The FIA European Formula 3 Championship today announced that the planned visit to Moscow has been cancelled, to be replaced by Portimão.
Moscow Raceway had previously proved an unpopular venue with teams and drivers, due to logistical issues and high costs.
The 9th round of the European F3 Championship will now place at the Portimão circuit in the Algarve over the weekend of September 4th-6th; one week later than the originally scheduled Moscow round. The option of Portimão also ensures drivers and teams can test at the circuit on September 1st-2nd.
European F3 first visited Moscow Raceway last season; however only twenty of the twenty-six full season drivers made the trip, as numerous British entries decided not to travel.
It is believed a request to replace the Moscow round was made as early as last November, with the various parties making a final decision this week.
It will be the first time European F3 has visited Portimão; however the circuit did host British F3 in 2009, with ART Grand Prix’ Jules Bianchi claiming the honours in both races.
For this weekend only, European F3 will support the Blancpain Sprint Series, with the presence of live television proving a key factor in discussions.
Jamie Green grabbed his first with Audi since his move to the marque in 2013, with an inch perfect performance in Race One at the Hockenheimring.
After taking pole, Green – driving the Rosberg Audi – made a stellar start to leap into a supreme 2.3s lead over HWA Mercedes man Pascal Wehrlein after one lap, stretching that to a 3.6s gap when the first of two safety car periods began on lap 12.
Thereafter the unbeatable Green pulled out another gap over the final ten laps to win the season opener by 2.3s ahead of Wehrlein, to celebrate his first DTM victory since Norisring 2012.
Paul di Resta (HWA Mercedes) took 2nd from Wehrlein on the fifth tour and held the position admirably until Wehrlein fought back to the runner-up spot four laps from the end.
Edoardo Mortara assumed 4th, while former champion Mike Rockenfeller took 5th. A poor start dropped Nico Müller from 4th to 6th off the line, while Maxime Martin finished 7th in his RMG BMW.
Adrian Tambay was running 7th for a time, until an off in the gravel in the stadium section while battling with Martin, Mattias Ekström and reigning champion Marco Wittmann caused Tambay to retire. Ekström, meanwhile, pitted but continued on to finish 12th.
Timo Glock came from 20th on the grid to claim 8th after late moves on Wittmann and Augusto Farfus, who would go on to finish 9th and 10th respectively.
The first safety car was triggered when Daniel Juncadella got beached in the gravel at the Sachs Kurve. Following a brief green stint, it emerged again when an out-of-control Martin Tomczyk lost the rear of his Schnitzer BMW while battling with Lucas Auer (ART GP Mercedes) into the hairpin. From there, a backward sliding Tomczyk rammed the right rear of Gary Paffett (ART GP Mercedes), before pinning the helpless Auer in the hairpin.
Robert Wickens endured a first lap incident that caused him to retire, while Timo Scheider and Tom Blomqvist quit the action when tagged by Antonio Felix da Costa early on. Miguel Molina retired when he was clipped by Maximilian Götz.
Felix Rosenqvist took his second FIA European F3 win of the season at the Hockenheimring this morning and did it in emphatic style.
The Swede never looked troubled at any stage of the race, as he drew away from Charles Leclerc off the line.
Meanwhile championship leader Antonio Giovinazzi had to fight from 5th on the grid to assume the final podium position, but was too far behind Leclerc to challenge for 2nd.
The race contrasted greatly from yesterday’s event, which was peppered with safety car periods under damp conditions. With dry conditions the order of the day, Rosenqvist made the most of his Mercedes-powered entry to pull a 9.0s gap from the rookie Leclerc.
From the start Rosenqvist looked serene in his Prema Powerteam machine and was already 1.1s up on the French teen come the end of the opening lap, after the Monegasque Leclerc took a brief look down the insight of Rosenqvist into Nordkurve. The loss of momentum from Leclerc’s withdrawal allowed Rosenqvist to increase the gap by approximately three-to-six tenths per tour to lead by almost five seconds by the halfway mark.
