2014 FIA F3 European Championship, Rounds 23 and 24 – Qualfying Report and Results

FIA F3 European Championship
Rounds 23-24,
RedBull Ring, Austria, August 1st/3rd 2014
© Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas

Weather: Sunny, clear, dry.

Qualifying Report – Rounds 23 and 24 (Races 2 and 3):
At the RedBull Ring this afternoon it was not that man Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) on pole for once, but rather Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), the Italian on top of the grid for both races, alongside team-mate Tom Blomqvist, winner of this morning’s race. Third for race two is local hero Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) while for race three it will be Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) after another rollercoaster of a qualifying session.

At the beginning of the session as ever it was the T-Sport and Fortec Motorsport boys who went out first. As this never seems to work out for them, it does beg the question “Why?” but this time at least the rest of the horde was not far behind. A couple of laps later and it was Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) who led the charge, only to be supplanted almost immediately by Jordan King (Carlin), but we had a way to go yet before anything could be considered significant.

Next to the top of the tree was Dennis van de Laar (Prema Powerteam) but he also didn’t stay there for long, with Giovinazzi going even faster. However, the times were still in the 1:27s so it was highly unlikely that this would be where it ended. There was a brief moment when Tatiana Calderon (Jo Zeller Racing) was fastest of all, shortly to be pushed out by Roy Nissany (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) with Fuoco back in 3rd. And then normality reasserted itself and Verstappen hit the 1:26s, ahead of Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam). Things seemed even more “business as usual” when Ocon broke the 1 minutes 25 second barrier to set the bar for everyone else. King moved into 2nd and Verstappen was now 3rd but as ever times were being disallowed almost before they could register as people were penalized for not respecting track limits. It was hard to keep track.

Suddenly Blomqvist was on it, going 2nd a mere 0.20 seconds off Ocon, while the rest of the top ten consisted of Fuoco, King, Verstappen, Giovinazzi, Jake Dennis (Carlin), Latifi, Nissany and Felix Serralles (Team West-TecF3) as the session reached the halfway point. It was a long way from over. Rosenqvist was next to the top of the times, just ahead of Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing), at least until the later promptly plummeted back down the order again, another victim of the dreaded track limits transgressions.

Another batch of times and Blomqvist was 2nd while Ocon had slipped down to 5th, behind Fuoco and Rosenqvist. Verstappen crossed the line next to go 2nd and Ocon improved to 3rd but through it all Giovinazzi hung onto his top spot, and then the red flags came out. Hector Hurst had gone off somewhere out in the scenery and needed moving to a place of safety. The top ten was Giovinazzi from Blomqvist, Fuoco, Rosenqvist, Ocon, Menezes, Verstappen, Auer, Dennis and Calderon.

Everyone trundled back to the pits and waited but it wasn’t long before the track was clear and they could all go back out. The question now was had the momentum gone out of the session. Not a bit of it, as it turned out. At the wrong end of the grid Richard “Spike” Goddard (ThreeBond with T-Sport) improved to 23rd but it was at the front that the real interest was. Ocon improved to go 4th while Auer was also pushing on and was rewarded with 6th.

At the very front though, Giovinazzi was pushing hard as could be seem from his sector times. Fuoco set a fastest Sector 2 time, but Giovinazzi went even quicker to cement his hold on pole position. Ocon was briefly able to wrest it from him though, and Auer improved but stayed 4th. Fuoco promptly went even faster, while Dennis shot up to 5th. A further change saw Verstappen in 3rd while Calderon dropped to 14th but was just as rapidly back in 12th. However, Giovinazzi was having none of it and went even faster, the sector times lighting up purple as the Italian pushed for pole. It was enough to get him into the 1:24s, well ahead of anyone else and for a brief moment it seemed as if the front row would belong to the Antonios, Giovinazzi and Fuoco.

But still the improvements came, with Auer leaping into 2nd and Rosenqvist to 4th, pushing Ocon down the order again. A further improvement from Blomqvist put him 4th, while Calderon was battling Ed Jones (Carlin) for 10th. Menezes again appeared near the top, this time in 2nd, and again just as promptly had his lap time disallowed, just as Blomqvist was finally rewarded for persistence with a front row slot.

And then we ran out of time. Giovinazzi would start both races from pole after a superb effort, aided perhaps by being in a brand new car this weekend. Blomqvist would be alongside him. For Race 2, Auer was 3rd, from Fuoco, Rosenqvist, Ocon, Verstappen, King, Dennis and Jones. Latifi would start 11th again were it not for a five grid place penalty from Race 1, ahead of Calderon, Menezes, van de Laar, Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), Nissany, Serralles, Alexander Toril (ThreeBond with T-Sport), John Bryant-Meisner (Fortec Motorsport) and Goddard. In 21st would be Santino Ferrucci (Eurointernational), from Jules Szymkowiak (Van Amersfoort Racing), Alfonso Celis (Fortec Motorsport), Sandro Zeller (Jo Zeller Racing), Michele Beretta (Eurointernational) and Hurst.

