. There was still the matter of the finale and while Blomqvist fell behind Lucas Auer and Jordan King, Verstappen was nowhere near close enough to apply pressure.

But…

It never felt like it mattered. Already crowned as champion, Esteban Ocon and his Prema Powerteam compatriots rarely featured, while Verstappen’s assured future in Formula One means his final position in the standings is irrelevant.

Blomqvist may have won the battle against Verstappen, but the “Son of Stig” has no set plans for 2015 and precious little money with which to bargain with, Blomqvist may find himself on the outside looking in, despite his successes.

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“FIA F3: Auer closes season with victory at Hockenheim”

Lucas Auer won in Hockenheim. © FIA F3 Media Service.

Lucas Auer won in Hockenheim. © FIA F3 Media Service.

Lucas Auer claimed his third FIA European Formula 3 victory of the season at the Hockenheimring this morning.

The Austrian took the lead on the opening lap after a wheel-to-wheel battle with Tom Blomqvist that lasted from turn one through to the Mercedes corner three-quarters of a lap later.

The race was briefly halted by a safety car period when an overambitious Tatiana Calderon collided with Felix Serralles and Jules Szymkowiak at the hairpin on lap one.

From the lap four restart, Auer pulled a 1.3s gap over Blomqvist and never looked threatened thereafter.
By the halfway mark, the Mücke man had now drawn a two second advantage over Blomqvist; however with the 2nd place man coming under increasing pressure from Jordan King, Auer relaxed into a solid pace, bringing his Mercedes-powered machine home to a welcome victory, ending what has been a frustrating season.

It proved a satisfying victory for Auer who once again suffered minor gearbox issues during the race, causing him to occasionally lose time in the middle sector of the lap.

King eventually took 2nd place from Blomqvist three laps from the end when the Briton spotted a gap inside his Anglo-Kiwi teammate at the hairpin. Caught slightly unawares, Blomqvist failed to close the door, until King has forced his way down the inside, pushing Blomqvist down a position as a result.
King had also driven a brilliant opening lap. Starting 5th, the Englishman pipped Antonio Giovinazzi into turn two, before making a decisive move on Felix Rosenqvist into Mercedes, just prior to the launch of the safety car.

Although Blomqvist was disappointed to have lost the place to King, the Jagonya Ayam Carlin man had still done enough to solidify 2nd in the championship ahead of Max Verstappen.

Rosenqvist enjoyed a tough battle with Giovinazzi to claim 4th place for Mücke. The Swede held his Italian rival at bay for much of the race, with Giovinazzi spending large portions of the contest close to Rosenqvist’s rear wing, but was rarely close enough to force a change of position.
Giovinazzi did a have a go on lap 13, but on the one occasion that he needed to defend hard, Rosenqvist managed Giovinazzi to keep the Jagonya Ayam Carlin man behind.

Verstappen, meanwhile, had another relatively quiet race in his van Amersfoort machine. From 7th on the grid, Verstappen took Esteban Ocon off the line, only for the Frenchman to retake Verstappen when the latter ran wide at the final corner come the restart after the safety car.
Verstappen did look somewhat racey for a time – in his chase, the van Amersfoort man dived down the inside of Ocon at the hairpin on lap seven, as he tyre smoked his way into the corner; however Ocon immediately overlapped Verstappen, as the 17-year-old slid well wide.
Thereafter Verstappen trailed the Rosenqvist / Giovinazzi / Ocon trio, but the Dutch teen passed Ocon again spectacularly at the entrance to Mercedes, when he sneaked down the inside of Ocon, briefly locking wheels with his target before passing.

Ocon followed Verstappen hope, but this weekend the series champion and Prema Powerteam man rarely threatened the front and in this instance did nt look like breaking back into the top six.
In the distance Sean Gelael finished 8th in his Jagonya Ayam Carlin entry, several seconds clear of Carlin stablemate Ed Jones (9th).

Dennis van de Laar rounded out the points when he passed Jake Dennis on the final lap. Dennis had until then driven brilliantly to climb from last to 10th by the seventh tour, only to lose it when a mistake in sector one dropped him behind van de Laar.

