PaddockScout gives you the lowdown on last weekend’s action from the opening round of the FIA F3 European Championship as well as Auto GP, Formula Ford and Formula Renault 1.6.
FIA F3 European Championship: Ocon and Fuoco shine on debut
Rookies came to the fore on the opening weekend of the FIA F3 European Championship at Silverstone, with Esteban Ocon claiming an early championship lead. The Lotus F1 junior finished second in race one, claimed victory in race two and then finished third in race three.
Ferrari counterpart Antonio Fuoco enjoyed a similar impressive time on what was his first race weekend in F3 (Prema team-mate Ocon made his international debut in Macau last November). He beat the pole-sitting Frenchman off the line to win race three, following a fourth and a third in the earlier races.
Max Verstappen was the other newcomer to star, as the 16-year-old followed his impressive off-season performances with frontrunning pace at the start of his first proper single-seater campaign. He sustained first-lap damage in race one but came back to take fifth in race two and then pass Ocon to finish second in race three.
Tom Blomqvist made the most of Carlin’s competitiveness to collect his first win in the series in race one. A fourth and a sixth in the remaining races leave him third in the standings, but it seems the third-year driver is going to have his work cut out to keep up with Prema’s prodigious pair of 17-year-olds for the rest of the season. Fellow Carlin driver Jordan King completed the race one podium, while Nicholas Latifi was in the middle of a Prema podium lockout in race two and sits fourth in the points ahead of Verstappen and King.
Mucke Motorsport had a very subdued opening weekend, with off-season favourites Lucas Auer and Felix Rosenqvist only managing best finishes of fifth and seventh respectively.
|FIA F3 European Championship Round 1/11 ? Silverstone, UK|
Report: Blomqvist takes maiden FIA F3 win on home turf at Silverstone
|1st: Tom Blomqvist||2nd: Esteban Ocon||3rd: Jordan King|
Report: Ocon claims debut FIA F3 victory in Prema 1-2-3 in race two
|1st: Esteban Ocon||2nd: Nicholas Latifi||3rd: Antonio Fuoco|
Report: Fuoco controls final race of FIA F3 opener
|1st: Antonio Fuoco||2nd: Max Verstappen||3rd: Esteban Ocon|
|1||Esteban Ocon||58 pts|
|2||Antonio Fuoco||52 pts|
|3||Tom Blomqvist||43 pts|
|4||Nicholas Latifi||38 pts|
|5||Max Verstappen||28 pts|
|6||Jordan King||25 pts|
|Next round: Hockenheim (3-4 May)|
Auto GP: Kiss and Giovesi joins winners list
Tamas Pal Kiss scored his maiden Auto GP win in race one at Paul Ricard. The Hungarian made the most of the pitstop phase to move to the front of a four-way battle with the series’ other leading drivers Kevin Giovesi, Markus Pommer and Kimiya Sato. With a second-place in race two, Kiss has moved into third in the standings, only 16 points off the lead.
Giovesi led race one early on from his second pole in as many weekends, but a late stop saw him to fall to fourth. However, the Italian youngster finally claimed his first victory in race two, having had two wins taken away by penalties in 2013. The four top drivers in the standings have now claimed one win each from the first four races.
GP2 driver Sato saw his early championship advantage eroded by a single point. The Japanese driver finished third in both races, while Super Nova rookie Pommer took a second and a fourth to cut the gap to Sato to 13 points.
|Auto GP Round 2/8 ? Le Castellet, France|
Report: Tamas Pal Kiss takes first Auto GP win at Paul Ricard
|1st: Tamas Pal Kiss||2nd: Markus Pommer||3rd: Kimiya Sato|
Report: Giovesi secures maiden Auto GP win in wet Paul Ricard race
|1st: Kevin Giovesi||2nd: Tamas Pal Kiss||3rd: Kimiya Sato|
|1||Kimiya Sato||68 pts|
|2||Markus Pommer||55 pts|
|3||Tamas Pal Kiss||52 pts|
|4||Kevin Giovesi||36 pts|
|5||Michela Cerrruti||34 pts|
|6||Andrea Roda||30 pts|
|Next round: Hungaroring (3-4 May)|
Formula Ford GB: Two more wins for Kruger
Jayde Kruger extended his advantage at the top of the Formula Ford GB standings with another two wins at Donington Park. The 26-year-old South African held off the advances of Sam Brabham and Harrison Scott to win race one and benefited from trouble for his two main rivals to inherit the race three victory. He had to settle for sixth in the reversed-grid second race.
Scott followed up third in race one with victory in race two, and was leading race three until engine failure gifted the win to Kruger. He had earlier benefited from Brabham crashing out when set for his maiden win, following second and fifth in the earlier races.
Connor Mills enjoyed by far his best weekend to-date, bettering his previous best finish of seventh when he claimed second in race two from seventh on the grid, followed by a fourth in race three. Max Marshall scored his first podium with second to JTR team-mate Kruger in race three, while Juan Rosso claimed third in races two and three.
|Formula Ford GB Round 2/10 ? Donington Park, UK|
Report: Kruger holds off Brabham to win opening race at Donington
|1st: Jayde Kruger||2nd: Sam Brabham||3rd: Harrison Scott|
Report: Harrison Scott takes first win of 2014 at Donington
|1st: Harrison Scott||2nd: Connor Mills||3rd: Juan Rosso|
Report: Kruger escapes with victory in dramatic Donington finale
|1st: Jayde Kruger||2nd: Max Marshall||3rd: Juan Rosso|
|1||Jayde Kruger||158 pts|
|2||Harrison Scott||133 pts|
|3||James Abbott||126 pts|
|4||Juan Rosso||125 pts|
|5||Max Marshall||120 pts|
|6||Chris Mealin||86 pts|
|Next round: Thruxton (3-4 May)|
Formula Renault 1.6 NEC: De Pasquale at the double on European bow
Anton De Pasquale made a great impression on his first race weekend in Europe with wins in the first two races of the Formula Renault 1.6 NEC Junior season at Zandvoort on Easter Monday. After claiming pole for both races, the 18-year-old – who has made the trip to the Northern Hemisphere as the last ever Australian Formula Ford champion – lost the lead on the first lap of race one but reclaimed P1 and later led race two from start to finish.
Larry ten Voorde, who finished fourth in 2013, was the man that beat De Pasquale off the line in race one but would have to settle for second place. In race two he was relegated to third by De Pasquale’s Lechner team-mate Ferdinand Habsburg, a karting graduate rated highly by Alexander Wurz, who was seventh in race one.
Janneau Esmeijer, third last year, completed the podium in race one and was fourth in race two.
|Formula Renault 1.6 NEC Junior Round 1/7 ? Zandvoort, Netherlands|
Report: De Pasquale triumphs on 1.6 debut at Zandvoort
|1st: Anton De Pasquale||2nd: Larry ten Voorde||3rd: Janneau Esmeijer|
Report: De Pasquale outclasses opposition in second Zandvoort race
|1st: Anton De Pasquale||2nd: Ferdinand Habsburg||3rd: Larry ten Voorde|
|1||Anton De Pasquale||60 pts|
|2||Larry ten Voorde||44 pts|
|3||Ferdinand Habsburg||38 pts|
|4||Janneau Esmeijer||37 pts|
|5||Florian Janits||30 pts|
|6||Oliver Soderstrom||30 pts|
|Next round: Spa-Francorchamps (31 May-1 June)|
Star Driver: Esteban Ocon
There are certainly some special drivers in the FIA F3 European Championship this year, and for Ocon to lead the championship at the end of his debut weekend confirms that he is definitely one of the most exciting talents around.