“Under the Bridge”

The opening two rounds of the FIA European F3 Championship have proved an odd mixture for Antonio Fuoco.

Coming into the third weekend, the Italian teenager sits joint second in the points, albeit some distance adrift of leader and teammate Esteban Ocon.

A win and a podium in the opener at Silverstone with the Prema Powerteam squad gave way to a trickier time in Hockenheim last week, when a 3rd place – his only points finish – provided his score.

Fuoco is a canny driver with plenty of skill and he certainly has youth on his side. The Cosenza native only turns 18 in less than two weeks, so has plenty of time to develop.

Yet there is pressure too, for Fuoco is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and as such, will have eyes pouring over his results and performances at every outing.

A minor excursion during yesterday morning’s free practice session at the Pau street circuit was the beginning of another troubling weekend. With his practice time cut short, Fuoco struggled to get up to speed for qualifying and it undoubtedly hurt his final performances and results.
This is unlikely to have impressed – but this is part of the learning curve, is it not?

Following Fuoco’s Formula Renault Alps success in 2013, Luca Baldisserri and his FDA team will eventually expect a European F3 title for their time and investment.

Whether Fuoco can learn to deal with such pressures remains to be seen, but the signs at this early stage point to a young man who can be victorious, if given the right amount of space.

Fuoco rounds Pont Oscar at Pau. © Leigh O'Gorman.
Fuoco rounds Pont Oscar at Pau. © Leigh O’Gorman.

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