Leist wins delayed second British F3 race from 10th


Double R Racing’s Matheus Leist stormed from 10th on the grid to win a delayed second race of the British Formula 3 season-opening weekend at Snetterton.

After a four-hour scheduling delay due to stormy weather in the morning, the second race of the weekend got underway in the late afternoon, with Enzo Bortoleto on reverse-grid pole.

Leist started down in 10th, but was up to fourth by the end of the opening lap and by the time the field crossed the start-finish line for a second time he was past a battling Enaam Ahmed and Bortoleto and into the lead.

But Leist’s chance to break away from the chasing pack was stymied by an early safety car, as Carlin’s Ricky Collard, Fortec racer Tarun Reddy and HHC’s Omar Ismail were all eliminated from the race.

The race restarted with five minutes left on the clock after a lengthy clean-up period and Leist controlled the pace to cruise home to win by 1.4s from Ahmed.

Lanan’s Toby Sowery completed the podium with a late pass on Bortoleto – scoring the fastest lap of the opening two races to secure pole for the third race of the weekend.

Aleksanteri Huovinen, who finished second in race one, passed Sisa Ngebulana on the final lap to snatch fourth, with race one winner Lando Norris in sixth.

Thomas Maxwell, fading poleman Bortoleto, Thomas Randle and Jan Jonck completed the top 10.


Norris kicks off British F3 season with dominant wet-weather win


Carlin’s Lando Norris kicked off the 2016 British Formula 3 season with a dominant victory in a wet opening race at Snetterton on Saturday.

The 16-year-old MSA Formula champion got away cleanly from pole and romped into the distance, crossing the line 19.095s clear of closest rival Aleksanteri Huovinen in second.

“I managed to get a good start which was the main thing and then from there I controlled it pretty well,” said Norris.

“It was drying up towards the end so it wasn’t quite so slippery but overall it was a good race and a good result.”

Huovinen started strongly, jumping from sixth to fourth off the grid and quickly  dispatched Tarun Reddy and Toby Sowery to move into second on the road, but the Finn was unable to match the pace of Norris.

“It is always hard racing in the rain as you can’t see anything when you are trying to pass a car in front but I managed to get to second place quite early and manage my tyres until the end,” said the Double R racer.

“I knew it wasn’t a good idea to go trying to chase Lando so I kept calm and took the second place.”

Enad Ahmed lined up just eighth on the grid, but made steady progress through the field, sweeping past a fading Ricky Collard in the closing stages to take the final spot on the podium for Douglas Motorsport.

Collard had started alongside Carlin team-mate Norris on the front row, but after being swamped at the start and losing out to Ahmed, had to settle for fourth spot, ahead of Sowery.

However, a post-race three-second time penalty for an unfair on the Lannan racer reversed those positions.

Formula Jedi graduate Ben Hingeley charged from 14th on the grid to claim sixth, ahead of Jan Jonck, Enzo Bortoleto and Sisa Ngebulana.

Double R’s Matheus Leist competed the top 10.

Dennis leads Prema 1-2-3 in European F3 qualifying at Portimao

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 9, Portimão (POR)

Jake Dennis beat team-mates Nick Cassidy and Lance Stroll as Prema claimed a dominant 1-2-3 in Formula 3 European Championship qualifying at Portimao.

Dennis, fastest in second practice, jumped to the top of the timesheets in the final minutes with a 1m42.217s to snatch pole from Stroll.

“I am a bit shocked, really, because my lap wasn’t that good at all,” said Dennis. “I approached the last sector two tenths down, but somehow, I managed to find three tenths in the last sector.”

Cassidy, making his European F3 return with the Italian squad, started slowly, but surged up the order late on to claim second, a mere 0.061s shy of Dennis’ pole time.

That dropped Stroll, who scored his first podium last time out in Austria, down to third, as Prema completed a top-three lockout.

Motopark racer Markus Pommer and Signature’s Alexander Albon both made late improvements to claim fifth and sixth on the grid for Saturday’s opening race.

Rookie Charles Leclerc improved late on to go sixth, with title challenger Felix Rosenqvist the slowest of the four Prema cars in seventh.

Points leader Antonio Giovinazzi was just ninth in the Jagonya Ayam-backed Carlin effort, behind early pacesetter George Russell.

Red Bull-backed racer Calumn Allot, who topped opening practice, rounded out the top 10 for Carlin.

Alexander Sims, another driver making a comeback, marked the reformed Hitech GPs first qualifying session with 16th fastest.

Image courtesy of FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Pommer scores maiden European F3 win at Zandvoort

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 7, race 3, Zandvoort (NED)

Markus Pommer took his maiden Formula 3 European Championship win in a crash-strewn final race of the weekend at Zandvoort

Pommer beat poleman Antonio Giovinzazzi off the grid to snatch the lead into Tarzan and survived three safety car periods to secure Motopark’s first European F3 win since 2011.

Matt Solomon prompted an early safety car after just four laps with an off, and no sooner was the race restarted it was back under caution after a clash between Gustavo Menezes and Mikkel Jensen left the latter in the barriers.

A third safety car followed just moments after the second restart, with Menezes and Nicholas Pohler involved in a heavy accident at Turn 2.

With time left for just four more laps following the final restart, Pommer cruised home to take the victory from Giovinazzi, with race two winner Felix Rosenqvist competing the podium.

