Joel Eriksson has won the Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort, with Red Bull Juniors?Niko Kari?and?Sergio Sette Camara?providing a podium lockout for the Motopark team.
Starting from pole after his qualifying race victory, Eriksson’s launch was not the greatest, and fellow front-row starter?Callum Ilott?on the inside and a fast-starting Kari on the outside were able to make?it three-wide into Tarzan for the first time.
Eriksson?came out with the lead however, and quickly built a lead of over a second over Kari, while Ilott had been?forced down to fourth by Sette Camara by the start of the second lap.
Kari was able to take a few?small chunks?out of Eriksson’s lead during the 25-lap race, but the gap only?dipped below a second on the final lap, with 0.838s separating the pair as 18-year-old Eriksson celebrated his win.
Eriksson’s victory is the third for a Swedish driver in the last six editions of the Masters, following Felix Rosenqvist’s 2011 and 2013 wins, and is a second win for Motopark in three years after its 2014 victory with Max Verstappen at a time when he was driving for Van Amersfoort Racing in the European series.
Second for 16-year-old Kari is?his third such result in his rookie F3 season.
Sette Camara didn’t have the speed to keep up with his rookie team-mates, but was able to repeat his third place?from?last year’s event and keep Ilott and home team VAR off the podium. Aggressive early laps in both races were key for the Brazilian, who was only eighth in Saturday’s qualifying session.
Ilott was the single-lap pacesetter in practice and qualifying but struggled for race pace on the Kumho tyres, and finished with Hitech’s F3 returnee?Alex Albon on his tail.
Pedro Piquet matched his season’s best of sixth once more, keeping?Anthoine Hubert at bay.?Alessio Lorandi was a distant eighth after?a low-key weekend for Carlin, while?Sam MacLeod beat?David Beckmann to ninth after starting 14th.
Motopark managed to get all four of its drivers onto the podium by pitting Ferrari’s Chinese protege?Guan Yu Zhou?late on after he was?dumped out of the top 10 by MacLeod. He rejoined on?fresh tyres and beat Eriksson’s benchmark to take the fastest lap.
Tom Randle was the best of the five newcomers to European F3?machinery, the Australian Double R holding off a charging?Harrison Scott?for 11th after the late Hitech stand-in dropped back off the start.