Home Featured Yuki Tsunoda takes maiden FIA F3 win in thrilling race at Monza

Yuki Tsunoda takes maiden FIA F3 win in thrilling race at Monza

by Rob Hansford

Photo: Joe Portlock / LAT Images / FIA F3 Championship

Yuki Tsunoda has taken his maiden FIA Formula 3 win in a thrilling second race at Monza, beating fellow Red Bull junior Liam Lawson.

As the lights went out, it was Jake Hughes who got the best start on the wet track, taking the lead from pole-sitter Fabio Scherer, having started third on the grid, and the HWA Racelab driver went on to settle in at the front whilst the others battled hard for second behind him.

Tsunoda managed to pass Scherer for second on lap two, and the Jenzer Motorsport driver then set off in pursuit of Hughes and had closed the gap down by lap 5, when the pair came together at Turn 1.

Despite the contact, both drivers managed to escape without any damage, although the incident left Tsunoda dropping off Hughes and back into Scherer’s grasp.

On lap eight, Scherer tried to pass Tsunoda going into Turn 1, but was forced to back out of it, which allowed Lawson to attempt a move on Scherer at the next chicane, although the wet conditions meant he was unable to slow down in time and had to back out of it.

But two laps later Scherer went wide whilst braking for Turn 1, and Lawson made his move up to third, while Richard Verschoor also managed to get passed Scherer for fourth at the same spot on lap 11.

With the track conditions getting drier as the race went on, Hughes’ engineer was on the radio telling him to cool his tyres, but the 25-year-old was unable to hear what they were saying, and this allowed Tsunoda to close the gap, having looked after his tyres better.

The pair went clear of the rest of the field in the battle for the lead, and at the mid-way stage, had a three second gap to Lawson in third.

Tsunoda eventually managed to take the lead away from Hughes at Turn 1 on lap 15, but a lap later Hughes made a great move around the outside of his Red Bull Junior rival at the Parabolica to get into first, only for Tsunoda to get the place back at the end of the start-finish straight.

That fight allowed Lawson to close up on the pair, making it a three-way fight for the lead, and he eventually passed Hughes for second on lap 18.

Richard Vershoor ended the race in fourth, while Pedro Piquet made a late pass on Leonardo Pulcini for fifth place on the last lap.

Scherer ended up falling back through the field to finish seventh, ahead of championship leader Robert Shwartzman, while Christian Lundgaard and Logan Sargeant rounded out the top ten.

Although it was a difficult race for Shwartzman, he still extended his championship lead, with his title rivals Juri Vips, Jehan Daruvala and Marcus Armstrong all failing to score points, as the trio finished 11th, 13th and 14th respectively.

Shwartzman’s lead is now 33 points over Daruvala going to the final round in Sochi, with Vips and Armstrong slipping out of contention.


Race results (22 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Yuki Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport 41m11.470s
2 Liam Lawson MP Motorsport +1.312s
3 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab +2.018s
4 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport +2.803s
5 Pedro Piquet Triden +6.861s
6 Leonardo Pulcini Hitech GP +7.930s
7 Fabio Scherer Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +14.329s
8 Robert Shwartzman Prema +14.952s
9 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix +15.019s
10 Logan Sargeant Carlin +16.320s
11 Juri Vips Hitech GP +16.417s
12 Felipe Drugovich Carlin +19.285s
13 Jehan Daruvala Prema +22.373s
14 Marcus Armstrong Prema +23.517s
15 Niko Kari Trident +25.101s
16 Devlin DeFrancesco Trident +25.759s
17 Raoul Hyman Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +25.970s
18 Lirim Zendeli Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +30.267s
19 Yifei Ye Hitech GP +35.425s
20 Simo Laaksonen MP Motorsport +36.412s
21 Max Fewtrell ART Grand Prix +37.328s
22 Keyvan Andres HWA Racelab +38.842s
23 Giorgio Carrara Jenzer Motorsport +44.302s
24 Andreas Estner Jenzer Motorsport +47.238s
25 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing +1m16.932s
26 Sebastian Fernandez Campos Racing +1m37.975s
27 Bent Viscaal HWA Racelab +1 lap
28 David Beckmann ART Grand Prix +1 lap
29 Teppei Natori Carlin +1 lap
Fastest lap: Vips, 1m48.890s

Championship standings
1 Shwartzman 180? ?2 Daruvala 147? ?3 Vips 122? ?4 Armstrong 119? ?5 Lundgaard 97? ?6 Piquet 90? ?7 Hughes 74? ?8 Tsunoda 67? ?9 Pulcini 66? ?10 Fewtrell 57