Swede Felix Rosenqvist got his FIA European Formula 3 Championship challenge back on track as he took his first win of the season in the third race around the streets of Pau. The Mücke Motorsport driver jumped ahead of pole sitter Esteban Ocon at the start and withstood pressure from the Frenchman to clinch victory in the 73rd running of the ‘Grand Prix de Pau’.
Up until his win, Rosenqvist’s best finish was a fifth place at Hockenheim, and in the previous two races this weekend, he had finished 14th in race one but failed to finish race two after a crash while trying to pass Ocon. He is the sixth different race winner in the nine races so far in 2014.
After losing out to Rosenqvist at the start, Ocon initially held off the challenge of race two winner Tom Blomqvist for second, before shadowing the leader for the duration of the race, being forced to settle for second as the Swede showed no signs of making a mistake around the tricky street circuit. Even the introduction of the safety car after EuroInternational’s Michele Beretta stopped on track didn’t give the Prema Powerteam driver the opportunity to overtake Rosenqvist.
Jagonya Ayam with Carlin’s Blomqvist finished third, with Carlin driver Jake Dennis fourth to follow up his race two podium. Mitchell Gilbert took his best result of the season to date with fifth for Fortec Motorsports, while Lucas Auer was sixth in the sister Mücke car to race winner Rosenqvist.
Dennis van de Laar was seventh for Prema Powerteam ahead of the second Fortec car of Swede John Bryant-Meisner, while Jordan King of Carlin and Antonio Giovinazzi of Jagonya Ayam with Carlin completed the top ten.
Max Verstappen’s weekend that started so promisingly with a podium in race one ended on a sour note with his second consecutive retirement as a result of a crash. The unforgiving walls of Pau meant the Dutchman left the circuit 96 points behind Ocon in the championship after 9 races.
Antonio Fuoco’s failure to break into the top ten meant the highly rated Italian did not score a point all weekend in Pau, and leaves one of the championship favourites with a mountain to climb as he sits one point further behind Ocon than Verstappen in the championship.
It is Tom Blomqvist who is Ocon’s closest rival in the championship after Pau, but even he is 57 points adrift of the Lotus junior driver. Ocon has finished on the podium in the last five races and in eight of the nine races so far in 2014.
Pau Race 3 Result
|1||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Mücke Motorsport||36m01.050s|
|2||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Prema Powerteam||+0.829s|
|3||Tom Blomqvist||GBR||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+3.401s|
|5||Mitchell Gilbert||AUS||Fortec Motorsport||+7.001s|
|6||Lucas Auer||AUT||Mücke Motorsport||+7.697s|
|7||Dennis van de Laar||NED||Prema Powerteam||+8.655s|
|8||John Bryant-Meisner||SWE||Fortec Motorsport||+9.481s|
|10||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+11.449s|
|11||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Prema Powerteam||+12.316s|
|12||Felipe Guimaraes||BRZ||Double R Racing||+19.157s|
|13||Felix Serralles||PUE||Team West-Tec F3||+19.550s|
|14||Jules Szymkowiak||NED||Van Amersfoort Racing||+20.433s|
|15||Tatiana Calderon||COL||Jo Zeller Racing||+21.795s|
|16||Roy Nissany||ISR||Mücke Motorsport||+26.242s|
|18||Hector Hurst||GBR||Team West-Tec F3||+1 Lap|
|RET||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Prema Powerteam||20 Laps|
|RET||Michele Beretta||ITA||EuroInternational||16 Laps|
|RET||Riccardo Agostini||ITA||EuroInternational||14 Laps|
|RET||Seal Galael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||8 Laps|
|RET||Max Verstappen||NED||Van Amersfoort Racing||1 Lap|
|RET||Gustavo Menezes||USA||Van Amersfoort Racing||1 Lap|
|RET||Alexander Toril||ESP||ThreeBond with T-Sport||0 Laps|
|RET||Richard Goddard||AUS||ThreeBond with T-Sport||0 Laps|