Jake Hughes ended his rookie weekend in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship with a podium finish, but the British driver admitted his starts let him down after qualifying inside the top three in all three races.
The GP3 Series race winner linked up with the Carlin team for the Hockenheimring weekend as a prelude for the Macau Grand Prix, and was immediately on the pace, but three sluggish starts meant he was forced to fight back through the field in all three races.
Hughes was forced to retire on the final lap of race one as he clashed with Anthoine Hubert as the duo battled for seventh position, while he finished fourth in race two before a late race pass on Nick Cassidy gave him third place in the final race.
“To turn up on my first weekend in FIA F3 and qualify P3, P2 and P2 is better than I could have expected,” said Hughes. “I know how good the Carlin team is and I think we’ve proved how good their car is too showing that as a rookie I’ve been able to jump in and be on the pace straight away.
“I’ve mostly delivered; I’ve never done any start practice in an F3 car and I think that was my downfall really this weekend, but overall the pace was unbelievable. I just want to say a massive thanks to Trevor and the team; it’s an absolutely mega outfit.”