Beyond that, the race was run one lap shorter than scheduled when Gustavo Menezes’ smoking van Amersfoort machine caused the first start to be aborted. The American would then get a drive through penalty when he retook his position on the grid, when he was supposed to start from the pitlane.
There was the usual fun and games at the back when Alexander Toril was hit by Roy Nissany on lap 15, before Nissany had a separate off of his own moments later.

Auer's victory ends a frustrating year for Mücke in F3. © FIA F3 Media Service.

Auer’s victory ends a frustrating year for Mücke in F3. © FIA F3 Media Service.

“FIA F3: Blomqvist takes victory in shortened race”

Blomqvist led Giovinazzi in a Jagonya Ayam Carlin 1-2 finish. © FIA F3 Media Services.

Blomqvist led Giovinazzi in a Jagonya Ayam Carlin 1-2 finish. © FIA F3 Media Services.

Jagonya Ayam with Carlin driver Tom Blomqvist took his sixth victory of the FIA European F3 season in a slightly shortened race at the Hockenheimring today.

The 20-year-old led every lap of the race at the German circuit, followed by teammate Antonio Giovinazzi and Lucas Auer.

The race was red flagged on the final lap when Antonio Fuoco clattered Jake Dennis from behind in the Mercedes corner in what can be best described an ambitious move by the Italian teenager.

Blomqvist made the win look easy. While the Carlin man escaped from the grid, Auer edged Giovinazzi for 2nd into turn one; however having taken one Carlin driver, the Austrian had no answer for Blomqvist’s pace.

After five laps, Blomqvist had already built a lead of just under two seconds; however a brief safety car to clear debris from Michele Beretta’s damaged EuroInternational car neutralised preceding’s for a time.

Once restarted, Blomqvist simply pulled away again and had built a gap of four seconds when the race was halted. On countback, Blomqvist held a 3.9s gap to Giovinazzi, with Auer 1.38s further in arrears.
As Blomqvist’s rival for 2nd in the championship, Max Verstappen, could do no better than 5th place in the race, Blomqvist enters into tomorrow’s finale with a two-point advantage.

Giovinazzi’s runner-up finish solidified 6th in the championship standings for the Italian. The 20-year-old had settled into 3rd place when Auer’s Mücke machine locked into third gear on the approach into the hairpin four laps from the end.
The resultant lock sent Auer into the tarmac run off area and while he escaped, he could do nothing to stop Giovinazzi reclaiming 2nd place. The issue topped off another frustrating day for Auer, who had suffered a similar transmission problem on several occasions during the weekend.

Series champion Esteban Ocon came home 4th following a reasonably quiet race for Prema Powerteam. The French teenager took Felix Rosenqvist for 5th at the start and then passed Jordan King on the third lap, but could progress no further than that.

Unusually, Max Verstappen drove a mostly subdued race to 5th. Having started 9th, the Dutch teen grabbed two places off the line, only to be brilliantly repassed by Tatiana Calderon in the Mercedes section on the 2nd tour.
It was not for long though. Within two laps, Verstappen had taken Calderon again, before passing King, who had suffered a damaged front wing while battling with Ocon just prior to the safety car. Thereafter, Verstappen settled into something of a lonely 5th place, where he neither threatened nor was threatened.

Rosenqvist finished 6th having also passed Calderon on lap four. The Swede briefly challenged Verstappen for the top five following the safety car routine, but never truly looked like making a move.
Roy Nissany drove a solid race to take 7th. The Israelite made several places at the start and passed Calderon on lap five, while Calderon stayed close to the Mücke man to assume 8th.
Gustavo Menezes ended the day in 9th, ahead of Dennis van de Laar who rose to 10th place to score the final point.

Spike Goddard drove an ‘interesting’ race. The Australian used the rear of Beretta’s car as a break in the Stadium section on lap four, which eventually brought out the safety car and on lap eleven, he suffered a lazy spin in the stadium ensuring a finish near the back.
Sean Gelael rammed the rear of Fuoco on the opening lap, pitching the latter in a spin. The Italian had risen to 13th – which included a fabulous brief tussle with Santino Ferrucci – when he collided clumsily with Dennis. Ed Jones, meanwhile, received a penalty for a jump-start, while Stefano Coletti picked up a drive through penalty for repeatedly breaching track limits. The Monegasque racer pulled into the pits simply to retire.