It was a slightly different story for Leclerc who stayed in sight of the leader for a time, only to feel his tyres drop off after eight laps, ensuring Rosenqvist would pull even further away and win with ease. “It was a boring race for everybody, except me,” noted the victor. “The tyre [degradation] was perfect. It was a perfect start, a perfect race and the track was better than any other session: really grippy.”
Indeed the only difficulty felt by Rosenqvist came late on when attempting to lap Motopark’s Mahaveer Raghunathan, as absent blue flags made the task trickier than necessary.
Behind the leading duo, there was much shuffling as Maximilian Günther, Callum Ilot and Giovinazzi battled hard for the 3rd spot, with Günther emerging at the head of that group.
During what Giovinazzi admitted was a “tough race”, the Italian took Ilot momentarily on lap one, only for Ilot to retake in the hairpin. Giovinazzi stayed with his Carlin stablemate and finally grabbed 4th later on the opening lap from Ilot into Mercedes.
Giovinazzi’s fight with Günther lasted a touch longer, with the initially dice coming on lap three. Maintaining solid speed through turn two – where Giovinazzi has been powerful all weekend – the Jagonya Ayam Carlin man pulled to the rear of Günther’s Mücke machine and was slightly ahead at the hairpin; however the German rookie held his nerve and his pace made sure he retook Giovinazzi as the hairpin unraveled.
The Italian would lose out a little when he ran wide into Nordkurve on lap three, peppering his Hankook tyres with dirt, but closed back up on Günther by lap fourteen. After five laps of shadowing the orange machine, Giovinazzi tried a move along the Parbolika and into the hairpin again, only this time he made it stick, taking 3rd and maintain his record of a podium in ever race so far this season.
Once passed, Günther held 4th ahead of Ilot, while Santino Ferrucci drove a fine race to assume 6th for Mücke. Gustavo Menezes benefitted from a late mechanical failure for Markus Pömmer to assume 7th, in front of Alexander Albon (8th), George Russell (9th) and Brandon Maïsano (10th).
Lance Stroll finished 14th, but only after he was punted in the right rear at the hairpin by Ferrucci on the opening lap, while Jake Dennis stalled on the grid, but climbed to 15th by the end.
FIA European F3 Championship racer Nicolas Beer has been ruled out of the rest of this weekend’s action after sustaining an injury during yesterday’s opening race.
The Dane is reported to have broken his fifth vertebrae when rear-ended by Tatiana Calderon – a crash that brought out the race’s second safety car.
Beer will be examined prior to the next round at Pau, but it is believed Beer may not be in a position to return to the seat until Monza at the very earliest.
Antonio Giovinazzi took his first FIA European F3 victory of the season at the Hockenheimring this afternoon.
In the wet, the race was interrupted by the safety car on three occasions with Giovinazzi taking the chequered flag under neutralised conditions ahead of Felix Rosenqvist and Charles Leclerc.
While Leclerc drove well to stay reasonably close to the leaders during the wet running, this event was all about Giovinazzi and Rosenqvist.
From pole, Rosenqvist was sluggish away, but so too was Giovinazzi; however the Carlin man closed to the back of Rosenqvist exiting turn two, as the Prema Powerteam racer struggled with rear end grip.
Giovinazzi’s better exit opened the door to draw alongside Rosenqvist down the curving back straight and take the lead as the emerged from the hairpin.
Building a gap of 1.3s in the opening four laps, it appeared as if Giovinazzi was going to walk away from Rosenqvist; however that advantage was wiped away when a Sachskurve beached Pietro Fittipaldi brought out the first safety car period.
It was not all plain sailing however, as Giovinazzi received a warning early in the running for weaving unacceptably ahead of the chasing Rosenqvist; however the Italian stayed clean thereafter.
Going green again on the seventh tour, Giovinazzi took two laps to create a 0.7s lead, only for the race to be stymied by the safety car again following a collision between Tatiana Calderon and Nicolas Beer in turn two. In this instance, luck rode with Giovinazzi when the 21-year-old collected a lairy spin on the entry into the stadium section.
Restarting on lap eleven, Giovinazzi again drew out a small gap, but on this occasion was held to just over half-a-second by Rosenqvist. Yet despite the Swede’s close proximity, the Prema was unable to stay close with Giovinazzi through turn two, which ultimately ended any chance of a pass for the lead on the back straight.
