Rookie drivers won two of the three races at the Silverstone International Circuit as the 2014 Formula 3 European Championship season got under way. Series returnee for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin driver Tom Blomqvist won the opening round, before debutants for Prema Powerteam, Esteban Ocon and Antonio Fuoco, won races two and three.
Blomqvist, racing in front of his home crowd, lead confidently away from pole position for race one, and despite the intervention of the safety car after a crash between Alexander Toril and Michele Beretta that saw the pack bunch up behind him again, lead until the end.
“Of course, I am delighted with this victory,” said Blomqvist after the race on his official website. “I intended to make a good start and pull a gap during the first few laps. I succeeded very well. After I had built a little advantage, I was able to control the race until the end. I am very happy with such a start into the season.”
Ocon finished second ahead of Jordan King in the leading Carlin entry. Fuoco was fourth ahead of the leading Mücke Motorsport driver of Austrian Lucas Auer. Nicolas Latifi in the third Prema Powerteam entry was sixth, ahead of Felix Serralles in the leading West-Tec machine. Ed Jones was eighth for Carlin, ahead of Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke) and Felipe Guimaraes (Double R Racing).
Lotus F1 junior Ocon lead race two from start to finish, having claimed pole position for the race. He won by 3.678s from team-mate Latifi, with the third Prema driver of Fuoco in third.
“I was a bit disappointed with my start in race one, but I took a good one this race,” said Ocon to Autosport. “It was all about keeping the tyres, more or less, keeping consistency and bringing the car home to victory.”
Blomqvist was fourth, ahead of the impressive Max Verstappen for Van Amersfoort Racing, the Dutchman having retired in race one due to a broken front wing at the end of the first lap. King, Jones and Antonio Giovinazzi were sixth, seventh and eighth for Carlin, ahead of Dennis van de Laar in a fourth Prema Powerteam machine, and John Bryant-Meisner for Fortec Motorsports.
Race three saw Ferrari Academy driver Fuoco claim the spoils, having beat pole-man Ocon into the first corner. Ocon would finish third behind Verstappen, who impressed once again to climb from fifth on the grid to pass Ocon on lap 11. Latifi would finish fourth ahead of Giovinazzi, Blomqvist, Rosenqvist, Auer, King and Serralles.
“My start was fantastic,” said Fuoco to Autosport. “We didn’t have a problem with our tyres compared to yesterday, and my race pace was fantastic.”
Ocon leaves Silverstone with the championship lead on 58 points, with Fuoco on 52 points in second and Blomqvist in third on 43 points. Ocon, Fuoco and Verstappen top the rookie table, while Prema Powerteam are already comfortably leading the Teams’ championship.
Silverstone Race 1 Result (Top 10)
|1||Tom Blomqvist||GBR||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||36m31.379s|
|2||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Prema Powerteam||+0.490s|
|4||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Prema Powerteam||+1.661s|
|5||Lucas Auer||AUT||Mucke Motorsport||+2.849s|
|6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Prema Powerteam||+3.328s|
|7||Felix Serralles||PUE||Team West-Tec F3||+4.238s|
|9||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Mucke Motorsport||+5.214s|
|10||Felipe Guimaraes||BRZ||Double R Racing||+5.490s|
Silverstone Race 2 Result (Top 10)
|1||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Prema Powerteam||33m53.215s|
|2||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Prema Powerteam||+3.678s|
|3||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Prema Powerteam||+5.148s|
|4||Tom Blomqvist||GBR||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+9.264s|
|5||Max Verstappen||NED||Van Amersfoort Racing||+11.237s|
|8||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+20.649s|
|9||Dennis van de Laar||NED||Prema Powerteam||+21.877s|
|10||John Bryant-Meisner||SWE||Fortec Motorsport||+23.533s|
Silverstone Race 3 Result (Top 10)
|1||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Prema Powerteam||34m13.614s|
|2||Max Verstappen||NED||Van Amersfoort Racing||+4.731s|
|3||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Prema Powerteam||+9.325s|
|4||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Prema Powerteam||+17.322s|
|5||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+21.667s|
|6||Tom Blomqvist||GBR||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+25.945s|
|7||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Mucke Motorsport||+26.266s|
|8||Lucas Auer||AUT||Mucke Motorsport||+32.033s|
|10||Felix Serralles||PUE||Team West-Tec F3||+33.814s|