Jake Dennis crossed the line fourth, ahead of Prema team-mate Lance Stroll and Carlin’s George Russell.

Motopark’s Sergio Sette Camara was seventh, with Alexander Albon and Santino Ferucci eighth and ninth for Signature and Mucke Motorsport respectively.

Charles Leclerc beat Ryan Tveter to take the final point on offer for 10th, but slips behind Giovinazzi in the championship standings.

Image courtesy of FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Euro F3: Rosenqvist wins at Zandvoort, as Leclerc crashes out


Felix Rosenqvist took a comfortable victory in the second Formula 3 European Championship race of the weekend at Zandvoort, as points leader Charles Leclerc crashed out.

The Swede survived two safety car restarts to beat race one winner Antonio Giovinazzi.

Rosenqvist made a clean start from pole to cover Giovinazzi into Tarzan, but there was contact further down the field as Lance Stroll collided with Leclerc.

The Ferrari protege was out on the spot with a broken suspension, prompting an early safety car period.

Despite having to lift to allow a recovery vehicle to pull off the circuit, it was Rosenqvist that got the best of the restart, pulling a second clear of Giovinazzi before his lead was immediately wiped out as Leclerc crashed heavily, bringing out the safety car for a second time.

Rosenqvist had to defend his lead into Tarzan as Giovinazzi attacked off the restart, but the Italian could not match the Carlin racer, who cruised home to record his sixth win of the 2015 campaign.

Giovinazzi crossed the line second to cut Leclerc’s championship lead to just 9.5 points, the advantage having stood at 42.5 before the day’s racing.

Prema racer Jake Dennis bounced back from his retirement in race one to completed the podium, finishing third to end his run of four races without a point.

Markus Pommer was fourth for Motopark, ahead of Signature’s Alexander Albon and McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award winner George Russell in sixth.

Sergio Sette Camara came home seventh, with Mucke Motorsport team-mates Maximilian Gunther and Santino Ferrucci eighth and ninth respectively.

Carlin’s Ryan Tveter claimed his first ever European F3 point in 10th.

Image courtesy of FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Giovinazzi wins opening European F3 race at Zandvoort


Antonio Giovinazzi took a lights-to-flag victory in a processional opening Formula 3 European Championship race of the weekend at Zandvoort.

The Carlin racer made a clean start from pole, covering Felix Rosenqvist into Tarzan, and led the Swede home to take a convincing fourth win of the season.

Motopark’s Marcus Pommer beat Ferrari protege Lance Stroll for third to claim his maiden podium finish in the series.

Points leader Charles Leclerc challenged for third off the start, but was crowded out into Tarzan, dropping behind Pommer and Stroll to fifth, where he ultimately finished.

McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award winner George Russell led home Signature’s Alexander Albon in sixth.

Mikkel Jensen crossed the line in eighth for Mucke Motorsport, after team-mate Santino Ferrucci was forced into the pits after a brief off.

Nabil Jeffri started just 11th after a five-place grid drop, but rallied to record his first points F3 points in ninth.

Prema’s Brandon Maisano rounded out the top 10 after Maximilian Gunther was forced to pit from the points with a broken front wing.

Red Bull-backed Callum Ilott was 11th for Carlin, while fellow Briton Sam Macleod charged from 21st on the grid to cross the line 12th in his Volkswagen-powered Motopark Dallara.

Prema’s Jake Dennis slipped from fourth on the grid to sixth, and then dropped out of contention entirely courtesy of a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.

The team opted to retire the Briton in the closing stages to conserve his tyres for race two.

Image courtesy of FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Verstappen to race for Toro Rosso in 2015


Max Verstappen will make his Formula 1 debut for Toro Rosso in 2015, at the age of just 17.

Verstappen, son of former F1 racer Jos, will partner Daniil Kvyat at the Red Bull junior team next season, replacing Jean-Eric Verge, who has raced for the team since 2012.

The Dutchmen, who is currently racing in the Formula 3 Euro Championship, only graduated to cars from karts at the turn of the year, but has excelled in his maiden year in the series, winning eight times.

Verstappen was linked with Mercedes’ junior driver programme earlier this month, only to snub Formula 1’s current form team to join Red Bull’s highly successful junior programme last week.

“Ever since I was seven years old, Formula 1 has been my career goal, so this opportunity is truly a dream come true,” said Verstappen.

“With the return of the Verstappen name to Formula 1, I hope we can relive old memories and I’m hoping to see many fans at all the Grand Prix circuits.”

The 17-year-old will become the youngest driver to race in Formula 1 when he debuts at next year’s Australian Grand Prix.

Former Toro Rosso racer, and Red Bull junior Jaime Alguersuari, currently holds the record, having debuted at the age of 19 years and 125 days at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009.

Verstappen will race alongside Daniil Kvyat – who was just 19 when he made his debut earlier this year – meaning Jean-Eric Vergne is without a seat in Formula 1 for next season.

“I would also like to thank Jean-Eric Vergne for all his hard work,” said Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost.

“He has produced strong performances, but unfortunately he was also hindered by some reliability problems, especially in the first half of the current season.

“We hope that we have resolved these problems and that he will be able to end the second half of this season on a high note and thereby show that he still deserves another opportunity in Formula 1.”

Image courtesy of Red Bull Media