2014 FIA F3 European Championship, Round 15 – Grid, Race Report, Results and Points

­­2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship
Round 15, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, June 20th/22nd 2014
© Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas

Amended Race 3 Grid (2nd Fastest Qualifying Laps of Qualifying Session 2 after penalties):
1stNo. 2, Esteban Ocon*, FRA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:27.897
2nd – No. 10, John Bryant Meisner, SWE, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2;28.320
3rd – No. 21, Felix Serralles, PRT, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:28.404
4th – No. 14, Felipe Guimaraes, BRA, Double R Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:29.038
5th – No. 30, Max Verstappen*, NLD, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 2:29.562
6th – No. 16, Gustavo Menezes, USA, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 2:29.710
7th – No. 18, Tatiana Calderon, COL, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:30.495
8th – No. 8, Michele Beretta*, ITA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:30.827
9th – No. 1, Nicholas Latifi, CDN, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:30.978
10th – No. 27, Felix Rosenqvist, SWE, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:31.026
11th – No. 3, Lucas Auer, AUT, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:31.033
12th – No. 15, Jules Szymkowiak*, NLD, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 2:31.047
13th – No. 22, Hector Hurst, GBR, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:31.236
14th – No. 11, Richard Goddard, AUS, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 2:31.655
15th – No. 5, Jordan King, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 2:31.986
16th – No. 4, Roy Nissany, ISR, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:32.586
17th – No. 28, Jake Dennis*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 2:32.785
18th – No. 31, Tom Blomqvist, GBR, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 2:32.861
19th – No. 19, Antonio Giovinazzi, ITA, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 2:33.396
20th – No. 17, Sandro Zeller, SWI, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:33.540
21st – No. 29, Santino Ferrucci*, USA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:33.579
22nd – No. 20, Sean Gelael, IDN, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 2:34.856
23rd – No. 12, Alexander Toril, ESP, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 2:34.981

Qualification Maxima (110%) 2:42.686
24th – No. 25, Antonio Fuoco*, ITA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, QM
25th – No. 26, Dennis van de Laar, NLD, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, did not participate
26th – No. 9, Mitch Gilbert, AUS, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, QM

*Rookie

Race Report – Round 15 (Race 3):

Weather: Warm, dry, sunny.

At Spa today Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) made it three out of three as the Dutch rookie won once more, an impressive feat on the majestic Ardennes track, especially as the teenager started fifth on the grid. 2nd place was taken by Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam), with Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) claiming 3rd after a race-long battle with Felix Serralles (Team West-TecF3).

Ocon took the lead initially, though he lost it to John Bryant-Meisner (Fortec Motorsport), the Swede squeezing through at Les Combes. Ocon wasn’t’ impressed and fought back, while behind the two Verstappen had powered past Felipe Guimaraes (Double R Racing) and Serralles for 3rd as they tore into La Source for the first time. A lap later and Ocon was back in the lead having got ahead of Bryant-Meisner, but not for long. Verstappen saw his chance and passed both of them to move into the lead, again setting the move up on the run to Les Combes and coming out ahead.

Bryant-Meisner then promptly lost 3rd to Serralles who barged past the Swede (who drives for Serralles’ former team) through the Bus Stop, before Menezes also came through. The fight for 3rd was epic, but not as epic at the fight for the lead. Ocon had obviously decided he’d had quite enough of driving for points in race 2 and he set about Verstappen at every opportunity, a wheel banging incident leading to the French youngster being warned for dangerous driving. He also briefly retook the lead at Les Combes but the resulting wobble let Verstappen come back. It was proving to be yet another tensely thrilling race, especially for Frits van Amersfoort and Rene Rosin as their young charges fought it out.

Actually, Trevor Carlin probably wasn’t feeling too relaxed either, as his boys were having a tough time. Jordan King, who had started way back, got caught up in mayhem at the start and, with nowhere to go, lost a lot more ground. By lap three he’d clawed his way back up to 17th, but was a long way from here he would normally expect to run. It was as well that Jake Dennis was doing better… he’d made it to 9th and seemed to be enjoying Spa, while Tom Blomqvist (in the Jagonya Ayam Carlin car) was 13th and again looking to improve.

Shortly afterwards, while Verstappen and Ocon continued to scrap, Dennis edged past Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and, having advanced to 8th, started to look hard at Guimaraes, up in 7th. Blomqvist by now was not far behind and he too blasted past Rosenqvist, the Swedish driver’s weekend going from bad to worse. It would get worse yet, unfortunately for him.

Dennis, on the other hand, had made a new friend, passing Guimaraes at La Source on lap 6 to claim 7th, and then having to repeat the move a lap later, this time making it stick permanently. Guimaraes ran wide as he tried to defend his position and ended up letting Blomqvist through as well. Their next target was Bryant-Meisner.

Meanwhile Menezes and Serralles had begun swapping places like it was going out of fashion, neither of them prepared to give an inch. It was anyone’s guess how this battle would pan out. The scrapping had to stop though after Hector Hurst (Team West-TecF3) crashed into Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin). Hurst was stranded on the edge of the track, his car’s suspension knitted into new and interesting shapes. The officials scrambled the Safety Car while they hauled the Dallara to safety. At the same time, Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) who had been loitering back in 18th, was called in for a drive through, completing a miserable weekend for Ferrari’s latest protégé.

