Yuki Tsunoda completed his remarkable upturn of form in Monza, with his, and his team’s first ever win in the FIA Formula 3 Championship. The Jenzer Motorsport driver romped to a third podium in as many races, after a lengthy battle with Jake Hughes, which ended in him finishing ahead of Liam Lawson in second and the HWA RACELAB driver in third.
“For me it wasn’t amazing, if I’m honest I’m disappointed,” admitted Lawson frankly.” I blew it at the start, I had it on the bite point but didn’t get away and the others just drove past us off the line and the race was done there really.
“Those are the conditions I love and excel in, especially when it was wettest early on. Unfortunately I was then stuck behind Scherer, I just didn’t have any speed on the straight and I would make it all up through the corners but it took a while to get past.
“It was tougher as things dried because there was just one dry line. By the time I got through to second I really had used the tyres and didn’t have the traction that Yuki did. Just lost too much in turns one and two, made it up everywhere else but didn’t have a chance to pass.
“Don’t get me wrong, P2 is good and the start is down to me. I can’t help being disappointed though. Those conditions are what we needed.”
Fellow Kiwi Marcus Armstrong tried to salvage something from the disappointment of a penalty in race one which dropped him from second to 21st.
“From start to finish, it has been an uphill battle,” commented Armstrong. “I don’t know what happened in the first corner but it was like a sandwich, and I spun. The pace was pretty good coming back through the field. I had a fun race even if I finished 14th because I was overtaking someone every lap. I think there was nothing more I could do today. What a weekend.”
Tsunoda’s victory marked a successful weekend for Honda Dream drivers, matching his F2 counterpart Nobuharu Matsushita, who won in yesterday’s Feature Race. The feat earns him his seventh points’ finish in a row, having scored just two of them in the first seven of the campaign.
The track was damp from overnight showers and the cars started against a shower of spray, but this didn’t stop Jake Hughes from bolting off the line, as the HWA RACELAB man lunged down the left of polesitter Fabio Scherer and into the lead. Behind him, Tsunoda had started his march from sixth and leapt to third at the first turn.
The Japenese driver pulled off a similar move for second on the next tour of the track. He had Hughes in his sights, but the duo both went wide at Turn 4 as they battled with the greasy track surface. They then collided at the following corner, as Tsunoda’s front wing scraped the back of Hughes’ rear tyre, but luckily they avoided any damage.
Former leader Scherer was struggling to keep Lawson at bay behind him, as the Kiwi eyed his second podium of the season. Less than a second separated the Swiss driver in third, with Leonardo Pulcini in sixth. Space opened up down the side of Scherer and the Red Bull F1 junior took a tow and slipstreamed down the right of him.
Hughes and Tsunoda had begun to pull away from those behind them, collecting a 3s gap, but the battle between the two remained on-going. The Jenzer driver got close enough to gain the advantage of DRS and flashed past the Brit for the lead.
Hughes fought back and went side-by-side with Tsunoda around the outside of Parabolica, but the Japanese driver out-braked him and retained P1. Their drawn out fight for first handed Lawson a shot at P2 and the MP Motorsport man began to attack the back of Hughes. The duo went side-by-side down the pit straight, and with the aid of DRS, and the inside line, the Kiwi completed the move and made it stick at Turn 1.
Tsunoda ran home cleanly at the chequered flag and was followed by Lawson and Hughes in the top three, as Richard Verschoor and Pedro Piquet completed the front five. The final points’ positions went to Pulcini, Scherer and Robert Shwartzman.
The Russian’s P8 finish hands him an extra point in the Championship and marginally stretches his lead to 33 points, ahead of Jehan Daruvala on 147 points. Jüri Vips remains third on 122 and Marcus Armstrong on 119. In the Teams’ standings, Champions PREMA Racing lead with 446, ahead of Hitech Grand Prix on 188, ART Grand Prix on 174, Trident on 105 and HWA RACELAB on 84.
Shwartzman holds the cards heading into the season finale, at his home race in Sochia, Russia, at the end of September.
2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship Round 7 – Race 2 provisional classification
|1||Yuki Tsunoda||Jenzer Motorsport|
|2||Liam Lawson||MP Motorsport|
|3||Jake Hughes||HWA RACELAB|
|4||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport|
|6||Leonardo Pulcini||Hitech Grand Prix|
|7||Fabio Scherer||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz|
|8||Robert Shwartzman||PREMA Racing|
|9||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix|
|10||Logan Sargeant||Carlin Buzz Racing|
|11||Juri Vips||Hitech Grand Prix|
|12||Felipe Drugovich||Carlin Buzz Racing|
|13||Jehan Daruvala||PREMA Racing|
|14||Marcus Armstrong||PREMA Racing|
|17||Raoul Hyman||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz|
|18||Lirim Zendeli||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz|
|19||Ye Yifei||Hitech Grand Prix|
|20||Simo Laaksonen||MP Motorsport|
|21||Max Fewtrell||ART Grand Prix|
|22||Keyvan Andres||HWA RACELAB|
|23||Giorgio Carrara||Jenzer Motorsport|
|24||Andreas Estner||Jenzer Motorsport|
|25||Alessio Deledda||Campos Racing|
|26||Sebastian Fernandez||Campos Racing|
|27||Bent Viscaal||HWA RACELAB|
|28||David Beckmann||ART Grand Prix|
|29||Teppei Natori||Carlin Buzz Racing|
|OVERALL FASTEST LAP|
|Juri Vips (Hitech Grand Prix) – 1:48.890 on Lap 20|
|FASTEST LAP ELIGIBLE FOR POINTS|
|Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) – 1:49.580 on Lap 22|