“FIA F3: Verstappen takes first blood at Hockenheim”

Verstappen took his 10th FIA F3 win at Hockenheim. © FIA F3 Media Services.

Verstappen took his 10th FIA F3 win at Hockenheim. © FIA F3 Media Services.

Max Verstappen won the opening FIA European Formula 3 race of the season’s final round at Hockenheim.

In what amounted to a stale race, dominated from the front by the Dutch racer, Verstappen made it look easy at a circuit where overtaking can often be difficult.

Verstappen led from the line, with a sluggish Lucas Auer (Mücke Motorsport) in tow, while Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam Carlin) slotted into 3rd place.

Auer did press Verstappen hard initially, only for the van Amersfoort man to extend his lead significantly following the opening half-dozen tours. Thereafter, Verstappen was rarely under any kind of threat as he drew further away from Auer to win by 3.78s after 22 laps.

Behind Verstappen, Auer too drove a safe race to the runner-up spot. Although the Austrian spent a touch too long in a low gear at the start, Auer had enough of an advantage to keep Blomqvist behind through the opening bends, before building a sizeable gap to the Jagonya Ayam Carlin man.

Blomqvist filled out the podium places, although he was not always alone, as he led teammate Antonio Giovinazzi and Mücke’s Felix Rosenqvist home.
Indeed Rosenqvist did battle with Giovinazzi for a portion of the race, only for him to drop back slightly, as he managed intentions of 6th place Jordan King (Carlin).

King took the top six place after he passed Prema Powerteam’s Esteban Ocon on the ninth lap, with a decisive divebomb down the inside of the hairpin. It has been a subdued weekend for the entire Prema Powerteam squad, who appear to running on empty this weekend – their other charges Antonio Fuoco and Dennis van de Laar could do no better than 14th and 17th respectively.

Gustavo Menezes brought home four valuable points for his van Amersfoort team. The American finished 3.52s ahead of Felix Serralles (Team West-Tec), who wheelbanged his way past Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam Carlin) on the lap ten.

Jake Dennis did what he could from last place (24th). A great start ensured the Briton was as high as 17th by the end of lap on, before he took Jules Szymkowiak and Nick Cassidy to finish 15th at the flag.

Michele Beretta spun himself into the barriers on lap eight, while Andy Chang and Stefano Coletti were retirements in the pits on laps 13 and 16.

“Numbers on a Screen”

© Leigh O'Gorman

© Leigh O’Gorman

I have always believed that there can be a point when one becomes so wealthy, their worth ceases to be money.

Rather than wealth that can be measured by context, the super rich merely possess numbers on a screen – albeit lots of zeroes…

When one is worth billions of Dollars, Euro, Pound Sterling or otherwise, is one’s money even real anymore?

If nothing else, the power to turn heads persists, as the Stroll family displayed in Imola last weekend. Present to celebrate Lance Stroll’s victory in the FIA Italian F4 Championship, the Stroll’s attended the season finalé, despite the teenage Lance’s inability to race due to a rib injury.

While that is no surprise, what was quite eye-opening was the size of Stroll’s private motorhome at the back of the paddock. Easily coming to approximately half the size of a current Formula One motorhome for its European season, the Stroll motorhome represented an excess that even had seasoned F3 people turning their heads.

At a rumoured cost of just over €4m, a few HGV’s delivered the unit, which took staff some three days to construct. Such is the enormity of the motorhome, it measure almost twice the size as many of the F3 trucks and awnings in the FIA F3 paddock. It really was quite an incredible sight for a driver who, let’s not forget, is only emerging from Formula 4.

Whether the Stroll’s will be able to cart the motorhome into the somewhat busier DTM paddocks next year when Lance is in F3 is unknown for now.
But it would be fun to see them try to bring that monster machine to Pau…

“FIA F3: Double pole for Blomqvist”

Blomqvist took double-pole at Hockenheim. © FIA F3 Media Service.

Blomqvist took double-pole at Hockenheim. © FIA F3 Media Service.

Jagonya Ayam with Carlin driver Tom Blomqvist struck back at rival Max Verstappen when he claimed the final two pole positions of the FIA European F3 season this evening.

