2014 FIA F3 European Championship, Round 32 – Grid, Race Report and Results

FIA F3 European Championship
Round 32,
Hockenheim, Germany, October 17th/18th 2014
© Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas

Weather: Sunny, dry.

Race 2 Grid (Fastest Qualifying Laps of Qualifying Session 2 after penalties):
1st – No. 31, Tom Blomqvist, GBR, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:31.817
2nd – No. 19, Antonio Giovinazzi, ITA, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1;32.152
3rd – No. 3, Lucas Auer, AUT, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:32.245
4th – No. 5, Jordan King, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:32.403
5th – No. 27, Felix Rosenqvist, SWE, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:32.414
6th – No. 2, Esteban Ocon*, FRA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:32.422
7th – No. 25, Antonio Fuoco*, ITA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:32.433
8th – No. 18, Tatiana Calderon, COL, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:32.754
9th – No. 30, Max Verstappen*, NED, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:32.832
10th – No. 20, Sean Gelael, IDN, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:32.840
11th – No. 4, Roy Nissany, ISR, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:32.922
12th – No. 16, Gustavo Menezes, USA, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:32.950
13th – No. 26, Dennis van de Laar, NED, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:33.000
14th – No. 6, Edward Jones, UAE, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:33.039
15th – No. 21, Felix Serralles, PRT, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:33.177
16th – No. 10, Santino Ferrucci*, USA, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:33.321
17th – No. 15, Jules Szymkowiak*, NED, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:33.391
18th – No. 11, Richard (Spike) Goddard, AUS, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 1:33.890
19th – No. 12, Alexander Toril, ESP, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, 1:33.894
20th – No. 29, Stefano Coletti, MON, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:34.028
21st – No. 8, Michele Beretta*, ITA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:34.362
22nd – No. 17, Sandro Zeller, SWI, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:34.397
23rd – No. 22, Wing Chung (Andy) Chang, MAC, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, 1:34.448
24th – No. 28, Jake Dennis*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:33.472#
25th – No. 32, Nick Cassidy*, NZL, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, no time set

*Rookie

#No. 28 drop of 10 grid positions penalty

Race Report – Round 32 (Race 2):
The second of three races at Hockenheim saw Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) claim victory to move 2 points ahead of Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) in the battle to claim the runner up slot in this year’s championship. Finishing 2nd was Antonio Giovinazzi in another of the yellow Jagonya Ayam with Carlin cars, after Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) managed to slide off track in the closing stages of the race, handing the place to the Italian and relegating himself to 3rd.

In a race of attrition, the trouble started right from the first lap. While Blomqvist held onto his lead, and Auer blasted past the slower starting Giovinazzi, and Verstappen leaped up the order to 7th, Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam), who had just been passed by Verstappen, was pitched into a spin when Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) hit him up the rear as they went into the hairpin. Fuoco was lucky to be missed by everyone else, but by the time he’d worked out which way he was pointing, the rest of the pack had gone and he was last. At the end of lap 1 we were looking at Blomqvist, almost a second ahead, from Auer, Giovinazzi, Jordan King (Carlin), Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam), Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Verstappen, Tatiana Calderon (Jo Zeller Racing), Roy Nissany (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing).

A lap later and Calderon had taken 7th back from Verstappen and was setting about Rosenqvist, while Ocon forced King very wide indeed as he tried to take 4th from the Englishman. King was left with a damaged wing, and the 2014 Champion was through. King would shortly afterwards be shown the black and orange flag informing him – as if he didn’t already know – that his car had damage that could cause a problem for himself or other drivers and that he must come in to get it sorted. For the time being, however, he continued on his way.

In fact it was already getting busy in the pits as Nick Cassidy (ThreeBond with T-Sport) called in to have a problem remedied, and Ed Jones (Carlin) trundled through to serve a drive through penalty for jumping the start. Meanwhile, out on the track, Verstappen had squeezed through on Calderon, and Nissany had a look to see if he could also get past the Colombian. She was having none of it, and he had to back off but shortly after he was able to pass.

Verstappen has also passed Rosenqvist and now had King in front of him, the Carlin driver somewhat hampered by that damaged front wing. There was nothing he could do to prevent the Dutchman taking 5th off him, and would soon join the party in the pits to get a new front wing fitted. He would put in a strong recovery drive but that was his race for a points finish effectively over.

And then the almost inevitable Safety Car period hit, after Richard “Spike” Goddard (ThreeBond with T-Sport) clobbered Michele Beretta (Eurointernational) and deranged his rear wing. To be fair the wing was already hanging off when Goddard hit it, but Goddard removed it completely. Beretta limped to the pits, Goddard kept on going, but there were bits of bodywork on the racing line which really needed to be removed and quickly. Blomqvist bunched the pack up, with Auer still 2nd, from Giovinazzi, Ocon, Verstappen, Rosenqvist, Nissany, Calderon and Menezes. In 11th was Dennis van de Laar (Prema Powerteam), from Jules Szymkowiak (Van Amersfoort Racing), Felix Serralles (Team West-Tec F3), Santino Ferrucci (Fortec Motorsport), Jake Dennis (Carlin) who had started from the back because of a 10-grid place penalty for an engine change yesterday, Alexander Toril (ThreeBond with T-Sport), Goddard, Wing Chung “Andy” Chang, Fuoco (recovering from his initial spin) and Sandro Zeller (Jo Zeller Racing). Stefano Coletti (Eurointernational) was 21st from Jones, King, Cassidy and Gelael (who had also pitted).