When Raoul Hyman became stuck in the gravel at the entry to the stadium section, the safety car was called for a third and final time and with time ticking down, the race would end under yellow.
Behind the leading pair, van Amersfoort rookie Leclerc headed Prema new boy Jake Dennis (4th). Starting 4th and 6th respectively, both Leclerc and Dennis took Maximilian Günther on the opening lap, when the Mücke man stumbled on the entry of turn two. Dennis’ start was particularly impressive as he also jumped Prema’s Lance Stroll early on.
Markus Pömmer took 7th after he too executed a good start from 9th. On occasion when the race was green, the last German F3 champion had a fight on his hands to keep Brandon Maïsano at bay; however that threat dissipated when Maïsano was passed for 8th by Mikkel Jensen on lap eight.
Although he kept close, Jensen was unable to threaten Pömmer and had to settle for four points come the close of the race. Maïsano’s quiet start to the season continued as he brought his Prema Powerteam machine home in 9th, while Gustavo Menezes rounded out the points with a 10th place finish after taking Sérgio Sette Câmera (lap 2) and Santino Ferrucci (lap 8).
The race was peppered by offs, little spins and curious incidents as Hyman had several mishaps; Nabil Jeffri powered between the spun Hyman and Nicholas Pohler on lap two and on lap 12, Ryan Tveter could not avoid colliding with Hyman.
Meanwhile Julio Moreno retired before the start of the race when he crashed entering the stadium section, while Callum Ilot and Camara endured silly offs during the running and Calderon was tapped into a spin by Sam Macleod.
On Friday June 5th, I will cycling from London to Brighton for the British charity Kids Company because raising funds for a good cause is a nice thing to do.
In a few weeks, I will be taking part in Warner Music’s Wild Ride.
The ‘Ride’ – a London to Brighton charity cycling challenge – has been designed to raise money for the important work done by Kids Company.
Sponsor Leigh O’Gorman’s Wild Ride from London to Brighton by visiting JustGiving.com.
The charity, founded in 1996 by Camila Batmanghelidjh, provides practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children, young people and families.
Their services reach 36,000 across London, Bristol and Liverpool, including the most deprived and at risk whose parents are unable to care for them due to their own practical and emotional challenges.
For many, the roles of adult and child are reversed and, despite profound love, both struggle to survive.
The ride will start at the Warner Music UK office on Wrights Lane just off High Street Kensington, London, and journey 60 miles through Surrey and Sussex to the Brighton shore.
All money raised will go to Kids Company, so please dig deep and donate today.
In order to sponsor this effort, go to JustGiving.com/TheLeighOGorman and donate.
Charles Leclerc took his maiden FIA European Formula 3 victory at Silverstone this morning, edging points leader Antonio Giovinazzi all the way.
Jake Dennis took the podium with a late race move on Gustavo Menezes, who was suffering from mechanical issues.
Having lost the lead from pole during yesterday’s second race, Leclerc did not make the same mistake again, as he edged Giovinazzi and George Russell out through the opening corner at Abbey.
Thereafter the leading pair dropped Russell, yet while Giovinazzi held Leclerc close, for the most part the Italian could not pressure Leclerc into an error.
Giovinazzi did get close to the front at the half way mark, when Leclerc made an error through Abbey; however the Monegasque teen held his nerve and kept Giovinazzi behind as he challenged down the Wellington straight.
For the remainder, Leclerc maintained a solid gap of approximately one second to Giovinazzi, although this was briefly interrupted when the stranded Fortec Mercedes of Pietro Fittipaldi required removal, necessitating a safety car.
The race went green for the final two laps, but once again Leclerc drew ahead of his Carlin rival to take his first victory of the season. Meanwhile Giovinazzi’s triple-podium result gives the Italian an eight-point lead in the standings over Leclerc.
Dennis assumed 3rd on the final lap, when Menezes began to suffer the beginnings of a fuel pump failure. Until then Menezes had held 3rd quite ably, having passed Russell on the opening lap. It was a startling getaway by the American, who had jumped from the fourth row and into a battle for top positions by the Wellington Straight.
