F3 - 2019 Round 5 Preview: Budapest, Hungary

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All of the vital information ahead of F3's fifth round of 2019

The Stakes       

After the drama of Silverstone the FIA Formula 3 Championship visits beautiful Budapest for Round 5.

Briton Max Fewtrell pleased the passionate home support by going quickest in his ART Grand Prix machine during Friday morning’s practice, and those cheers continued throughout the weekend as Jüri Vips led the charge for home team Hitech Grand Prix to grab pole position in qualifying. Vips continued his fine form to keep PREMA Racing’s Jehan Daruvala at bay and win a second successive Race 1 with a stunning lights-to-flag victory. Hitech looked to have closed the performance gap on a PREMA outfit who had dominated the early season, and that seemed to be confirmed during Sunday’s Race 2. Italian ace Leonardo Pulcini charged through the top order to take the lead with two laps left to secure a maiden F3 victory.

Robert Shwartzman (114 points) remains on top of the Drivers’ Championship, ahead of teammate Daruvala (102) in second. Third-placed Vips’ (92) Silverstone success now sees him just 10 points behind. Despite not tasting victory at a race weekend for the first time this season, PREMA (293) bagged more points than any other team to increase their lead at the head of the Teams’ Championship. Hitech (127) have moved up to second, opening up a 35 point gap to ART Grand Prix (92) in third place.

The Hungaroring hosts the fifth round of the championship, providing the 30 drivers battling wheel-to-wheel out on track a tough, technical test. The heat of the Hungarian summer could also prove challenging to both man and machine. Pirelli are supplying teams with the medium compound, and the drivers will have to keep one eye on their tyres if they’re to maximise their chances of success in what is sure to be another blistering weekend of F3 action!

Warm Up // Yuki Tsunoda – Jenzer Motorsport

“The Hungaroring is my favourite circuit so I'm really looking forward to going back and racing there. Last year I was doing European F3 testing there and that was the first time I came to Europe. At that time I didn't have any experience of Europe at all, I only had experience of driving in Japan, and now I think I have driven more laps around that circuit than any other track on the continent. Because of that I have very special memories of Budapest. The test was also very good for me personally and is a big part of the reason why I've come to Europe to compete this year. 

“There are many challenges at the circuit. There are high-speed corners and lots of ups and downs which is quite nice. It's fun to drive, especially Turn 5. It feels like a really fast corner considering it's quite tight. It provides a real challenge but I like that. It's probably my favourite corner in the world - it's that good!

“It can be difficult to manage the tyres at Budapest because there are so many corners and there's no real opportunity to rest them. If you push too much at the beginning, the tyres can really drop away, so you have to try and save them more in Hungary than you perhaps do at other circuits. It's physically tough to drive too, so you need to be fit.

“The last testing session I did at Budapest was quite good. I think our car looks strong, we just need to improve the balance, but hopefully I can get top three or top five in qualifying. I'd love to take P1 in the race so hopefully I can do that.”

Mario Isola, Pirelli Head of F1 and Car Racing

“This the last FIA Formula 3 round before the summer break but we’re already entering the final stages of the championship, which provides even more pressure to obtain a strong result in Hungary. It’s a track that many of the drivers will be familiar with from their karting days and testing: very tight and narrow, with the tyres constantly working. As a result, managing the medium compound in hot conditions will be vitally important, while maintaining a focus on strategy will be key too because it’s very tricky to overtake. It’s also going to be one of the most important qualifying sessions of the year: finding a gap on what’s often a crowded circuit will be essential.”

Season Stats

12 The gap between Robert Shwartzman and PREMA Racing teammate Jehan Daruvala at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.

29 The number of points Jüri Vips took from Round 4, more than any driver despite not scoring a point in Race 2.

7 The number of different drivers who have set a fastest lap so far this season. Christian Lundgaard has set the most with two.

28 The average high temperature (in Celsius) in Budapest during a race weekend in August.


Jüri Vips has led more laps (40) than any other driver on the grid this season. Jehan Daruvala is second with 34 laps led.

Between them, PREMA Racing trio Marcus Armstrong, Daruvala and Robert Shwartzman have stood on the podium 13 times this season, more than every other team combined.

Armstrong, who is fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, has completed 97 laps inside the top three places – the most of any driver on the grid. Teammate and championship leader Shwartzman has ‘only’ spent 71 laps in the P1-P3.

Leonardo Pulcini and Liam Lawson both led an FIA Formula 3 race for the first time at Silverstone. Both drivers earned their first podiums of the season, with Pulcini grabbing his first F3 win.

Lawson’s third place finish at Silverstone was also MP Motorsport’s first podium of the season.

Out of eight possible victories this season, PREMA have four, Hitech Grand Prix have three and HWA RACELAB have one.

Argentinian-born Giorgio Carrara returns to F3 with Jenzer Motorsport at the Hungaroring, driving the Swiss team’s number 15 car for the second time this season.

The F3 qualifying session at the Hungaroring will take place on Saturday morning as opposed to Friday afternoon.

Data (GMT+2)


Free Practice: 09.35 – 10.20


Qualifying: 09.00 – 09.30

Race 1: 16.45 (22 laps)
Press conference: 17.45


Race 2: 10.00 (22 laps)