Behind the Safety Car the order was Verstappen, from Ocon, Menezes, Serrallés, Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam), Dennis, Blomqvist and Bryant-Meisner. By the time the wreckage had been cleared there was enough time left for three laps, so it would once again be a sprint to the line. The result was pretty brutal for some.

Dennis was mugged by Blomqvist at the restart, and was now demoted to 7th, while Serralles took 3rd place back from Menezes. Rosenqvist, meanwhile, walloped Guimaraes and deranged his own wing, then managed to shove the unfortunate Brazilian off the track altogether when Guimaraes had to brake early to avoid collecting the battling drivers ahead of him, Jules Szymkowiak (Van Amersfoort Racing), Blomqvist and Dennis, as they reached la Source with four laps to go.

It was now down to Verstappen to bring it home less than half a second clear of Ocon, while Menezes stole 3rd back from Serralles at Les Combes on the final lap of the race. Latifi was 5th from Blomqvist, Dennis, Szymkowiak, Rosenqvist and King. Giovinazzi survived for 11th, ahead of Roy Nissany (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), Alexander Toril (ThreeBond with T-Sport), Santino Ferrucci (Eurointernational), Fuoco, Tatiana Calderon (Jo Zeller Racing), Mitch Gilbert (Fortec Motorsport) and Michele Beretta (Eurointernational). In 21st, was Dennis van de Laar (Prema Powerteam), leading home Richard “Spike” Goddard (ThreeBond with T-Sport) and Bryant-Meisner, who was a lap down after problems in the closing laps.

Ocon set the fastest lap of the race and remains the series leader, almost 100 points ahead of Blomqvist as they head to the weird and whacky Norisring street circuit next weekend.

Next Rounds: Norisring, Germany, 27th/29th June.

Race 3 Results:
1stNo. 30, Max Verstappen*, NLD, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 15 laps, 35:47.919
2nd – No. 2, Esteban Ocon*, FRA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 0.495
3rd – No. 16, Gustavo Menezes, USA, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 2.266
4th – No. 21, Felix Serralles, PRT, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 3.090
5th – No. 1, Nicholas Latifi, CDN, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 3.912
6th – No. 31, Tom Blomqvist, GBR, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 4.230
7th – No. 28, Jake Dennis*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 5.284
8th – No. 15, Jules Szymkowiak*, NLD, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 6.108
9th – No. 27, Felix Rosenqvist, SWE, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 7.525
10th – No. 5, Jordan King, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 9.188
11th – No. 19, Antonio Giovinazzi, ITA, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 10.058
12th – No. 4, Roy Nissany, ISR, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 10.527
13th – No. 3, Lucas Auer, AUT, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 12.423
14th – No. 20, Sean Gelael, IDN, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 12.950
15th – No. 12, Alexander Toril, ESP, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, gap 13.053
16th – No. 29, Santino Ferrucci*, USA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 13.999
17th – No. 25, Antonio Fuoco*, ITA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 14.067
18th – No. 18, Tatiana Calderon, COL, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 17.219
19th – No. 9, Mitch Gilbert, AUS, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap17.851
20th – No. 8, Michele Beretta*, ITA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 18.782
21st – No. 26, Dennis van de Laar, NLD, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 23.040
22nd – No. 11, Richard Goddard, AUS, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, gap 43.446
23rd – No. 10, John Bryant Meisner, SWE, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1 lap

Not Classified:
No. 14, Felipe Guimaraes, BRA, Double R Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, lap 11
No. 22, Hector Hurst, GBR, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, lap 9
No. 17, Sandro Zeller, SWI, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, lap 6

Fastest Lap:
No. 2, Esteban Ocon*, FRA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 2:11:280, lap 6, 119.844mph, 192.066kph

*Rookie

Points After Round 15
International Class
1st – Esteban Ocon, 268 points
2nd – Tom Blomqvist, 174 points
3rd – Lucas Auer/Max Verstappen, 155 points
5th – Antonio Fuoco, 113 points
6th – Felix Rosenqvist, 96 points
7th – Jake Dennis, 85 points
8th – Antonio Giovinazzi, 81 points
9th – Jordan King, 73 points
10th – Nicholas Latifi, 65 points
11th – Felix Serralles, 55 points
12th – Gustavo Menezes, 50 points
13th – Ed Jones, 47 points
14th – Mitch Gilbert, 28 points
15th – Dennis van de Laar, 22 points
16th – Jules Szymkowiak, 14 points
17th – Tatiana Calderon, 10 points
18th – Roy Nissany/John Bryant Meisner, 6 points
20th – Felipe Lopes Guimaraes, 5 points
21st – Spike Goddard, 3 points
22nd – Sean Gelael, 2 points
23rd – Hector Hurst/Riccardo Agostini, 1 point

Rookie Class
1st – Esteban Ocon, 312 points
2nd – Jake Dennis, 220 points
3rd – Antonio Fuoco, 201 points
4th – Max Verstappen, 181 points
5th – Jules Szymkowiak, 139 points
6th – Michele Beretta, 89 points
7th – Santino Ferrucci, 10 points