Dennis, too, passed Russell for 4th on the opening tour, but could do little about the impressive American until mechanical woes struck.
Russell’s shaky start dropped him to 5th, but Alexander Albon took that place from at the beginning of the fourth lap. While Albon stretched his legs, Russell settled into 6th, but was offered a golden opportunity when the late safety car closed the field up again.
The Briton took his chance and passed Albon for 5th at the restart and dropped the Signature driver by almost two seconds come the flag.
Markus Pommer assumed 7th for Motopark, while Brandon Maïsano, Callum Ilot and Mikkel Jensen filled out the rest of the top ten. Starting 35th and last, Felix Rosenqvist came home 12th, although an error following the final restart cost him the possibility of points.
There was an early, brief safety car period, following an opening lap spin for Lance Stroll. The Canadian stalled his Prema Powerteam entry, forcing race control to neutralise the race for a time.
2015 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 1, Race 3, Silverstone) Pos. Driver Team Time / Gap 1. Charles Leclerc van Amersfoort-VW 18 laps 2. Antonio Giovinazzi Jagonya Carlin-VW +0.440s 3. Jake Dennis Prema Powerteam-Merc +3.255 4. Gustavo Menezes Jagonya Carlin-VW +4.242 5. George Russell Carlin-VW +4.626 6. Alexander Albon Signature-VW +6.345 7. Markus Pommer Motopark-VW +7.185 8. Brandon Maïsano Prema Powerteam-Merc +8.447 9. Callum Ilot Carlin-VW +9.098 10. Mikkel Jensen Mücke-Merc +9.551 11. Ryan Tveter Jagonya Carlin-VW +10.269 12. Felix Rosenqvist Prema Powerteam-Merc +10.984 13. Santino Ferrucci Mücke-Merc +11.622 14. Alessio Lorandi van Amersfoort-VW +12.379 15. Nabil Jeffri Motopark-VW +12.942 16. Arjun Maini van Amersfoort-VW +13.969 17. Dorian Boccolacci Signature-VW +14.485 18. Nicolas Beer EuroInternatonal-Merc +14.820 19. Michele Beretta Mücke-Merc +15.877 20. Sérgio Sette Motopark-VW +16.074 21. Maximilian Günther Mücke-Merc +17.417 22. Tatiana Calderon Carlin-VW +18.216 23. Hongwei Cao Fortec-Merc +19.958 24. Matt Solomon Double R-Merc +20.622 25. Fabian Schiller West-Tec-Merc +21.249 26. Nicolas Pohler Double R-Merc +21.600 27. Zhi Cong Li West-Tec-Merc +22.071 28. Raoul Hyman West-Tec-Merc +22.561 29. Mahaveer Raghunathan Motopark-VW +23.113 30. Julio Moreno ThreeBond T-Sport-NBE +1 lap Retirements: Sam MacLeod Motopark-VW +1 lap Matthew Rao West-Tec-Merc +1 lap Kang Ling Mücke-Merc +2 laps Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec-Merc +4 laps Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam-Merc +17 laps
George Russell took his first FIA European Formula 3 championship victory at Silverstone today in what was only his 2nd race.
An aggressive start by the Carlin man opened up a gap into Abbey corner, while pole Charles Leclerc fell to 3rd, as Antonio Giovinazzi slotted into 2nd place.
The trio momentarily banged wheels as they fed from Abbey down toward the Arena bend, but as the opening turns unraveled, Russell led from Leclerc and Giovinazzi – the latter having lost ground in the entry onto the Wellington Straight.
Russell could not pull away immediately – a tangle between Sam Macleod, Sérgio Sette, Tatiana Calderon and Michele Beretta just after the Arena turn brought out the safety car for three laps.
Although the incident itself was not too serious, the nature of tangled carbon fibre rendered the clean up longer than was probably expected.
From the lap four green lap, Russell led again from Leclerc, but the Briton’s gap was pegged from 0.7s-1.3s for much of the running. It was not until the 13th lap that Russell began to stretch his legs – just as Leclerc began to struggle on his ageing Hankook tyres.
