Felipe Nasr took an emphatic victory at the final race of this weekend’s British F3 round at Monza.
The Brazilian started from 8th on the grid, but dropped as far as 11th before picking off opponents one at a time time.
After spending many scything through the field, Nasr engaged Lucas Foresti (Fortec) in a hard fought battle for several laps – a battle that Nasr was destined to win.
To top off a top day for the Carlin runner, Nasr also nailed the race’s fastest lap and was nominated as Sunoco’s Driver of the Weekend.
“This race was really exciting for me. I lost a lot of places on lap one so I had to try to stay out of trouble and take each car one by one. I was really quick so I saw the win was possible. I had a great battle with Lucas; he was the hardest one to pass. This has been a really great start to my season, I am very pleased.”
Foresti shouldn’t be too disappointed. Having started 2nd, the Fortec pilot battled for a time with Jazeman Jaafar, with the Malaysian eventually taking the final podium position ahead of a close pack of drivers.
Foresti commented that:
“Felipe was very tough to keep behind me and in the end he passed me, but this is a great result for me and for Fortec.”
William Buller had a fascinating race, although the Northern Ireland man may be somewhat disappointed with his final position. Having started from pole, Buller lost out to Kevin Magnussen off the line before throwing his Fortec car off course at the second Lesmo.
Buller fell to 10th, but a determined comeback made sure that he came away with at least 4th, although he did not have much clearance ahead of Carlos Huertas (Carlin). Unfortunately for the County Down man, Buller would later be hit with a double whammy of penalties – first Buller was dropped to 7th for corner cutting and was then hit with 10-place grid drop for the Oulton Park event for banging wheels with Jazeman Jaafar.
Also penalised for corner cutting were Rupert Svendsen-Cook (Carlin), Fahmi Ilyas (Fortec), Scott Pye (Double R), Hitech’s Riki Christodoulou and Adderly Fong (Sino Vision).
It would promote Huertas to 4th. The Carlin driver was in the midst of a gaggle of cars that all cross the line separated by mere tenths. Next up was the later-to-be-demoted Rupert Svendsen-Cook (Carlin), with Pietro Fantin (5th, Hitech) and Magnussen (6th, Carlin).
Magnussen spent much of the event running in the top four, until a mistake saw the Dane off at turn 1 and dropping down the order.
Double R’s Pipo Derani also faced a multi-car battle with Fahmi Ilyas (Fortec), Scott Pye (Double R) and Riki Christodoulou (Hitech) – Derani eventually claimed 9th.
Menasheh Idafar recovered from an early off to record 10th, while Yann Cunha (T-Sport) led yet another close group of cars at the flag. Just under Cunha’s rear wing at the finish was Hywel Lloyd (15th, Sino Vision).
Harry Tincknell was next up. The Briton stalled his Mercedes-powered Fortec machine on the grid and was unable to charge through the field thereafter.
Jack Harvey didn’t have the best of days. The ex-Formula BMW Europe contender suffered a poor start and spent much of the duration battling with the Sino Vision pair and Tincknell.
Bruno Mendez capped off his début British F3 weekend with an 18th place finish in race 3, followed by the sole Rookie Class entry, Bart Hylkema. Adderly Fong got a good start – jumping to four spots to 13th, but was unable to hold that position as the race aged.
Race Rating: 4.5 out of 5
2011 British F3 Round of Monza (Rd 1, Race 3, April 17th) Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Felipe Nasr Dallara/Volkswagen 40m 37.942s (21 laps) 2. Lucas Foresti Dallara/Mercedes + 2.114 3. Jazeman Jaafar Dallara/Volkswagen + 5.542 4. Carlos Huertas Dallara/Volkswagen + 6.437 5. Pietro Fantin Dallara/Volkswagen + 8.707 6. Kevin Magnussen Dallara/Volkswagen + 9.473 7. William Buller Dallara/Mercedes + 11.125* 8. R.Svendsen-Cook Dallara/Volkswagen + 12.879* 9. Luis Derani Dallara/Mercedes + 13.602 10. Menasheh Idafar Dallara/Volkswagen + 21.375 11. R.Christodoulou Dallara/Volkswagen + 21.884* 12. Fahmi Ilyas Dallara/Mercedes + 24.152** 13. Yann Cunha Dallara/Volkswagen + 25.481 14. Scott Pye Dallara/Mercedes + 25.589** 15. Hywel Lloyd Dallara/Mercedes + 26.166 16. Harry Tincknell Dallara/Mercedes + 26.481 17. Jack Harvey Dallara/Volkswagen + 28.014 18. Bruno Méndez Dallara/Volkswagen + 40.745 19. Bart Hylkema Dallara/Mugen-Honda + 41.861 20. Adderly Fong Dallara/Mercedes + 47.557* DNS Kotaru Sakurai Hitech-Mugen Honda -- * 5-second penalty ** 10-second penalty Provisional championship standings 1 Nasr 51 points 2 Jaafar 33 3 Huertas 27 3 Buller 24 5 Svendsen-Cook 21 6 Foresti 17 Rookie class: 1 Hylkema 33