A matter of days after a successful start to the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series the teams and drivers are already en route for their second showdown of the season, at the Italian Grand Prix circuit of Monza.
Briton Jack Harvey leads the pack overseas thanks to a win and a second place in Saturday’s Oulton Park races, and the Racing Steps Foundation driver will be hoping to build on that success this weekend (14/15 Apr) – not least because Sunday will be his 19th birthday.
His Carlin team-mates will be hoping to get in on the victory act too, not least because Pipo Derani and Felix Serralles shared the other Oulton wins to hand the Fortec Motorsport team an important early psychological advantage. Notwithstanding that, Carlin men Harvey, Jazeman Jaafar, Harry Tincknell and Carlos Sainz hold the top four positions in the championship.
The Oulton Park highlight for Carlin’s fifth man, Pietro Fantin, was a second-place finish in the reverse-grid race. The 20-year-old Brazilian is looking forward to the long straights of Monza, where a strong performance in qualifying is not so crucial: “At somewhere like Oulton Park, qualifying is all that matters; at Monza qualifying matters hardly at all. There, it is about having a good and consistent car and racing well.
“My main problem at the moment is with qualifying: I am struggling to put together the perfect lap. But for Monza this is not so important and I just need to race well and to focus and be consistent. My ambition is to win.”
Last year’s Monza rounds saw eventual champion Felipe Nasr bounce back from qualifying problems to claim twin wins. Fantin’s countryman started races one and three from eighth on the grid and battled through to win each by more than two seconds. Felipe was second in the reverse-grid race, too, to establish a championship lead he would never lose.
In the National class, Spike Goddard heads to Italy unbeaten for the T-Sport team and with the aim of extending his advantage over his class rival and fellow Australian Duvashen Padayachee (Double R).
British F3 on TV
Last weekend’s Oulton Park races will be screened in the UK this Saturday at 0725 on Channel 4 – in HD quality for the first time – and on Sunday on satellite channel Motors TV at 2135. Full TV schedules: www.formula3.co/calendar/tv-times
Provisional championship standings after Round 3
1 Jack Harvey (GBR/Carlin) 41 points; 2 Jazeman Jaafar (MAS/Carlin) 35; 3 Harry Tincknell (GBR/Carlin) 32; 4 Carlos Sainz (ESP/Carlin) 30; 5 Felix Serralles (PUR/Fortec) 29; 6 Pipo Derani (BRA/Fortec) 23 etc. National class 1 Spike Goddard (AUS/T-Sport) 63; 2 Duvashen Padayachee (AUS/Double R) 45.
Monza timetable (all times CET)
Fri 13 Apr 0900-0945 & 1400-1445 free practice
Sat 14 Apr 1045-1115 qualifying; 1500 Race 1 (30 mins)
Sun 15 Apr 0915 Race 2 (20 mins); 1255 Race 3 (40 mins)