For Race 3, Fuoco starts 3rd, with Ocon behind him, then Auer, Verstappen, Dennis, Rosenqvist, King and Jones making up the top ten. 11th is Latifi yet again, ahead of Calderon, van de Laar, Menezes, Gelael, Nissany, Serralles, Bryant-Meisner, Goddard, and Toril. Ferrucci ended up 21st, from Szymkowiak, Celis, Zeller, Beretta and the unfortunate Hurst.

This time only Calderon, Szymkowiak and Celis were the only drivers not to have times disallowed.

Race 2 Grid (Fastest Qualifying Laps of Qualifying Session 2):
1stNo. 19, Antonio Giovinazzi, ITA, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:24.748
2nd – No. 31, Tom Blomqvist, GBR, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.036
3rd – No. 3, Lucas Auer, AUT, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.042
4th – No. 25, Antonio Fuoco*, ITA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.090
5th – No. 27, Felix Rosenqvist, SWE, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.114
6th – No. 2, Esteban Ocon*, FRA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.199
7th – No. 30, Max Verstappen*, NLD, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.212
8th – No. 5, Jordan King, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.298
9th – No. 28, Jake Dennis*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.368
10th – No. 6, Edward Jones, UAE, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.512
11th – No. 1, Nicholas Latifi, CDN, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.534
12th – No. 18, Tatiana Calderon, COL, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.557
13th – No. 16, Gustavo Menezes, USA, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.592
14th – No. 26, Dennis van de Laar, NLD, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.595
15th – No. 20, Sean Gelael, IDN, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.613
16th – No. 4, Roy Nissany, ISR, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.624
17th – No. 21, Felix Serralles, PRT, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.624
18th – No. 12, Alexander Toril, ESP, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 1:25.874
19th – No. 10, John Bryant Meisner, SWE, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:26.025
20th – No. 11, Richard Goddard, AUS, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 1:26.173
21st – No. 29, Santino Ferrucci*, USA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:26.477
22nd – No. 15, Jules Szymkowiak*, NLD, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:26.497
23rd – No. 9, Alfonso Celis, MEX, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:26.740
24th – No. 17, Sandro Zeller, SWI, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:26.851
25th – No. 8, Michele Beretta*, ITA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:27.508
26th – No. 22, Hector Hurst, GBR, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:28.797

*Rookie

Cars 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 – Cancellation of relevant lap times.

Race 3 Grid (2nd Fastest Qualifying Laps of Qualifying Session 2):
1st – No. 19, Antonio Giovinazzi, ITA, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:24.773
2nd – No. 31, Tom Blomqvist, GBR, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.102
3rd – No. 25, Antonio Fuoco*, ITA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.166
4th – No. 2, Esteban Ocon*, FRA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.203
5th – No. 3, Lucas Auer, AUT, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.312
6th – No. 30, Max Verstappen*, NLD, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.385
7th – No. 28, Jake Dennis*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.416
8th – No. 27, Felix Rosenqvist, SWE, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.462
9th – No. 5, Jordan King, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.517
10th – No. 6, Edward Jones, UAE, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.595
11th – No. 1, Nicholas Latifi, CDN, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.627
12th – No. 18, Tatiana Calderon, COL, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.631
13th – No. 26, Dennis van de Laar, NLD, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.722
14th – No. 16, Gustavo Menezes, USA, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.844
15th – No. 20, Sean Gelael, IDN, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:25.854
16th – No. 4, Roy Nissany, ISR, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.873
17th – No. 21, Felix Serralles, PRT, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:25.884
18th – No. 10, John Bryant Meisner, SWE, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:26.229
19th – No. 11, Richard Goddard, AUS, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 1:26.229
20th – No. 12, Alexander Toril, ESP, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 1:26.300
21st – No. 29, Santino Ferrucci*, USA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:26.503
22nd – No. 15, Jules Szymkowiak*, NLD, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:26.636
23rd – No. 9, Alfonso Celis, MEX, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:26.794
24th – No. 17, Sandro Zeller, SWI, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:27.066
25th – No. 8, Michele Beretta*, ITA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:27.619
26th – No. 22, Hector Hurst, GBR, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:30.546

*Rookie

Cars 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 – Cancellation of relevant lap times.