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2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship
Round 33, Hockenheim, Germany, October 17th/19th 2014
© Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas

Weather:
Fine, dry, sunny.

Race 3 Grid (2nd Fastest Qualifying Laps of Qualifying Session 2 after penalties):
1st – No. 31, Tom Blomqvist, GBR, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:31.987

2nd – No. 3, Lucas Auer, AUT, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:32.286
3rd – No. 27, Felix Rosenqvist, SWE, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:32.429
4th – No. 19, Antonio Giovinazzi, ITA, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:32.545
5th – No. 5, Jordan King, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:32.669
6th – No. 2, Esteban Ocon*, FRA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:32.710
7th –No. 30, Max Verstappen*, NED, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:32.846
8th – No. 20, Sean Gelael, IDN, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:32.848
9th – No. 16, Gustavo Menezes, USA, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:33.113
10th – No. 6, Edward Jones, UAE, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:33.201
11th – No. 4, Roy Nissany, ISR, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:33.330
12th – No. 21, Felix Serralles, PRT, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:33.333
13th – No. 26, Dennis van de Laar, NED, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:33.356
14th – No. 15, Jules Szymkowiak*, NED, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:33.392
15th – No. 18, Tatiana Calderon, COL, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:33.456
16th – No. 10, Santino Ferrucci*, USA, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:33.513
17th – No. 11, Richard (Spike) Goddard, AUS, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 1:33.949
18th – No. 12, Alexander Toril, ESP, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 1:34.012
19th – No. 29, Stefano Coletti, MON, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:34.088
20th – No. 22, Wing Chung (Andy) Chang, MAC, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:34.550
21st – No. 8, Michele Beretta*, ITA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:34.558
22nd – No. 17, Sandro Zeller, SUI, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:34.563
23rd – No. 28, Jake Dennis*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:33.627#
24th – No. 32, Nick Cassidy*, NZL, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, no time set

No. 25, Antonio Fuoco*, ITA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:32.763 withdrawn from race

#No. 28 drop of 10 grid positions penalty

*Rookie

Race Report – Round 33 (Race 3):
The final round of the 2014 FIA F3 European championship was run under sunny skies at Hockenheim this morning, with Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) ending the season on a high note with a resounding victory in Round 33, which made up for him losing a place yesterday when he found the car stuck in 3rd gear as he tried to take the hairpin. 2nd place went to Jordan King (Carlin), while Jagonya Ayam with Carlin driver Tom Blomqvist finished 3rd to deny Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) the runner up slot on the championship.

Before the start, it was announced that Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) had been awarded a 5-grid place penalty for yesterday afternoon’s crash with Jake Dennis (Carlin). However, rather than line up in his new grid position, the Italian youngster had withdrawn from the race altogether with a broken thumb. In addition, Dennis was starting from the back as he served the final 10-grid place penalty for an engine change before qualifying one Friday. Finally Stefano Coletti (Eurointernational) would start from the pit lane, the team treating this as a test session.

The race was late starting after a red flagged Porsche Carrera race that left the track covered in various unwanted fluids, and thus necessitated a clean up operation. As if that wasn’t enough, as the F3 cars lined up at the end of the formation lap, Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) was suddenly seen to raise his arms to indicate a problem, just as his car threw out a massive cloud of very dark smoke. The red lights stayed on, some drivers left the grid and the start was aborted. Menezes was able to get going and after another formation lap, the race was reduced by 1 lap and the start was finally underway.

Blomqvist, starting from pole, came under attack from Auer almost immediately but was able to hold the Austrian off for several corners before the orange car finally eased ahead – Auer had worked hard for that and he wasn’t about to hand it back, no matter how hard Blomqvist tried. Behind the lead pair, Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) was having a fierce go at taking 4th from Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), the Swede resisting for all he was worth having already lost a place to the fast-starting King.

And in the pack Tatiana Calderon (Jo Zeller Racing) arrived at the Hairpin somewhat too quickly and tagged Felix Serralles (Team West-Tec F3), putting both of them out of the race there and then, collecting Jules Szymkowiak (Van Amersfoort Racing) who would have to pit, and causing a safety car period before the race was a lap old.

Auer settled in to wait it out, ahead of Blomqvist, King, Rosenqvist, Giovinazzi, Verstappen, Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam), Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), Menezes and Roy Nissany (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). In 11th was Ed Jones (Carlin), ahead of Dennis van de Laar (Prema Powerteam), from Michele Beretta (Eurointernational), Richard “Spike” Goddard (ThreeBond with T-Sport), Alexander Toril (ThreeBond with T-Sport), Dennis, Nick Cassidy (ThreeBond with T-Sport), Wing Chung “Andy” Chang (Team West-Tec F3), Santino Ferrucci (Fortec Motorsport) and Sandro Zeller (Jo Zeller Racing). The final two runners were Coletti and Szymkowiak who had rejoined after a pit stop.

At the restart Auer made sure that Blomqvist didn’t even get a sniff of the lead and controlled it well while Ocon passed Verstappen after Max ran very wide and bounced over the kerbs. A couple of corners later Blomqvist tried to put the squeeze on Auer, but the Austrian wasn’t letting anyone through and Blomqvist had to back off. That left him vulnerable to King and Rosenqvist, both of whom took a quick look but couldn’t make anything of the opportunity.

