Victory for Hülkenberg in F3 Masters race
Nico Hülkenberg (ASM Formule 3) claimed victory in the “Zandvoort Masters of Formula 3 @ Zolder”. In the competition with the best Formula 3 drivers from Europe, the 19-year old German beat Frenchmen Yann Clairay and Jean Karl Vernay (both Signature-Plus),who finished second and third respectively.
At the 3.977 kilometres long former Grand Prix circuit in Zolder in Belgium, New-Zealander Brendon Hartley (Mücke Motorsport) made a successful Formula 3 debut by finishing fourth. The first nine places were locked out by drivers and teams from the ranks of the Formula 3 Euro Series, proving once more why the Formula 3 Euro Series is being considered as the world’s strongest junior racing category.
At the start, Nico Hülkenberg beat Franck Mailleux (Manor Motorsport) and took the lead. Romain Grosjean (ASM Formule 3), who started from pole position, lost all chances of a good result at the start already as he stalled his engine. On lap 14, Mailleux was given a drive through penalty because of a jump start. The Frenchman eventually came home in 17th place.
For Hülkenberg’s team ASM Formule 3, it is the fourth win in a row in Europe’s most important Formula 3 race. The previous three editions were won for the French team by Alexandre Prémat, Lewis Hamilton and Paul di Resta. Since the Formula 3 Euro Series was founded in 2003, a driver from the Euro Series has won the Masters every year.
Nico Hülkenberg (ASM Formule 3): “Actually, it hasn’t yet sunk in that I have won Europe’s most important Formula 3 race. My start was good and I was in the lead. After that, I just pushed to pull a gap over my opponents. The race wasn’t easy as there were many cars to be lapped and there was a lot of sand at the track after drivers spun out.”
Yann Clairay (Signature-Plus): “Great, my first podium in Formula 3 and then already at the Masters. For me, the race wasn’t easy because my car was oversteering a lot. Moreover, I was having slight trouble with the brake pedal.”
Jean Karl Vernay (Signature-Plus): “I am happy with third place. After all, I am still a rookie in Formula 3. My start was bad, I lost one place. During the race, Brendon Hartley kept me under pressure from behind.”