Second F3 season victory for Lotus F1 junior driver Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) won the fifth season round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 4.574 kilometers long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. The Frenchman took the lead from Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) at the start and took the checkered flag as the winner after 22 laps. Giovinazzi and Edward Jones (Carlin) finished in second and third place respectively. With his second season victory, rookie driver Ocon extended his total score in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings to 85 points and is now leading with an advantage of 18 points from Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin).

The race had not even started when a disappointed Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) had already parked his car at the side of the track. A gearshift problem left the 16-year-old rookie from The Netherlands side-lined on his way to the starting grid already; pole position remained vacant as a result. At the start, Esteban Ocon took the lead from Antonio Giovinazzi and Edward Jones. Félix Serralles (Team West-Tec F3) overtook Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) for fourth on the opening lap while Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam) also overtook the Swede on the first lap of the race.

During the race, Ocon and Giovinazzi pulled clear from the rest of the field while Jones had to defend his position from Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Blomqvist, the two already having overtaken Serralles. This battle was briefly interrupted on lap 20 after Michele Beretta (Eurointernational) had come off the track and the safety car was deployed. Racing resumed after one lap; Ocon remained in front of Giovinazzi. Fourth-placed Auer attacked Jones on the final two laps, but the driver from the United Arab Emirates skillfully defended his position and kept the Austrian at bay. Eventually, the Carlin driver was rewarded with third place behind winner Ocon and Giovinazzi. Blomqvist, Latifi, Rosenqvist, Serralles, Jordan King (Carlin) and Jake Dennis (Carlin) rounded out the top ten.

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “I had a good start, I managed to take first place and keep Antonio behind me. When the safety car came out just before the end, I initially thought that the race wouldn’t be restarted, but that wasn’t the case. My restart was quite good, too, and after the problems I had in yesterday’s race, I am very happy with this victory."|

Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “After the start, I was in second place behind Esteban and I was able to follow him throughout the race. However, I have to admit that I was never close enough to attack him. After the restart, I was right behind him for a while, but I didn’t want to take too many risks. Second place gives me a lot of points as well and this is a good result."

Edward Jones (Carlin): “I am very happy with this second podium result of the weekend, but I really had to work hard in this race. Especially in the second half of the race, Lucas Auer put me under a lot of pressure and he attacked me after the safety car phase. It was a nice battle in which every one left the other enough room. Of course, I am very happy that I came out on top."

Results – 22 laps:

Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Esteban Ocon (F) Prema Dallara-Merc 35m24.768s
2. Antonio Giovinazzi (I) Carlin Dallara-VW +0.969s
3. Ed Jones (UAE) Carlin Dallara-VW +2.387s
4. Lucas Auer (A) Mucke Dallara-Merc +2.836s
5. Tom Blomqvist (S) Carlin Dallara-VW +3.227s
6. Nicholas Latifi (CDN) Prema Dallara-Merc +4.346s
7. Felix Rosenqvist (S) Mucke Dallara-Merc +5.222s
8. Felix Serralles (PR) West-Tec Dallara-Merc +6.183s
9. Jordan King (GB) Carlin Dallara-VW +6.962s
10. Jake Dennis (GB) Carlin Dallara-VW +8.339s
11. Mitchell Gilbert (AUS) Fortec Dallara-Merc +8.961s
12. Dennis van de Laar (NL) Prema Dallara-Merc +10.309s
13. John Bryant-Meisner SS) Fortec Dallara-Merc +11.112s
14. Felipe Guimaraes (BR) Double R Dallara-Merc +11.377s
15. Roy Nissany (IS) Mucke Dallara-Merc +12.148s
16. Jules Szymkowiak (NL) Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +12.266s
17. Sandro Zeller (CH) Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc +12.522s
18. Riccardo Agostini (I) Eurointernational Dallara-Merc +12.760s
19. Alexander Toril (E) T-Sport Dallara-NBE +12.973s
20. Sean Gelael (IN) Carlin Dallara-VW +13.596s
21. Gustavo Menezes (USA) Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +14.723s
22. Tatiana Calderon (COL) Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc +14.903s
23. Hector Hurst (GB) West-Tec Dallara-Merc +16.410s
24. Spike Goddard (AUS) T-Sport Dallara-NBE +33.253s
DNF Michele Beretta (I) Eurointernational Dallara-Merc 17 laps
DNF Antonio Fuoco (I) Prema Dallara-Merc 3 laps
DNF Max Verstappen (NL) Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 0 laps

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