European Formula 3 Championship Silverstone Report
Monday, 20 August 2018 | Ravenol Marketing
This weekend RAVENOL were at Silverstone for the European Formula 3, which luckily for us coincided with the drama packed World Endurance Championship. Thankfully everyone in the F3 paddock made it safely through scrutineering…
Race 1 on Saturday started with rookie Sacha Fenestraz on pole in the Carlin-Renault, followed by Prema Theodore Racing’s Guanyu Zhou and Motopark’s Dan Ticktum. Zhou made a move off the start to cover Ticktum, but was not able to hold the British driver back for long and by the end of lap one he was past. As fourth placed Schumacher (yes, that’s Michael Jr) limped back to the pits with a puncture, Ticktum was already right behind Fenestraz and challenging him for the lead. However with no DRS in F3, overtaking at Silverstone can be tricky, and Ticktum was stuck behind the Renault junior for quite a while, before finally managing to outbrake him and squeeze past. From there Ticktum quickly pulled away from the rookie and soon established a lead of over 1.5 seconds.
Behind him third placed driver Zhou suffered a puncture, which promoted Motopark’s Jonathan Aberdein into the podium positions. Then there was last minute drama as Prema Theodore’s Ralf Aron locked up and spun out on the gravel, but he was pushed back onto the track by the marshals so a safety car wasn’t required. Ticktum took the win, and was joined on the podium by Fenestraz and Aberdein.
“Winning on home soil is a great feeling, I am very happy,” Ticktum said. “Today, all drivers in the top three had a similar speed, so I knew that it was going to be difficult. Therefore, I had to use every chance. Early on, I managed to overtake Guanyu [Zhou] on the outside and towards the end I benefited from the fact that Sacha’s tyres degraded. Now, I am leading the drivers’ standings again.”
Later on Saturday was Race 2, where Motopark’s Fabio Scherer started on pole. But right at the start he was beaten off the line by Prema Theodore driver Schumacher. As Carlin ‘s Ameya Vaidyanathan spun off into the gravel after contact, Schumacher started pulling away. Sherer locked up, allowing 3rd placed Motopark driver Juri Vips into the action. Towards the end of the race Vips finally got past Sherer and started chasing after Schumacher, but the Prema Theodore driver responded to maintain his 1.5 second lead. Sherer had to retire with a technical issue, moving South African driver Aberdein into the final podium spot for the second time that day.
“The story of my race is told quickly,” Schumacher explained after the race. “My start was good, I was able to pull a gap on the first lap and then I tried to maintain it. Around the halfway point, my rivals closed up a bit, but then I pushed more and re-established my initial margin. I am really happy with this victory.”
For Race 3 we had to wait until Sunday morning, before the stat of the World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Silverstone got underway. In Race 3, the grid is decided by the drivers’ second fastest qualifying time from Q2. Carlin rookie Sacha Fenestraz started on pole, but was quickly overtaken by Estonian Juri Vips. But Vips was unable to pull away as a collision between Prema Theodore’s Ralf Aron and Motopark’s Sebastian Fernandez on Lap 2 required the Safety Car to come out. After the restart, Vips quickly increased the gap between himself and second placed Fenestraz, and maintained it for the remainder of the race to take his 2nd victory of the season. Third placed was once again Jonathan Aberdein, making it a hat trick of podium’s for the South African.
“It wasn’t an easy race,” Vips admitted. “On the opening lap, I had to overtake Sacha for the lead, which was crucial for the rest of my race as I knew that overtaking is very difficult here. Moreover, my rear tyres degraded more and more as the race went on. I am happy that I still have won.”
So the results of the Silverstone weekend leave British driver Dan Ticktum leading the Drivers’ Championship by 18 points over closes rival Marcus Armstrong. Vips’ victory give him a boost up to 3rd, now only 15 points adrift.
Next week the young drivers will head to Misano, Italy, as the European Formula 3 Championship continues.