Meanwhile, Menezes was awarded a drive through penalty for his actions during the aborted start, though it wasn’t clear exactly what the reason was. In addition, Calderon was under investigation for causing and avoidable accident and she would be summoned to the Clerk of the Course after the race. Further back, Dennis, from last was now up to 13th and was soon 12th with van de Laar in his sights. It was just that with all the excitement at the front he was being rather overlooked.

That excitement continued when Verstappen made a seemingly accidental lunge at Ocon that luckily didn’t end in contact but did see the Dutchman running very, very wide once again. It probably gave Ocon a bit of a start too as the van Amersfoort car tracked across his path. Additionally Giovinazzi was having another go at Rosenqvist, who once again fended his new friend off, though at the cost of a warning for exceeding track limits.

Auer meanwhile was trying to open up a gap to Blomqvist and was pushing quite hard, setting a new fastest lap as he ricocheted off the kerbs. Further back Dennis was quietly getting on with it and was now up into top ten having passed van de Laar. Further back still, Toril was setting about Nissany and in a very determined move he was past the Israeli driver. The trouble was he couldn’t seem to get away from him after that. And while that was happening Ferrucci was busy having what seemed to be a self-inflicted grassy moment that cost him any momentum he’d had.

Someone with momentum to spare was Verstappen who finally saw an opening. He pulled alongside Ocon and the pair interlocked wheels. It was now a question of who would blink first. It wasn’t Verstappen. He simply forced his way through and then drove away. Just to add to the fun, shortly after that Giovinazzi had yet another go at Rosenqvist, but again he couldn’t quite get through and he ended up losing ground, which wasn’t good news because now there was the added risk of Verstappen to worry about.

Away from the battle for top ten places, Coletti pitted and climbed out, his job done for the weekend. Toril, meanwhile, had seen all his hard work come to naught when Nissany made an absurd attempt to get past Toril at the hairpin and basically caught him amidships. Toril skittered off and dropped to 17th, while Nissany came under investigation – though it would be written off as a racing incident. He next set off after Beretta, passing the Italian with a waved fist in that well known gesture of international friendship. To be fair to Beretta he’s usually so far back that there is no need to watch his mirrors for anyone coming up behind… As his nemesis continued on, Toril called in to the pits.

And then came the surprise move of the morning as Blomqvist seemed to be set for 2nd place. King had other ideas and dived up the inside of his fellow Carlin driver with one lap to go, the two possibly making contact in the process. Blomqvist had no answer and as King streaked away in futile pursuit of the leader, it became apparent that he was much quicker. He just didn’t have enough time left to do anything about the leader.

And so Auer won the last race of the year, from King, and Blomqvist (who has taken the runner up slot with that finish). 4th went to Rosenqvist, from Giovinazzi, Verstappen, Ocon, Gelael, Jones and van de Laar. Dennis lost 10th place on the final lap and ended up 11th, which was poor reward for his efforts. Goddard brought it home for once, in 12th from Nissany, Beretta, Ferrucci, Menezes, Zeller, Cassidy, Chang and Szymkowiak. The final classified runners were Toril and Coletti.

The fastest lap was set by Auer.

Race 3 Results:
1st – No. 3, Lucas Auer, AUT, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 21 laps, 34:16.838

2nd – No. 5, Jordan King, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 3.380
3rd – No. 31, Tom Blomqvist, GBR, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 4.574
4th – No. 27, Felix Rosenqvist, SWE, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 7.906
5th – No. 19, Antonio Giovinazzi, ITA, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 8.707
6th – No. 30, Max Verstappen*, NED, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 12.635
7th – No. 2, Esteban Ocon*, FRA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 13.810
8th – No. 20, Sean Gelael, IDN, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 19.055
9th – No. 6, Edward Jones, UAE, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 23.002
10th – No. 26, Dennis van de Laar, NED, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 26.806
11th – No. 28, Jake Dennis*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 31.340
12th – No. 11, Richard (Spike) Goddard, AUS, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, gap 32.473
13th – No. 4, Roy Nissany, ISR, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 35.338
14th – No. 8, Michele Beretta*, ITA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 38.219
15th – No. 10, Santino Ferrucci*, USA, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 39.030
16th – No. 16, Gustavo Menezes, USA, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 45.182
17th – No. 17, Sandro Zeller, SWI, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 46.500
18th – No. 32, Nick Cassidy*, NZL, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, gap 52.702
19th – No. 22, Wing Chung (Andy) Chang, MAC, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 1:04.054
20th – No. 15, Jules Szymkowiak*, NED, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1 lap
21st – No. 12, Alexander Toril, ESP, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 2 laps
22nd – No. 29, Stefano Coletti, MON, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 3 laps

Not Classified:
No. 21, Felix Serralles, PRT, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, lap 1
No. 18, Tatiana Calderon, COL, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, lap 1

Did Not Start:
No. 25, Antonio Fuoco*, ITA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz

Fastest Lap:
No. 19, Antonio Giovinazzi, ITA, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:32:970, lap 8, 110.054mph, 177.115kph

*Rookie

Next Races: 2015

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