Thereafter, Russell managed the lead to Leclerc, taking victory at only the 2nd time of asking.
Giovinazzi could not hold onto the leading pair following the safety car period. The Italian discovered soon after his turn one clash that his Jagonya Ayam Carlin machine was slightly damaged, but not so dented that he lost dramatic amounts of time.
Lance Stroll pressed Giovinazzi for a portion of the race, but could do little to get around the experienced Carlin man as the effects of dirty air began to ripple over the front of his Prema Powerteam Mercedes entry.
Brandon Maïsano assumed 5th ahead of the impressive Alexander Albon (6th), but the real star of the race was Felix Rosenqvist. Having won race one, the Swede was forced to start 35th and last for today’s race and climbed to 7th position by the end of 18 laps, with the Prema Powerteam man spending much of the event passing car after car after car.
His progress halted when he took 7th on from the battling Pietro Fittipaldi and Fabian Schiller on lap 12, but which time Albon was too far ahead to be caught.
Fittipaldi finished the race 8th to grab his first FIA European F3 points. The Brazilian enjoyed a handy six second gap over Mücke Motorsport pairing Santino Ferrucci (9th) and Mikkel Jensen (10th).
2015 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 1, Race 3, Silverstone) Pos. Driver Team Time / Gap 1. George Russell Carlin-VW 18 laps 2. Charles Leclerc van Amersfoort-VW +1.723s 3. Antonio Giovinazzi Jagonya Carlin-VW +5.412s 4. Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam-Merc +6.332 5. Brandon Maïsano Prema Powerteam-Merc +13.630 6. Alexander Albon Signature-VW +15.005 7. Felix Rosenqvist Prema Powerteam-Merc +22.178 8. Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec-Merc +36.821 9. Santino Ferrucci Mücke-Merc +42.445 10. Mikkel Jensen Mücke-Merc +43.404 11. Fabian Schiller West-Tec-Merc +44.052 12. Maximilian Günther Mücke-Merc +44.849 13. Nabil Jeffri Motopark-VW +45.599 14. Arjun Maini van Amersfoort-VW +45.928 15. Ryan Tveter Jagonya Carlin-VW +46.420 16. Alessio Lorandi van Amersfoort-VW +46.592 17. Hongwei Cao Fortec-Merc +50.542 18. Gustavo Menezes Jagonya Carlin-VW +50.935 19. Callum Ilot Carlin-VW +52.882 20. Nicolas Beer EuroInternatonal-Merc +55.323 21. Kang Ling Mücke-Merc +56.477 22. Matthew Rao West-Tec-Merc +1:02.028 23. Julio Moreno ThreeBond T-Sport-NBE +1:03.680 24. Nicolas Pohler Double R-Merc +1:05.301 25. Mahaveer Raghunathan Motopark-VW +1:12.137 26. Matt Solomon Double R-Merc +1 lap 27. Raoul Hyman West-Tec-Merc +1 lap 28. Zhi Cong Li West-Tec-Merc +1 lap Retirements: Jake Dennis Prema Powerteam-Merc +1 lap Markus Pommer Motopark-VW +1 lap Dorian Boccolacci Signature-VW +2 laps Michele Beretta Mücke-Merc +18 laps Sérgio Sette Motopark-VW +18 laps Tatiana Calderon Carlin-VW +18 laps Sam MacLeod Motopark-VW +18 laps
Felix Rosenqvist claimed the opening FIA European F3 win of the season at Silverstone, during a race peppered by safety car interruptions.
The Swede – now in his fifth year at this level – led from the start and despite the constant presence in his mirrors of Carlin rival Antonio Giovinazzi, Rosenqvist could not be pressured into an error.
Starting behind the safety car, due to the changeable weather conditions, gave Rosenqvist the advantage as he drew away from Giovinazzi at the lap three green. “It is difficult when it is like this,” said Rosenqvist. “It was drying every lap and you are trying to prove yourself to the conditions, so you have to be on edge all the time and have to be a bit more brave than you think you have to be.”
The racing would last only a few short moments, George Russell and Charles Leclerc clipped on the approach of Vale, which in turn caused Brandon Maïsano to spin, while just behind Matt Rao and Kang Li had offs.
