Ocon closer to title after Imola win

Esteban Ocon moved one step closer to winning the FIA European Formula 3 Championship after leading race one at Imola from start to finish, while main rival Max Verstappen was forced to retire after what was an eventful race for the Dutchman.

Prema Powerteam driver Ocon led fellow front row starter Jordan King from the start, and while the Carlin driver was able to stay close to the Frenchman, he was not able to pose a serious challenge and was forced to settle for second place, while his fellow Briton Tom Blomqvist finished third for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, and in the process moved into second place in the championship.

Felix Rosenqvist posed a brief challenge to Blomqvist for the final podium spot early in the race, but the Mücke Motorsport driver was forced to settle for fourth, ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi in the second Jagonya Ayam with Carlin machine.

Lucas Auer of Mücke Motorsport beat Jake Dennis of Carlin for sixth, while Felix Serralles of Team West-Tec F3 finished eighth. Tatiana Calderon climbed to ninth in her Jo Zeller Racing machine, while Sean Galael completed the top ten in the third of the three Jagonya Ayam with Carlin entries.

2015 Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Verstappen had an eventful race, climbing from his fifteenth position on the grid to move into the top seven, but lost a few places after an ambitious move on Dennis at the Tamburello chicane, and then lost the chance of points after clashes with Prema Powerteam driver Antonio Fuoco (who received a drive through penalty for causing a collision) and Mücke Motorsport’s Roy Nissany, with the incident with the latter causing them both to retire.

The safety car was needed at the end of the opening lap after a clash between new Fortec Motorsports team-mates Martin Cao and Santino Ferrucci that left the Chinese drivers’ car in a dangerous position.

Imola Race 1 Result

1 Esteban Ocon FRA Prema Powerteam 35m57.565s
2 Jordan King GBR Carlin +1.509s
3 Tom Blomqvist GBR Jagonya Ayam with Carlin +2.981s
4 Felix Rosenqvist SWE Mücke Motorsport +5.556s
5 Antonio Giovinazzi ITA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin +7.287s
6 Lucas Auer AUT Mücke Motorsport +12.158s
7 Jake Dennis GBR Carlin +14.038s
8 Felix Serralles PUE Team West-Tec F3 +18.161s
9 Tatiana Calderon COL Jo Zeller Racing +22.746s
10 Sean Galael INO Jagonya Ayam with Carlin +23.766s
11 Nick Cassidy NZL ThreeBond with T-Sport +30.024s
12 Dennis van de Laar NED Prema Powerteam +33.607s
13 Ed Jones UAE Carlin +37.142s
14 Sergio Matte Camara BRZ EuroInternational +44.367s
15 Richard Goddard AUS ThreeBond with T-Sport +44.846s
16 Antonio Fuoco ITA Prema Powerteam +51.985s
17 Michele Beretta ITA EuroInternational +53.135s
18 Andy Chang CHN Team West-Tec F3 +58.071s
RET Roy Nissany ISR Mücke Motorsport 17 Laps
RET Max Verstappen NED Van Amersfoort Racing 17 Laps
RET Gustavo Menezes USA Van Amersfoort Racing 16 Laps
RET Alexander Toril ESP ThreeBond with T-Sport 10 Laps
RET Jules Szymkowiak NED Van Amersfoort Racing 7 Laps
RET Nicholas Latifi CAN Prema Powerteam 0 Laps
RET Martin Cao CHN Fortec Motorsports 0 Laps
RET Santino Ferrucci USA Fortec Motorsports 0 Laps
RET William Buller GBR Signature 0 Laps