At least with just a few pieces of carbon fibre rather than several entire cars’ worth to pick up the Safety Car was not needed for long and on lap 7 we were able to go racing again. Blomqvist controlled the restart nicely to hold onto his lead, while Ocon had a go at Giovinazzi for 3rd. It slowed the Italian down but he was able to prevent the Frenchman from passing. Ocon then found he had to concentrate to hold off Verstappen, who was quite keen on the idea of 4th place. Ocon’s resistance dropped Verstappen back into Rosenqvist’s clutches, at least briefly. This was much more interesting than this morning’s race. Calderon, meanwhile, had come back at Nissany and was back into 8th thank you very much!

Towards the back end of the pack, Coletti was the next to pit, the team giving the car a good looking at before he got out and retired from the race. In fact it was very busy outside the top ten. Fuoco passed Chang to go 17th, while Dennis was also on the move, charging through to 12th just behind Serralles, who passed Szymkowiak when the latter made a mistake. Fuoco’s next improvement came when he passed Goddard, which is not always easy. He next lined up Ferrucci and in an impressive move he was past and up to 15th. In fact this was where all the action was now.

A series of overtaking manoeuvres followed, with King and Jones both hacking past Ferrucci, but being slowed down by the fact that they were also fighting each other. King was now 16th from Jones and there were still ten laps to go. Fuoco had gained yet another place too and was soon 14th after meeting little resistance from Toril. King was more than happy to follow suit and he was soon through as well, Toril. Gelael has gained two places, dropping Chang to last behind Zeller.

At the front Blomqvist was happily driving away from Auer, who was also having a quiet drive. Giovinazzi was close but not that close. Verstappen, back up to 5th, however, was pushing very hard as he tried to get past Ocon, providing quite a bit of entertainment. However, he couldn’t quite find a way past and was beginning to look increasingly frustrated as he tried to push for a higher position.

Fuoco was having no such difficulties, and his next victim was Szymkowiak, the Italian going through at the hairpin. Szymkowiak might have though he could take a breather now, but he was wrong. King and Jones were lining up to take a shot at him next. King didn’t take long to make the pass, and Jones followed a lap or so later, which put them all behind Dennis, who was still bottled up behind Serralles. The five of them were now very close indeed.

Near the front, Ocon had shaken off Verstappen, and was now all over Giovinazzi, but then Auer made a mistake and outbraked himself at the hairpin, giving Giovinazzi the opportunity he’d been waiting for. He was back up to 2nd. Auer recovered enough not to lose any more places, which left Ocon still 4th. Blomqvist was still comfortably ahead though, despite a bit of a tyre-smoking moment. However, the chaos in the second half of the field continued. Goddard wobbled off on his own after getting on the kerbs, and Gelael managed to just miss the Aussie. They both continued.

In 13th, Fuoco was now lining up to have a go at Dennis. And that was where it all went wrong. After some very brave moves up to this point, Fuoco pushed it a little too far. He tried to dive up the inside of Dennis, the pair locked wheels, and were both passengers as their cars skated off and into retirement. Both drivers were fine, but their cars were in a dangerous position. With one lap left, the officials had very little choice but to red-flag the race.

And so, after the dust settled, and the results were declared a lap back, Blomqvist won to move 2 points ahead of Verstappen in the points table with one race left. Giovinazzi was 2nd, from Auer, Ocon, Verstappen, Rosenqvist, Nissany, Calderon, Menezes and van de Laar. Serralles hung onto 11th despite the mayhem behind him, from Dennis, Fuoco, King, Jones, Szymkowiak, Toril, Ferrucci, Gelael and Cassidy. Zeller was 21st from Goddard and Chang.

The fastest lap of the race was set by Blomqvist.

Race 2 Results:
1stNo. 31, Tom Blomqvist, GBR, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 19 laps, 30:37.664
2nd – No. 19, Antonio Giovinazzi, ITA, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 3.903
3rd – No. 3, Lucas Auer, AUT, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 5.283
4th – No. 2, Esteban Ocon*, FRA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 5.986
5th – No. 30, Max Verstappen*, NED, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 8.093
6th – No. 27, Felix Rosenqvist, SWE, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 9.418
7th – No. 4, Roy Nissany, ISR, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 12.165
8th – No. 18, Tatiana Calderon, COL, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 13.469
9th – No. 16, Gustavo Menezes, USA, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 16.583
10th – No. 26, Dennis van de Laar, NED, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 20.189
11th – No. 21, Felix Serralles, PRT, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 23.932
12th – No. 28, Jake Dennis*, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 24.577
13th – No. 25, Antonio Fuoco*, ITA, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 24.996
14th – No. 5, Jordan King, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 26.924
15th – No. 6, Edward Jones, UAE, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 28.895
16th – No. 15, Jules Szymkowiak*, NED, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 30.959
17th – No. 12, Alexander Toril, ESP, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, gap 31.633
18th – No. 10, Santino Ferrucci*, USA, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 32.716
19th – No. 20, Sean Gelael, IDN, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, gap 35.421
20th – No. 32, Nick Cassidy*, NZL, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, gap 36.774
21st – No. 17, Sandro Zeller, SWI, Jo Zeller Racing, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 39.896
22nd – No. 11, Richard (Spike) Goddard, AUS, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, NBE, gap 42.565
23rd – No. 22, Wing Chung (Andy) Chang, MAC, Team West-TecF3, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, gap 46.073

Not Classified:
No. 8, Michele Beretta*, ITA, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, lap 17
No. 29, Stefano Coletti, MON, Eurointernational, Dallara F312, Mercedes-Benz, lap 9

Fastest Lap:
No. 31, Tom Blomqvist, GBR, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:33:423, lap 5, 109.520mph, 176.256kph

*Rookie