Blomqvist, who is battling Verstappen for the runner-up spot in the championship, destroyed the opposition with two laps in the 1’31s range – the only driver to do so today.

Blomqvist’s initial run – a 1:31.987s – had already set the Anglo-Kiwi almost three-tenths ahead of his nearest rival and teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, but a spectacular late effort scrubbed another 0.170s from that time.

It marked a good session too for Giovinazzi who backed up his 2nd place start for Race 2, with a 4th place qualifying for Race 3, while Mücke’s Lucas Auer collected a 3rd (Race 2) and a 2nd (Race 3).
With the end of a tough season approaching, Felix Rosenqvist showed some metal by twice qualifying in the top five, surrounded either way by Jordan King. Series champion Esteban Ocon twice secured 6th, while Prema Powerteam teammate Antonio Fuoco nabbed two 7th’s.

The surprise of the session was Zeller/Mücke racer Tatiana Calderon who recorded the 8th best time for Race 2 and will line-up just ahead of Max Verstappen.
Indeed in an unusual scene, Verstappen will also start from 8th in Rcae 3 – a stark contrast to the earlier qualifying session, where the van Amersfoort driver took pole.

The session was briefly red flagged when Roy Nissany spun off in the final sequence of corners, only for the Israelite to rejoin under his own steam once the qualifying had been neutralised.

2014 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 11, Grid Race 2)
Pos Driver              Team/Engine                 Time/Gap
 1. Tom Blomqvist       Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW      1:31.817
 2. Antonio Giovinazzi  Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +0.335
 3. Lucas Auer          Mucke-Merc                    +0.428
 4. Jordan King         Carlin-VW                     +0.586
 5. Felix Rosenqvist    Mucke-Merc                    +0.597
 6. Esteban Ocon        Prema Powerteam-Merc          +0.605 
 7. Antonio Fuoco       Powerteam-Merc                +0.616
 8. Tatiana Calderon    Zeller/Mucke-Merc             +0.937
 9. Max Verstappen      van Amersfoort-VW             +1.015
10. Sean Gelael         Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +1.023
11. Roy Nissany         Mucke-Merc                    +1.105
12. Gustavo Menezes     van Amersfoort-VW             +1.133
13. Dennis van de Laar  Powerteam-Merc                +1.183
14. Ed Jones            Carlin-VW                     +1.222
15. Felix Serralles     Team West-Tec-Merc            +1.360 
16. Santino Ferrucci    Fortec-Merc                   +1.504
17. Jules Szymkowiak    van Amersfoort-VW             +1.574
18. Jake Dennis         Carlin-VW                     +1.655
19. Spike Goddard       T-Sport-NBE                   +2.073
20. Alexander Toril     T-Sport-NBE                   +2.077
21. Stefano Coletti     EuroInternational-Merc        +2.211 
22. Michele Beretta     EuroInternational-Merc        +2.545
23. Sandro Zeller       Zeller –Merc                  +2.580
24. Andy Chang          Team West-Tec-Merc            +2.631
25. Nick Cassidy        T-Sport-NBE                {no time}



2014 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 11, Grid Race 3)
Pos Driver              Team/Engine                 Time/Gap
 1. Tom Blomqvist       Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW      1:31.987
 2. Lucas Auer          Mucke-Merc                    +0.299
 3. Felix Rosenqvist    Mucke-Merc                    +0.442
 4. Antonio Giovinazzi  Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +0.558
 5. Jordan King         Carlin-VW                     +0.682
 6. Esteban Ocon        Prema Powerteam-Merc          +0.723 
 7. Antonio Fuoco       Powerteam-Merc                +0.776
 8. Max Verstappen      van Amersfoort-VW             +0.859
 9. Sean Gelael         Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +0.861
10. Gustavo Menezes     van Amersfoort-VW             +1.126
11. Ed Jones            Carlin-VW                     +1.214
12. Roy Nissany         Mucke-Merc                    +1.343
13. Felix Serralles     Team West-Tec-Merc            +1.346 
14. Dennis van de Laar  Powerteam-Merc                +1.369
15. Jules Szymkowiak    van Amersfoort-VW             +1.405
16. Tatiana Calderon    Zeller/Mucke-Merc             +1.469
17. Santino Ferrucci    Fortec-Merc                   +1.526
18. Jake Dennis         Carlin-VW                     +1.640
19. Spike Goddard       T-Sport-NBE                   +1.962
20. Alexander Toril     T-Sport-NBE                   +2.025
21. Stefano Coletti     EuroInternational-Merc        +2.101 
22. Andy Chang          Team West-Tec-Merc            +2.563
23. Michele Beretta     EuroInternational-Merc        +2.571
24. Sandro Zeller       Zeller –Merc                  +2.576
25. Nick Cassidy        T-Sport-NBE                {no time}
© FIA F3 Media Service.

