Home Z - Archive seriesFIA European F3 Verstappen claims ninth win as Ocon is crowned champion

Verstappen claims ninth win as Ocon is crowned champion

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Photo: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Photo: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Max Verstappen saw off Prema Powerteam’s Antonio Fuoco to take victory in race three of the FIA F3 round at Imola, which did not stop another Prema driver Esteban Ocon from securing the drivers’ title a round early.

Verstappen started from pole but was somewhat slow off the line, having to move to the right to cover Ocon. This allowed third-placed Fuoco to move to the left and, as the three drivers went side-by-side into turn one, it was the Italian who emerged in the lead, with Verstappen squeezing Ocon to keep second.

Further on in the lap, Carlin’s Ed Jones collided with teammate Antonio Giovinazzi as multiple cars skipped through the gravel. With Jones off in the gravel and Giovinazzi losing his left-rear tyre, the safety car was deployed.

The marshals didn’t take long to clean up the track but, shortly after the race was restarted with the top drivers staying in position, the safety car had to come out again as Sandro Zeller went off in the gravel.

Verstappen then managed to perfectly time the subsequent second restart and pulled off an audacious move on Fuoco around the outside into Variante Tamburello to claim the lead.

The Red Bull junior driver proceeded to storm off into the distance and, while there was yet another safety car as Jordan King and Felix Rosenqvist came to blows, it did not do much to liven up the fight for victory.

With all the stoppages, the race ran to time and saw Verstappen take the checkered flag after 17 laps.

Fuoco took second, whilst his teammate Ocon drove a calm race in third, clinching the series title.

Another Prema driver Nicholas Latifi took fourth after clearing Tom Blomqvist on the opening lap, with the Brit settling for fifth place.

Will Buller fought past Jake Dennis to claim sixth, while the RSF-backed Carlin driver kept Lucas Auer at bay for seventh.

Felix Serralles and Gustavo Menezes completed the top ten.

Race results
Pos. Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Max Verstappen Van Amersfoort Racing 17 laps in 36:15.097
2 Antonio Fuoco Prema Powerteam +2.100
3 Esteban Ocon Prema Powerteam +3.066
4 Nicholas Latifi Prema Powerteam +3.650
5 Tom Blomqvist Jagonya Ayam with Carlin +4.030
6 Will Buller Signature +6.799
7 Jake Dennis Carlin +7.421
8 Lucas Auer kfzteile24 Mucke Motorsport +7.960
9 Felix Serralles Team West-Tec +8.291
10 Gustavo Menezes Van Amersfoort Racing +9.391
11 Jordan King Carlin +10.135
12 Roy Nissany kfzteile24 Mucke Motorsport +11.070
13 Dennis van de Laar Prema Powerteam +11.969
14 Jules Szymkowiak Van Amersfoort Racing +12.786
15 Alexander Toril ThreeBond with T-Sport +13.846
16 Santino Ferrucci Fortec Motorsports +16.144
17 Michele Beretta EuroInternational +17.479
18 Chang Wing Chung Team West-Tec +17.998
19 Spike Goddard ThreeBond with T-Sport +18.254
20 Hong Wei Cao Fortec Motorsports +19.089
21 Sergio Sette Camara EuroInternational +19.395
22 Nick Cassidy ThreeBond with T-Sport +24.934
Not classified
Felix Rosenqvist kfzteile24 Mucke Motorsport +7 laps
Tatiana Calderon Jo Zeller Racing +12 laps
Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin +13 laps
Sandro Zeller Jo Zeller Racing +14 laps
Ed Jones Carlin +17 laps
Antonio Giovinazzi Jagonya Ayam with Carlin +17 laps