Rookie driver Esteban Ocon secures maiden Formula 3 race win

Only a few hours after the finish of the first season race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, the second race already followed for the 26 young drivers. At the 5.891 kilometers long Silverstone Formula 1 circuit, Lotus F1 junior driver Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) scored a lights-to-flag victory and thus became the first rookie driver to win a race in the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam) was happy with his second-place finish ahead of Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam). Thus, drivers of the Italian Prema Powerteam locked out all three places on the winner’s podium. With his second podium finish from as many races, Ocon took over the lead in the drivers’ standings of the world’s strongest junior single-seater series.

At the start, 17-year-old Ocon benefited from his pole position to take the lead. He pulled a gap during the first few laps until he had a margin of more than three seconds over his closest rival Nicholas Latifi after six laps. Halfway through the race, the Frenchman had an advantage of almost 3.5 seconds over the 18 year-old Canadian and kept it quite consistently until the checkered flag was out. After 18 laps, Esteban Ocon claimed his maiden race win in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

Tom Blomqvist followed in fourth place behind the trio of Prema drivers with Ocon, Latifi and Fuoco. The winner of the first race hadn’t been able to keep up with the three Prema drivers. Instead, his rivals Jordan King (Carlin) and Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) followed him closely. King made a mistake with three laps to go, after which Dutch rookie driver Verstappen benefited and overtook the Brit. Thus, the 16-year-old son of ex-Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen secured fifth place behind Blomqvist; in the rookie classification, he was ranked third behind Ocon and Fuoco.

Edward Jones (Carlin), Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), Dennis van de Laar (Prema Powerteam) and John Bryant-Meisner (Fortec Motorsports) rounded out the top ten.

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “I am really delighted! In this race, my start was better than in the first one and I managed to hold on to first place. Initially, I tried to pull a gap. Later, my goal was to save the tires, to drive consistent lap times and to bring victory home safely."

Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam): “My second place is making my very happy. In the early stages of the race, Esteban was faster, which was his great advantage later on. He was able to benefit from his margin in the second half of the race and turned it into victory."

Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam): “I am very happy for being on the podium for the first time after my second race in Formula 3 already. My start was really good, I managed to overtake Tom Blomqvist right away and I came third."

Results – 18 laps:

Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Esteban Ocon (F) Prema Dallara-Mercedes 33m53.215s
2. Nicholas Latifi (CDN) Prema Dallara-Mercedes +3.678s
3. Antonio Fuoco (I) Prema Dallara-Mercedes +5.148s
4. Tom Blomqvist (GB) Carlin Dallara-VW +9.264s
5. Max Verstappen (NL) Van Amersfoot Dallara-VW +11.237s
6. Jordan King (GB) Carlin Dallara-VW +11.914s
7. Ed Jones (UAE) Carlin Dallara-VW +19.293s
8. Antonio Giovinazzi (I) Carlin Dallara-VW +20.649s
9. Dennis van de Laar (NL) Prema Dallara-Mercedes +21.877s
10. John Bryant-Meisner (S) Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +23.533s
11. Felipe Guimares (BR) Double R Dallara-Mercedes +24.078s
12. Lucas Auer (A) Mucke Dallara-Mercedes +24.548s
13. Gustavo Menezes (USA) Van Amersfoot Dallara-VW +30.106s
14. Felix Rosenqvist (S) Mucke Dallara-Mercedes +31.293s
15. Felix Serralles (PR) West-Tec Dallara Mercedes +32.009s
16. Mitch Gilbert (AUS) Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +32.766s
17. Jake Dennis (GB) Carlin Dallara-VW +33.362s
18. Alexander Toil (E) T-Sport Dallara-NBE +40.060s
19. Tatiana Calderon (COL) Jo Zeller Dallara-Mercedes +46.004s
20. Sean Gelael (RI) Carlin Dallara-VW +48.528s
21. Michele Beretta (I) EuroInternational Dallara-Mercedes +49.158s
22. Roy Nissany (IS) Mucke Dallara-Mercedes +1m01.985s
23. Riccardo Agostini (I) EuroInternational Dallara-Mercedes +1m02.208s
24. Jules Szymkowiak (NL) Van Amersfoot Dallara-VW +1m03.172s
DNF Hector Hurst (GB) West-Tec Dallara Mercedes 15 laps
DNF Spike Goddard (AUS) T-Sport Dallara-NBE 2 laps

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