Such was the spread of cars in the gravel or stuck on still damp kerbs, the safety car was recalled for a further three tours – it was an incident that certainly captured Rosenqvist’s attention. “The place for the safety car line is maybe not the best, because […] there was a crash, so maybe they should have a rethink on that one.”
While there maybe a touch of truth in Rosenqvist’s statement, it would be amiss to mention that almost all who ran off road at that time were effectively Formula 3 rookies.
From the lap six restart, Rosenqvist headed Giovinazzi again and had built a 2.4s lead over the Italian when the race was neutralised after another off, this time for Alessio Lorandi, who had beached his van Amersfoort Volkswagen into the gravel at Woodcote.
Once again Rosenqvist led from Giovinazzi at the restart, but this time the Carlin man stayed closer to the lead, with Rosenqvist not stretching the gap to more than 1.0s.
For the 23-year-old Rosenqvist, everything came together perfectly. “It was quite controlled; I managed to do a great lap with each restart – Antonio was always quick, but was never in the situation where he was close enough. It was about managing the gap and not doing anything stupid.”
Jake Dennis completed the podium in his Racing Steps Foundation-backed Prema Powerteam Mercedes. Dennis enjoyed a brief battle in the early green flag running with Signature’s Alexander Albon, only for Dennis to settle the battle in his favour with a solid pair of post-safety car restarts.
Albon took 4th and was the highest placed rookie. He managed the gap back to Markus Pommer, while Lance Stroll rounded out the top six. Gustavo Menezes made a solid start to assume 7th, although one of the more startling performances came courtesy of Russell, who 18th after his clash with Leclerc.
From there, Russell rose through the order taking 8th at the flag after he passed Maximilian Günther, Callum Ilot, Pietro Fittopaldi, Mikkel Jensen and Nicolas Beer in the final two laps alone.
Günther (9th) and Ilot (10th) rounded out the points scores, while the quick Leclerc could only rise to 12th come the end.
2015 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 1, Race 3, Silverstone) Pos. Driver Team Time / Gap 1. Felix Rosenqvist Prema Powerteam-Merc +15 laps 2. Antonio Giovinazzi Jagonya Carlin-VW +0.938s 3. Jake Dennis Prema Powerteam-Merc +2.681 4. Alexander Albon Signature-VW +4.767 5. Markus Pommer Motopark-VW +5.229 6. Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam-Merc +6.175 7. Gustavo Menezes Jagonya Carlin-VW +6.934 8. George Russell Carlin-VW +7.470 9. Maximilian Günther Mücke-Merc +7.897 10. Callum Ilot Carlin-VW +8.531 11. Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec-Merc +9.886 12. Charles Leclerc van Amersfoort-VW +10.282 13. Mikkel Jensen Mücke-Merc +12.464 14. Nicolas Beer EuroInternatonal-Merc +13.147 15. Nabil Jeffri Motopark-VW +14.060 16. Fabian Schiller West-Tec-Merc +14.915 17. Sérgio Sette Motopark-VW +15.486 18. Santino Ferrucci Mücke-Merc +15.884 19. Raoul Hyman West-Tec-Merc +17.549 20. Tatiana Calderon Carlin-VW +17.939 21. Dorian Boccolacci Signature-VW +18.687 22. Sam MacLeod Motopark-VW +19.510 23. Hongwei Cao Fortec-Merc +20.021 24. Michele Beretta Mücke-Merc +20.304 25. Matt Solomon Double R-Merc +22.949 26. Mahaveer Raghunathan Motopark-VW +28.887 27. Nicolas Pohler Double R-Merc +30.780 28. Julio Moreno ThreeBond T-Sport-NBE +33.168 Retirements: Kang Ling Mücke-Merc +4 laps Zhi Cong Li West-Tec-Merc +5 laps Alessio Lorandi van Amersfoort-VW +7 laps Arjun Maini van Amersfoort-VW +9 laps Ryan Tveter Jagonya Carlin-VW +10 laps Brandon Maïsano Prema Powerteam-Merc +14 laps Matthew Rao West-Tec-Merc +14 laps