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F3 - Stroll hoping to clinch Championship early at Imola


This weekend (30 September - 2 October), the FIA Formula 3 European Championship will travel to Imola, Italy for the ninth race meeting of the 2016 season.

FIA, Motorsport, Mobility, Road Safety, F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, World RX

Event: 09 Imola
Date: 30th September to 02nd October, 2016
Venue: Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari / Italy
Track length: 4.909 kilometres
Lap record FIA F3 EC: 1m 36.484s (Tom Blomqvist, 2014)
Distance: 33 minutes plus one lap

This weekend, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship will travel to Imola, Italy for the ninth race meeting of the 2016 season. At the 4.909 kilometres long Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) will have the opportunity to secure the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title early. Only three drivers, his team-mates Maximilian Günther and Nick Cassidy as well as HitechGP driver George Russell, still have the chance of spoiling the 17-year old’s championship party. Favourite Stroll travels to Italy with a 68-point lead.

Lance Stroll can look back on a successful season so far. The Williams F1 Team junior driver won nine of the 24 races contested to date and holds the clear lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings. And should he leave Imola with a lead of 75 or more points on the second-placed driver he will already travel to the season finale at Hockenheim as the new FIA Formula 3 European Champion. As usual, the winner of each of the three races at Hockenheim will be rewarded with 25 points and so, the maximum points a driver can score in the season finale amount to 75. Germany’s Maximilian Günther has got the biggest chances of preventing Stroll from securing the title while his team-mate Nick Cassidy and George Russel only have theoretical chances of doing so, due to their bigger gaps to the championship leader. Both would have to win all three races at Imola while hoping that Stroll doesn’t score a single point (from Russell’s point of view) or adds just one point to his tally (from Cassidy’s point of view) to keep their championship chances alive for the season finale at Hockenheim.

In addition to the possible decision in the title chase, the British squad ThreeBond with T-Sport also have been making for positive headlines – the team is going to contest the Imola weekend with two drivers. Japan’s Ukyo Sasahara will be teamed up with Wing Chung Chang and so, two drivers will represent the ThreeBond with T-Sport colours at Imola. Chang, the young talent from Macau already contested several FIA Formula 3 European Championship rounds in the past years and now returns to the series for the final six races of the season.

Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): “I’m extremely motivated to wrap up the title in Imola. The fact that I can win the championship next weekend will be in the back of my mind but it’ll be like any other race weekend, I’ll be pushing as hard as I can for the best possible result in each race and giving my all. It’s home turf for Prema so that’s another incentive to score well. My confidence is high heading to Imola after the results at the Nürburgring. That said, I won’t be underestimating my fellow competitors many of whom are capable of winning races, so I need to be on my ‘A’ game. I’ve only been to Imola on one previous occasion when I had a successful weekend there in F4. It’s an ‘old school’ track and is very technical while long straights should allow plenty of overtaking opportunities.”