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FIA F3 Le Castellet, France preview

FIA F3 Le Castellet, France preview

20.06.2019: FIA Formula 3 Championship 2019 Round 2 Preview: Le Castellet Circuit Paul Ricard All of the vital information ahead of F3's second round of 2019 The Stakes

FIA Formula 3 Championship
2019 Round 2 Preview: Le Castellet
Circuit Paul Ricard



 
All of the vital information ahead of F3's second round of 2019
 


The Stakes

      


The wait is over as Le Castellet welcomes the F3 paddock for Round 2 of the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship, six weeks after the first race weekend of the season.
 


A sun-drenched Barcelona hosted this season’s first wheel-to-wheel action with 30 cars battling it out on track, but it was PREMA Racing who reigned in Spain. Trident’s Pedro Piquet had set the benchmark during Free Practice but, led by Robert Shwartzman, three of the top four places in Qualifying were occupied by PREMA machines. ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard split the pack on the front row.



The Danish driver then took the lead into Turn 1 and didn’t look back, only to be demoted to second place after being given a late five-second penalty. Therefore it was Shwartzman who made history as F3’s first race winner after a solid drive. Nobody could catch teammate Jehan Daruvala in Race 2, as the Italian team took 81 points to cap off a very impressive weekend.
 


Shwartzman (37 pts) leads Lundgaard (24 pts) at the top of the standings, with Daruvala (23 pts) just a point further behind in third; PREMA Racing are the early front-runners in the Teams’ Championship with 81 points, 32 ahead of ART Grand Prix (49 pts) in second, with Hitech Grand Prix in third with 20 points.
 


Circuit Paul Ricard plays host to F3 for the second round of the championship, and the drivers will be hoping to avoid the colourful run-off areas as they fight hard to make their mark on the young season. Pirelli are supplying teams with Medium compound tyres, and the number of cars battling it out on track this weekend is set to provide plenty of entertainment.
 





Mario Isola, Pirelli Head of F1 and Car Racing


 
“Pirelli is the title sponsor of the Grand Prix de France, so it’s great to have all three championships that we supply – Formula 1, Formula 2, and Formula 3 – in action over the weekend. We can expect high temperatures and smooth asphalt in France, with generally low degradation.



With this being only the second round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship, the teams are still learning about the car-tyre package all the time, so it will be intriguing to see who gets to grips with what is required at Paul Ricard fastest. It isn’t the easiest circuit to overtake on, so strategy can make a significant difference.”
 




Season Stats

 


81 The total number of points PREMA Racing earned in Round 1.


22 The highest number of laps led this season is shared between Christian Lundgaard and Jehan Daruvala.


13 The points gap between Robert Shwartzman and Lundgaard at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.



6 The number of different podium finishers after the opening two races of the season.
 





Noteworthy
 



PREMA Racing teammates Robert Shwartzman and Jehan Daruvala made history in Barcelona after winning Race 1 and Race 2 respectively – the first races of the inaugural FIA Formula 3 Championship.
 


PREMA and ART Grand Prix were the only teams to see all three of their drivers score points in both races.
 


10 different drivers scored points in Round 1 – Shwartzman, Daruvala and Marcus Armstrong of PREMA, ART’s Christian Lundgaard, David Beckmann and Max Fewtrell, Jüri Vips of Hitech Grand Prix, Niko Kari from Trident, MP Motorsport’s Simo Laaksonen and Jenzer Motorsport’s Yuki Tsunoda.
 


Just 23 points separate Shwartzman at the top of the Driver’s Championship and Beckmann in seventh.
 


29 drivers will compete the second round at Circuit Paul Ricard with Jenzer Motorsport only running two cars in France.
 


Lundgaard was the fastest overall driver around Circuit Paul Ricard during the F3 testing event at Le Castellet in March, with a time of 1:48.786.s
 





- Alexa Quintin, photo FIA F3

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/fia-f3-le-castellet-france-preview---192735.html

20.06.2019 / MaP

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