The 23rd season round of the FIA Fórmula 3 European Championship provided plenty of action for the spectators at the 4.326 kilometres long Red Bull Ring. Antonio Fuoco, (Prema Powerteam), was able to decide the race in his favour, although he never led the field for one moment. For his second victory in the FIA Fórmula 3 European Championship season, the rookie driver benefited from a 20 seconds’ time penalty for Antonio Giovinazzi, who led throughout the race, due to an infringement of the safety car procedure. Eventually, Fuoco won from Tom Blomqvist and national hero Lucas Auer. For points’ leader Esteban Ocon, things didn’t go according to plan either; the French Lotus Fórmula 1 junior driver collided with Felix Rosenqvist and retired.
At the start, Antonio Giovinazzi took the lead from Tom Blomqvist. On the way to the first corner, the Brit had to slot in behind Antonio Fuoco and dropped back to third. On lap three, Jordan King and Max Verstappen collided, which ended with a spin by British driver King. As a result, the safety car was deployed for the first time in this race. Shortly after the restart, Dennis van de Laar spun, which caused the second safety car intervention in this 23rd season round. After the next restart, Esteban Ocon and Felix Rosenqvist tangled in the battle for fourth place. Both drivers retired. On lap 16, Richard Goddard spun after a collision with Roy Nissany and hit Sandro Zeller’s car in the aftermath. For Goddard and Zeller, the race was over.
Out in front, Antonio Giovinazzi still held on to the lead, but at the final restart of the race, he left a gap to the safety car that was too big and was given a drive-through penalty as a result. As he didn’t come in for this penalty during the remainder of the race, it was converted into a 20 seconds’ time penalty. Thus, the Italian lost his first place to compatriot Antonio Fuoco, who became the winner of the race. Tom Blomqvist was delighted with his second-place finish, Lucas Auer took the chequered flag in third place. Max Verstappen, Gustavo Menezes, Edward Jones, Sean Gelael, Nicholas Latifi, Jules Szymkowiak and Alexander Toril rounded out the top ten. For Spaniard Toril, tenth place is his best result in the FIA Fórmula 3 European Championship to date.
Antonio Fuoco, (Prema Powerteam): “I anm really happy and proud of this victory. After a good start, I was able to overtake Lucas Auer in the first corner and I was even second after the second corner. However, I had no chance against Antonio Giovinazzi, who was still in front of me; he was simply too fast. My engineer told me over the radio about the penalty for Giovinazzi, so I was aware that I had won as I crossed the line”.
Tom Blomqvist, (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “I feel really sorry for my team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi, because he was quick and would have deserved this success. My start wasn’t perfect and when I was between Lucas Auer and Antonio Fuoco in the second corner, Antonio was able to overtake me. I was left without a chance”.
Lucas Auer, (Mücke Motorsport): “My start was okay, but I lost a few places in the first few corners. Then I was lucky that there were some incidents in this race and I benefited from some of them. Thus, I came home third. My car was already much better than yesterday, but we still have work to do. Nevertheless, I am happy with my podium finish in my home race”.
Photos: FIA F3 Euro Series