Home Featured Fornaroli reveals Imola bump caused car to cut out while leading in F3

Fornaroli reveals Imola bump caused car to cut out while leading in F3

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli has revealed what caused him to suddenly slow while leading FIA Formula 3’s Imola feature.

Fornaroli started second and took the lead from team-mate Santiago Ramos on lap three, then three laps later his car shut down for several seconds and he lost four places before he was able to get it operational again and return to racing speed.

On lap 10 of 22 he gained back one place by overtaking Prema’s Arvid Lindblad, then passed Ramos again on lap 14. He was 4.129 seconds behind the leader at that point, and by the finish had cut 0.761s off that gap as he claimed a home podium.

“Very disappointed about the result even if it’s P3,” Fornaroli told Formula Scout afterwards in the paddock.

“Today we had the pace to win. I was fighting with Ollie [Goethe] then I decided to go a bit more on the right on the main straight to break the tow because with the DRS he was faster than me. But unfortunately I took a bump I didn’t know was there and the car completely switched off,” he explained.

“It’s not the fault of the team. It’s not my fault. It’s just unlucky. But I fell back to P5. Then I tried to recover as quickly as possible because I knew the pace was there. I overtook Lindblad and my team-mate Santiago because he also had an issue. Very sorry for him because he also showed strong pace.

“Pace was very good mid-race to the end. I tried to overtake Oliver as well, but with the dirty air it was just impossible.”

Fornaroli was hoping to claim his first F3 win on his 24th start, having been runner-up three times before. In two of those instances he finished second after starting on pole. He will have another chance to win in this weekend’s Monaco round.

“It’s a shame, but we move on,” he reflected. “I know the first win is coming and we keep pushing because I really want that happening as soon as possible.

Recovering two positions, and by his own measure being “the fastest car on track” in the race’s second half, meant “a boost of confidence” for the remainder of the season, where he “can’t wait to show my real pace”.

Finishing third put Fornaroli in the championship lead by three points, which he called “the only positive thing about today” having gone into the race level on points with two other drivers. His closest rival, Hitech GP’s Luke Browning, finished right on his rear wing in fourth.

“This [points lead] shows the hard work we did during the winter,” added Fornaroli. “From Bahrain, we have been very, very consistent apart from sprint races of Melbourne and of this weekend that were a bit unfortunate. But in the qualifying and the feature race, we were every time there. We have to continue like this. We have to keep pushing and keep staying with the guys in front, securing good results.”