Ferrari man Fuoco gets first F3 win

From left, Max Verstappen, Antonio Fuoco, Esteban Ocon

The 5.891 kilometers long Formula 1 circuit at Silverstone in the UK seems to suit the rookie drivers in this year’s FIA Formula 3 European Championship in particular. 17-year-old Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) already having won the second race of the season, his team-mate of the same age, Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) clinched the winner’s trophy after the third race. The Italian, a protege of the Ferrari Driver Academy, finished ahead of 16-year-old Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing). Lotus F1 junior driver Esteban Ocon also stepped onto the podium after finishing third. He is leading the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings.

Antonio Fuoco laid the foundation for his maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship race win at the start as he managed to overtake Esteban Ocon, who had started from pole position. The Italian withstood the Frenchman’s attacks and already pulled clear from the rest of the field in the opening stages. While Fuoco extended his lead throughout the race, Ocon came under increasing pressure from Max Verstappen. On lap two, the Dutchman first overtook Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and also made his way past Ocon on lap eleven. The son of ex-Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen took the checkered flag in second place.

Initially, stalwart Tom Blomqvist ran in fourth place behind the three fast rookie drivers, but first Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam) and then Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) overtook the Brit, demoting him to sixth. Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Jordan King (Carlin) and Félix Serralles (Team West-Tec F3) were classified in seventh to tenth place.

Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam): “My race start was fantastic, I managed to overtake Esteban right away. I believe that was the key to success. This was my first weekend in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and I am really delighted that I can already celebrate my first win."

Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing): “The first race didn’t go as I wanted. The second one was better already and the third one even better. I made a good start and I was able to battle for the top positions right away. Towards the middle of the race, my tires started to degrade but I still maintained a good pace."

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “Antonio’s start was better than mine so that allowed him to overtake me for the lead. In the first two laps, I was faster, but I couldn’t overtake him. Perhaps, I was running too closely behind him at that time and ruined my front tires while doing so. All in all, however, it has been a great weekend for me."

Results – 18 laps:

Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Antonio Fuoco Prema Dallara-Merc 34m13.614s
2. Max Verstappen Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +4.731s
3. Esteban Ocon Prema Dallara-Merc +9.325s
4. Nicholas Latifi Prema Dallara-Merc +17.322s
5. Antonio Giovinazzi Carlin Dallara-VW +21.667s
6. Tom Blomqvist Carlin Dallara-VW +25.945s
7. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc +26.266s
8. Lucas Auer Mucke Dallara-Merc +32.033s
9. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW +33.437s
10. Felix Serralles West-Tec Dallara-Merc +33.814s
11. John Bryant-Meisner Fortec Dallara-Merc +34.027s
12. Dennis van de Laar Prema Dallara-Merc +34.448s
13. Hector Hurst West-Tec Dallara-Merc +35.474s
14. Alexander Toril T-Sport Dallara-NBE +35.792s
15. Ed Jones Carlin Dallara-VW +38.021s
16. Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Merc +39.821s
17. Michele Beretta Eurointernational Dallara-Merc +42.527s
18. Gustavo Menezes Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +43.205s
19. Tatiana Calderon Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc +45.972s
20. Jules Szymkowiak Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +48.697s
21. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-NBE +1m16.767s
DNF Riccardo Agostini Eurointernational Dallara-Merc 16 laps
DNF Sean Gelael Carlin Dallara-VW 15 laps
DNF Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Dallara-Merc 1 lap
DNF Jake Dennis Carlin Dallara-VW 0 laps
DNF Felipe Guimaraes Double R Dallara-Merc 0 laps

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