Each of the 2011 F3 Euroseries competitors will be eyeing victory at the prestigious RTL GP Masters of F3 2011 event at Zandvoort this weekend.
Much like the previous meeting at Spa-Francorchamps, the special event is also classed as an FIA Formula 3 International Trophy round, meaning that runaway points leader Roberto Merhi can claim the Trophy for himself before the final round in Macau in mid-November. Victory will for Merhi will also qualify the young Spaniard for a Formula 1 Super Licence, and potentially a seat in Young Driver tests in Abu Dhabi near end of this year’s F1 season.
The former Formula 1 circuit in Holland hosted the same event in 2010, with current GP3 contender Valtteri Bottas taking the honours in emphatic fashion for the ART Grand Prix, becoming the 1st driver to defend their Masters title in the process. The F3 Masters boasts an impressive alumni of winners too – since the event began in 1991 no less than 8 of its winners have raced in Formula 1, including David Coulthard, Christian Klien, Lewis Hamilton and Paul Di Resta. As a result the whole F3 Euroseries field will be gunning for the top prize, as well as 10 additional invitational class entries.
F3 Euroseries runners however, hold the record for winning every single F3 Masters race to date, with aims to continue the trend. In contrast to the 2011 F3 Euroseries championship so far, Prema Powerteam are one of the few teams to have never claimed victory at the event, while MÃ¼cke Motorsport and Signature have claimed one win a piece, albeit in 2003 and 2000 respectively.
MÃ¼cke Motorsport’s Nigel Melker is just one of the drivers looking forward to the prestigious race in his homeland: “I'm truly looking forward to the Masters in Zandvoort. Following the Formula 3 weekend at this circuit, it will be my second home event this year. And I even could win one of the Euro Series races. A win that represents my nicest Formula 3 triumph to date. I think we have a good chance of winning the Masters, too, as the MÃ¼cke cars always are extremely competitive, at Zandvoort.”
Track length: 4.307 kilometres
Lap record F3ES: 1:31.076 minutes / Jules Bianchi 2009
Distance: 25 laps
Winner 2010: Valtteri Bottas