© FIA F3 Media Service.

“FIA F3: Verstappen takes first pole for Hockenheim finale”

Verstappen took another pole in Hockenheim. © FIA F3 Media Service.

Verstappen took another pole in Hockenheim. © FIA F3 Media Service.

Max Verstappen took pole position for the first FIA European Formula 3 race of the weekend at Hockenheim today.

The Dutch racer set a best tour of 1:32.002s; ending the session just 0.018s up on Mücke’s Lucas Auer.

It was Verstappen’s 7th pole of the season, crucially giving the van Amersfoort racer a two-place head start over Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam Carlin), with whom he is battling for 2nd in the championship.

Of the pole position effort, Verstappen was naturally pleased: “Qualifying went well. It was pretty close between the three of us in front, but my lap time wasn’t so bad and, of course, I am delighted with my pole position.”
The future Toro Rosso star added: “The track is very demanding for the tyres, so you don’t have many laps to set a fast time. For me, it worked out quite well today.”

Blomqvist did run the front row pair close. After heading the times come the halfway mark, his best of 1:32.070s was ultimately just shy of was necessary to depose the Verstappen / Auer duo. It is an all-Jagonya Ayam Carlin second row, with Antonio Giovinazzi set to line-up alongside Blomqvist.

Jordan King (Carlin) slotted into 5th spot, with newly crowned champion Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) taking 6th. Meanwhile Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport, 7th) and Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam Carlin) grabbing 8th – his first top ten qualifying result of the season.
Felix Serralles (Team West-Tec) and Gustavo Menezes (van Amersfoort) round out the top ten.

There was some frantic action in the Carlin awning prior to the session, as engineers fought against time to change Jake Dennis’ engine. As a result, the Briton will drop ten places for each of this weekend’s races.

Meanwhile, Lucas Auer headed both of this morning’s practice sessions ahead of Felix Rosenqvist and Esteban Ocon respectively. Jules Szymkowiak showed some pace in the opening session when he set the 4th quickest time; however as the circuit rubbered in, the Dutch driver could not quite repeat the feat.

