Only a suspension problem in the final race of the weekend denied Jake Dennis a perfect score in Pau, but the Racing Steps Foundation-backed Briton had a breakthrough weekend around the French circuit, taking three pole positions and two victories.
From pole position, Dennis led away at the start of race one, and was able to maintain position despite two safety car periods to take his maiden FIA European Formula 3 Championship victory, and his first win since winning at Hockenheim in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Championship at the beginning of 2013.
“I had a good start, managed to keep my position and just pushed at 90% to avoid making any mistake,” said Prema Powerteam driver Dennis. “It was good enough to keep everybody behind me after a few safety cars that eventually didn’t change anything.
“It is a nice feeling to win in F3 for the first time in the streets of Pau.”
Dennis was able to take victory in race two, surviving three safety cars and a red flag period, controlling perfectly every restart. He was delighted to see Maximilian Günther jump ahead of Charles Leclerc at the start of the race, and pushed hard to create a gap to the chasing pack.
“I had another good start, I kept my position and I saw Günther in P2,” revealed Dennis. “I pushed and built a three-second lead. Then I decided to back off a little and save the tyres but the gap was good.
“There were two more safety cars until the race was interrupted by a red flag. At the restart we had seven minutes left on the clock, but I was able to push and create a two-second lead right away.
“I won by half second, [but] the car was exceptional in both races.”
For the final race, Dennis looked to be in control once more, but a suspension issue caused him to slow. The Briton was forced to relinquish his lead to Antonio Giovinazzi, and then slipped further down the field as the problem worsened, ultimately ending outside the points.
“From the second lap, I had to deal with a steering issue which was caused by a damaged suspension, but it wasn’t that bad at first,” revealed Dennis. “I was still pulling away from Giovinazzi.
“Then after about 10 laps the car was undriveable but I managed to keep a half second gap. Eventually though, it wouldn’t turn left anymore. It is quite frustrating cause there was nothing I could do.
“Overall, it was a positive weekend where we were the fastest with two wins and three pole positions and the pace was very good.”