The title race is still wide open!
Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) who clinched pole for races 2 and 3 had but a single aim – victory. But at the start of the race 2 the British driver fluffed his getaway unlike Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonaya Ayam with Carlin). Verstappen shot into the lead from Giovinazzi, Blomqvist and Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam).
The leading foursome ran nose to tail until lap 19 when Verstappen suddenly slowed and retired due to a technical problem. The Red Bull driver left the door open for Giovinazzi who scored his second victory in the FIA F3 European Championship. “I made a good start and I was in close contact with Max Verstappen throughout the race,” analysed the Italian. “But honestly, without his problem I don’t think I’d have been able to pass him. It’s really tough luck for him but that’s racing. I’ll take this victory and I’m satisfied with it.”
Tom Blomqvist finished second in front of Esteban Ocon. In view of the championship it was a good result for the Frenchman as it stretched his lead from 77 to 92 points. “We tweaked the car for this race and we were much better,” said the Lotus F1 Team Junior driver. “I was going really well at the end of the race, but after Verstappen’s retirement all I had to do to score a big haul of points was to bring the car home.”
The start of the third race was pretty chaotic. Blomqvist held on to the lead as best he could, but triggered a shunt in the first corner that claimed several victims including Ocon. The championship leader’s race ended on the spot while Verstappen, who had been given a 10-place penalty on the grid due to an engine change, was already up into fourth place.
When the safety car withdrew Lucas Auer (kftzeile24 Mücke Motorsport) made a fantastic getaway on the restart and snatched first place from Blomqvist. The two remained locked in battle for the rest of the race and despite several attacks from the Brit Auer scored his second win of the season. “I made a good start but it was the restart that decided the outcome of the race,” said Lucas. “After finishing qualifying in sixth place, this win came out of the blue. It wasn’t easy fending off Tom Blomqvist but this victory is a great morale booster!”
Blomqvist was satisfied with the overall result of the weekend. “It’s been a good overall performance this weekend. Our car was pretty good. Maybe I was a tad unlucky on the restart, but above all I felt vibrations after my contact with Felix Rosenqvist. Lucas deserves his win and I’m happy with the points I’ve bagged this weekend.”
Behind the leading duo Verstappen bided his time and found a way past Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) on the second-last lap. Although he stared from the sixth row he saw the flag in third place and pulled back 15 points on Ocon. With six races to go till the end of the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship the two are separated by 77 points.
“In race two my engine blew. It had to be replaced so we were given a ten-place penalty on the grid for three races including this one and the next two at Imola. I took advantage of several retirements at the start. Then I had a great scrap with Jordan King and Antonio Fuoco. Overall, I’ve got nothing to lose so I just went for it!”