2014 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 11, Grid Race 1)
Pos Driver              Team/Engine                 Time/Gap
 1. Max Verstappen      van Amersfoort-VW           1:32.002
 2. Lucas Auer          Mucke-Merc                    +0.018
 3. Tom Blomqvist       Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +0.074
 4. Antonio Giovinazzi  Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +0.339
 5. Jordan King         Carlin-VW                     +0.377
 6. Esteban Ocon        Prema Powerteam-Merc          +0.412
 7. Felix Rosenqvist    Mucke-Merc                    +0.483
 8. Sean Gelael         Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +0.533
 9. Felix Serralles     Team West-Tec-Merc            +0.674
10. Gustavo Menezes     van Amersfoort-VW             +0.758
11. Ed Jones            Carlin-VW                     +0.808
12. Roy Nissany         Mucke-Merc                    +0.813
13. Antonio Fuoco       Powerteam-Merc                +0.844
14. Tatiana Calderon    Zeller/Mucke-Merc             +1.029
15. Nick Cassidy        T-Sport-NBE                   +1.042
16. Jules Szymkowiak    van Amersfoort-VW             +1.150 
17. Dennis van de Laar  Powerteam-Merc                +1.209
18. Jake Dennis         Carlin-VW                     +1.272
19. Santino Ferrucci    Fortec-Merc                   +1.434
20. Stefano Coletti     EuroInternational-Merc        +1.514 
21. Michele Beretta     EuroInternational-Merc        +1.734
22. Alexander Toril     T-Sport-NBE                   +1.821
23. Spike Goddard       T-Sport-NBE                   +1.895
24. Sandro Zeller       Zeller –Merc                  +2.049
25. Andy Chang          Team West-Tec-Merc            +2.239
2014 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 11, Free Practice 1)
Pos Driver              Team/Engine                 Time/Gap
 1. Lucas Auer          Mucke-Merc                  1:33.206
 2. Felix Rosenqvist    Mucke-Merc                    +0.488
 3. Esteban Ocon        Prema Powerteam-Merc          +0.765
 4. Jules Szymkowiak    van Amersfoort-VW             +0.858
 5. Max Verstappen      van Amersfoort-VW             +0.874
 6. Felix Serralles     Team West-Tec-Merc            +0.902
 7. Sean Gelael         Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +0.979
 8. Antonio Giovinazzi  Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +1.003
 9. Jordan King         Carlin-VW                     +1.038
10. Gustavo Menezes     van Amersfoort-VW             +1.101
11. Roy Nissany         Mucke-Merc                    +1.172
12. Antonio Fuoco       Prema Powerteam-Merc          +1.231
13. Tom Blomqvist       Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +1.282
14. Stefano Coletti     EuroInternational-Merc        +1.363
15. Ed Jones            Carlin-VW                     +1.534
16. Jake Dennis         Carlin-VW                     +1.555
17. Nick Cassidy        T-Sport-NBE                   +1.601
18. Santino Ferrucci    Fortec-Merc                   +1.664
19. Tatiana Calderon    Zeller/Mucke-Merc             +1.764
20. Spike Goddard       T-Sport-NBE                   +2.055
21. Michele Beretta     EuroInternational-Merc        +2.311
22. Andy Chang          Team West-Tec-Merc            +2.403
23. Alexander Toril     T-Sport-NBE                   +2.669
24. Sandro Zeller       Zeller –Merc                  +3.240
25. Dennis van de Laar  Prema Powerteam-Merc          +6.272


2014 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 11, Free Practice 2)
Pos Driver              Team/Engine                 Time/Gap
 1. Lucas Auer          Mucke-Merc                  1:32.861
 2. Esteban Ocon        Prema Powerteam-Merc          +0.177
 3. Max Verstappen      van Amersfoort-VW             +0.271
 4. Tom Blomqvist       Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +0.297
 5. Antonio Fuoco       Powerteam-Merc                +0.385
 6. Felix Serralles     Team West-Tec-Merc            +0.535
 7. Jordan King         Carlin-VW                     +0.580
 8. Nick Cassidy        T-Sport-NBE                   +0.645
 9. Gustavo Menezes     van Amersfoort-VW             +0.723
10. Dennis van de Laar  Powerteam-Merc                +0.725
11. Sean Gelael         Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +0.932 
12. Tatiana Calderon    Zeller/Mucke-Merc             +0.998
13. Felix Rosenqvist    Mucke-Merc                    +1.006
14. Jules Szymkowiak    van Amersfoort-VW             +1.065 
15. Antonio Giovinazzi  Jagonya Ayam Carlin-VW        +1.136
16. Roy Nissany         Mucke-Merc                    +1.191
17. Santino Ferrucci    Fortec-Merc                   +1.332
18. Jake Dennis         Carlin-VW                     +1.455
19. Ed Jones            Carlin-VW                     +1.566
20. Spike Goddard       T-Sport-NBE                   +1.583
21. Sandro Zeller       Zeller –Merc                  +1.792
22. Andy Chang          Team West-Tec-Merc            +1.881
23. Stefano Coletti     EuroInternational-Merc        +1.962 
24. Alexander Toril     T-Sport-NBE                   +2.017
25. Michele Beretta     EuroInternational-Merc        +3.284

“Right to Reply – ‘Jolyon Palmer: A champion, but what next?'”

Jolyon Palmer, 2014 GP2 Series champion. © Charles Coates/GP2 Series Media Service.

Jolyon Palmer, 2014 GP2 Series champion. © Charles Coates/GP2 Series Media Service.

Earlier this week, Formula Renault 3.5 driver Cameron Twynham contacted me regarding Sunday’s post about the new GP2 Series champion, Jolyon Palmer.

As part of the operating policy of TheMotorsportArchive.com, this website is open to a ‘reply or comment’ from those involved in motorsport.

