PREVIEW: 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship – Red Bull Ring

by Chloe Hewitt

The FIA Formula 3 Championship, is in action once again this weekend at the Red Bull Ring for the third round of the championship.

Coming to Austria, Robert Shwartzman sits atop the standings ahead of PREMA Racing team-mates Jehan Daruvala and Marcus Armstrong.

PREMA sits atop of the Teams’ Championship, 113 points ahead of ART Grand Prix.

Facing the drivers this weekend is a fast flowing track, consisting of just nine corners but there is more than meets the eyes with fast straights and elevation changes thrown into the mix.

What Happened Last Time out at Paul Ricard?

It was PREMA on top last time out with Daruvala winning the Feature Race with Shwartzman coming out on top in the Sprint Race.

Jake Hughes claimed pole position, denying Shwartzman who had dominated the qualifying session. However, the rest of the weekend was not as positive for the Briton who was penalised on Saturday for a collision with Armstrong which meant he ended twenty-second.

This allowed Daruvala to seize the lead of the race, as a three way battle for second developed behind between Shwartzman, Pedro Piquet and Niko Kari.

Shwartzman came out on top of that battle with Piquet taking third.

On Sunday, it was the same three who led the way with Shwartzman taking the victory as Piquet finished second ahead of Daruvala.

Alex Peroni started from reverse grid pole position with Yuki Tsunoda alongside, however with quicker cars behind the pair they soon found themselves tumbling down the order.

Starting from seventh, Shwartzman was on a charge and was third within nine laps.

Daruvala followed his team-mate in the hopes of making it a PREMA one-two with Piquet separating the duo.

The Brazilian fought off a move from the Indian to hold onto second.

As a result Shwartzman claimed the victory, ahead of Piquet and Daruvala.

Furthermore, it means after four races; two have been won by Shwartzman and two by Daruvala.

What Happened Last Year at the Red Bull Ring?

Last year, it was Callum Ilott and Hughes who claimed the victories at the Austrian track.

Ilott, stormed to his first pole position in the championship following his debut win at Paul Ricard a week before.

Starting from pole, he comfortably led from the moment the lights went out to take victory by four and a half seconds – despite a safety car restart. His results from the weekend meant he headed to Silverstone six points ahead of Anthoine Hubert.

Hughes, was victorious on Sunday for his first win of the season.

The Briton took advantage of Giuliano Alesi, Ryan Tveter and David Beckmann colliding at the first corner to sail into the lead.

However, the ART driver did not have it all his way as Piquet ran in the lead for a handful of laps but still with the use of DRS Hughes got the place back and controlled the race til the finish.

Eventually series champion Hubert, had a difficult weekend.

A poor qualifying meant the Frenchman had to start in nineteenth place.

Having fought his way into the points in the Feature Race, and what would have been reverse grid pole for Sunday it went wrong for the Frenchman.

As he battled Beckmann, team-mate Nikita Mazepin snatched the inside line but ran out of room and collided with Hubert who was spun around and had to settle for seventeenth.

It was another storming drive on Sunday, to recover to ninth place but unfortunately for Hubert it meant he was still out of the points.

Hubert slipped to second in the standings behind Ilott as a result.

What is the Schedule for the Weekend?

Friday 28 June

Practice: 9:35 (GMT+2)

Qualifying: 17:50

Saturday 29 June

Feature Race: 10:25

Sunday 30 June

Sprint Race: 9:35

Where can I Watch the FIA Formula 3 Championship This Weekend?

You can watch the session lives from the FIA Formula 3 championship on Sky Sports F1 throughout the weekend in the UK and Ireland. Re-runs of the races will be shown over the week.

How can I Keep up With all the F3 News this Weekend?

The Checkered Flag will provide the latest news and updates from 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship this weekend and throughout the season.

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