2015 Italian Formula 4 champion Ralf Aron claimed his maiden FIA European Formula 3 Championship victory in race one of the Hungaroring weekend of the championship last weekend.
The Estonian took his Prema Powerteam car to the top step of the podium in an all-rookie podium ahead of Niko Kari and Joel Eriksson amid a race dominated by tyres and who could preserve the life of their tyres better.
Aron believed the early conservation of his own tyres were the key to take the victory when early leader George Russell began to struggle for pace as his tyres gave up the ghost.
“Tyre management was decisive in race 1,” said Aron. “We had to look after the tyres really well. Especially in the early stages, George Russell pushed hard which probably affected his tyres too much.
“When he then made a mistake, I benefited and went past. In general, we have shown that, contrarily to popular belief, it is very well possible to overtake here, even though it certainly isn’t easy.”
Aron continued his good weekend in the Saturday’s second race, finishing second behind Prema Powerteam team-mate Maximilian Günther, but felt he could have pushed his tyres a little harder in the early stages to mount a serious challenge to the German.
“At the start of race 2, I slotted into second place right behind Maximilian,” said Aron. “In the first corner, I was really closely behind him, but it wasn’t enough to mount a challenge.
“After that, I preferred to save the tyres. In hindsight, I probably was too defensive in the opening stages, but I am still happy with my second place.”
As impressive as Aron was on Saturday, he blotted his copybook somewhat on Sunday by crashing on the reconnaissance lap on the way to the grid, ending his race before it even began.
“I made a big mistake in the formation lap and my Sunday ended in that moment,” revealed Aron. “It’s a pity to have such a bad race 3 after experiencing a perfect Saturday.”