See also:
“Jolyon Palmer: A champion, but what next?”

Cameron Twynham (Formula Renault 3.5; Comtec Racing)
“[Jolyon Palmer] needs to get an opportunity [to drive in Formula One] in my opinion.

Junior championships including GP2 are for learning; some people learn fast, others take more time, but the end result is often better if you learn the correct way rather than accelerated or skipping steps.

His experience in GP2 is not just about winning, he has learnt how to qualify, how to race from the back, the middle and the front of a very aggressive grid and get to the end of the races with maximum points, not easy in GP2!

He has shown incredible pace this season plus amazing overtaking skills, and in a car as he says, is very similar to F1 speeds.
Not that F1 teams are listening to me but I really hope he gets there.”

My thanks to Cameron for submitting his thoughts.

Twynham races for Comtec in FR3.5. © Renault Sport Media.

Twynham races for Comtec in FR3.5. © Renault Sport Media.

“Memorials”

© Leigh O'Gorman

© Leigh O’Gorman

It was suitably quiet – well, almost. One can not always capture these moments at just the right time, but at least the rustling of the leaves amidst the Autumnal trees could still be held to ear.

Occasionally a car would pass – at speed, of course. This is Imola after all and the youth of the FIA Italian Formula 4 Championship are getting their precious practice runs in. Some of them certainly need it more than others.

It feels strange to think that now almost the entire Italian F4 field was born after Ayrton Senna died following a crash at the infamous Tamburello corner at Imola on May 1st, 1994.

Many of these young drivers idolise the late Senna to some degree or other, having heard so many tales, watched the ‘Senna’ film and, or viewed numerous clips of his high speed exploits on YouTube.

Others still grew to love this sport during the dominant Schumacher years, but soon another generation will emerge who were born after Michael Schumacher’s original run ended. That final Ferrari drive at Interlagos, after all, occurred nearly eight ago already.

It also feels a touch strange that one should idolise a driver whose time passed before one had been born, but to criticise such a thing would merely make me a hypocrite.
As a fan of the great Jim Clark fan, I would know about that – the double World Champion Scot was killed some thirteen years before I was born, but this weekend, I will return to the Hockenheimring and hopefully capture another memorial in some soft silence.

Meanwhile, I held this moment. Around me, a birthday was being celebrated by a party in the park and people ventured out to walk and talk amongst themselves, while other racing fans arrived to capture their moment too.

Only then did a fly decide it was the perfect time to fly directly up my right nostril, sending me into a spluttering fit as I repeatedly swatted myself across the face.
If nothing else, my furious reaction to the winged insect got laughs from the assembled children…

“Esteban Ocon”

A podium was enough for Ocon to secure the FIA F3 title. © FIA F3 Media.

A podium was enough for Ocon to secure the FIA F3 title. © FIA F3 Media.

There was something poignant about Esteban Ocon, Max Verstappen and Tom Blomqvist all nabbing a victory each at the penultimate FIA European Formula 3 round at Imola this weekend.

The trio have been at the top of the championship for virtually its entire run this year, but it was Ocon who would be crowned champion.

And rightly so.

The French teenager has excelled this season and while Verstappen may be about the grab the headlines as Red Bull’s latest protégé in Formula One, there is little doubt that he and Ocon will have a rivalry that will endure for many years to come.

With Formula Renault 3.5 on the horizon for Ocon, it only remains to see whom he will be driving for in the Renault Word Series category. A couple of rounds with Comtec whetted his appetite, but it is unlikely that they will be his ultimate destination.

Blomqvist too has shun bright, but a lack of funding meaning his future is somewhat less clear.

Soon we will know all their futures and declarations of intent, but first there is the matter of the FIA European F3 finale at Hockenheim next week and then the Macau F3 Grand Prix in November and that will be one stellar battleground for these fabulous talents.

Ocon's Prema Powerteam team boss René Rosin celebrated... © FIA F3 Media.

Ocon’s Prema Powerteam team boss René Rosin celebrated… © FIA F3 Media.

...as did the rest of the Prema Powerteam squad. © FIA F3 Media.

…as did the rest of the Prema Powerteam squad. © FIA F3 Media.

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