22-year-old Brazilian Felipe Guimaraes began his debut season of the FIA European Formula 3 championship by claming a point in the opening race of the Silverstone event by finishing tenth in his Double R Racing machine. He would also finish eleventh (just outside the points) in race two, but was unfortunate to retire on the opening lap of the third and final race on Sunday.
In a very close qualifying session for race one, Guimaraes qualified 13th on the grid, but was less than four tenths of a second off a top six placing. He made a good start to climb to ninth in the first handful of turns, but lost out to Swedish driver and the pre-race championship favourite Felix Rosenqvist just after a safety car intervention. He would hold onto the tenth place until the end of the race.
After qualifying in 17th place for race two, he made another good start to move up to 14th on the first lap, and then overtook Gustavo Menezes on lap two for 13th. He would then work his way past the two Mucke Motorsport cars of Rosenqvist and Lucas Auer to move up to 11th, but he could not find a way into the top ten, missing out on a point by half a second to another Swede in the form of John Bryant-Meisner.
A fuel pump failure in qualifying for race three saw the Brazilian start the race a lowly 21st, but he retired on the first lap after an altercation with fellow rookie Jake Dennis.
“It’s been a really strong and competitive start to the year for us in the European championship, Felipe has done a great job this weekend,” said Anthony Hieatt, the Double R team principal. “It’s a shame he went out on the opening lap in the last race, but his performances in Saturday’s two races were superb. This weekend’s pace and results definitely bode well for the rest of the season.”
Round two of the series takes place at Hockenheim on the weekend of 3rd/4th of May as support races to the opening event of the German DTM series.