Ferrari junior gets race ban in F3 clampdown

Weekend Racing Wrap

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The European Formula Three drivers had been warned and after more woeful driving in last weekend’s round at Spa-Francorchamps the stewards took action.

Lance Stroll, one of Ferrari’s junior drivers and the reigning Italian Formula Four champion, was banned from the weekend’s third race after taking himself and two other drivers out while fighting for the lead in the previous event.

Elsewhere World Rallycross had a first time winner, the reigning World Touring Car Champion failed to win a race for the second round in a row, and the V8 Supercars were back in action after a one-month break.

Catch up on the weekend’s action below.

European Formula 3

Round 5: Spa-Francorchamps

“I can officially state that I’ve lost all my trust of other drivers,” fumed Felix Rosenqvist on Twitter after this weekend’s races. “This is not racing, its dangerous.” Rosenqvist, who’s won more races than any other F3 driver this year, was involved in collisions at Les Combes in all three races at Spa.

The first came at the end of an exciting three-way scrap for victory between him, Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi. Leclerc profited as his rivals tangled (see first video), Rosenqvist was able to salvage second and Alexander Albon completed the podium.

But race two brought back memories of the dire weekend in Monza which led to one race being abandoned. Jake Dennis won after a collision eliminated the leading trio of Lance Stroll, Mikkel Jensen and Rosenqvist (see second video).

The Safety Car was kept busy throughout the race as first Kang Ling speared Julio Moreno at the chicane and later Gustavo Menezes was fortunate to survive a horrific accident after contact with Brandon Maisano. The Carlin driver flew into the barrier backwards and upside down, and the race finished behind the Safety Car.

The marshals banned Stroll from race three and handed Maisano a grid penalty for his role in the Menezes crash. Dennis took his second win in a row after pressuring Jensen into spinning off and crashing. On a damp track the race was briefly led by Tatiana Calderon, who unlike many of her rivals chose to start on wets, but as she dropped back Leclerc took second place – and the championship lead.

Next race: Norisring (27th-28th June)

World Touring Car Championship

Round 6: Automotodrom Slovakia Ring, Solvakia

Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez was kept from the top step of the podium for a second race weekend in a row, this time by two of his Citroen team mates. Yvan Muller led him home in race one, with Sebastien Loeb third ahead of Rob Huff’s Lada. Guest driver Nestor Girolami, a regular in the Argentina’s TC2000 series, took the final point in tenth.

The podium trio lined up eight, ninth and tenth for race two – but again finished in the top three places. This time it was Loeb who took the victory plaudits, and another second place for Lopez meant Muller only took five points out of his championship lead over the weekend. It was another forgettable weekend for Honda, Gabriele Tarquini scoring their best result with fourth ahead of Hugo Valente and pole sitter Jaap van Lagen.

Next race: Paul Ricard, France (28th June)

V8 Supercars

Round 5: Darwin

Chaz Mostert won the first of three races (above) in Darwin under the series Super Sprint format, with team mate Mark Winterbottom giving Prodrive Ford a one-two. Mostert out-dragged Holden’s James Courtney at the start. Front runners Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen, while Jamie Whincup could only manage 11th and team mate Craig Lowndes 18th. The Safety Car made two appearances – both due to grass fires!

Race two was a happier affair for Lowndes, who set a new record by becoming the first driver in the championship to take 100 wins – appropriately he did it in the 888th race for his Triple Eight Holden team. Lowndes started fifth but avoided a collision between front row occupants Coulthard an Rick Kelly to take the lead. Tim Slade took second, forcing Mostert to settle for third.

The final race saw David Reynolds victorious for the first time this year, beating the again impressive Mostert by nine tenths of a second. He lost the lead to Coulthard at the start, but got back ahead after the first pit stop and stayed ahead despite of going off-track briefly late in the race.

After 15 of 37 races, Winterbottom tops the table with 1,165 points, Lowndes is second with 1,070 and Coulthard is third on 1,010.

Next race: Townsville (11th-12th July)

World Rallycross

Round 5: Estering, Germany

Davy Jeanney dominated the event ahead of reigning champion Petter Solberg. However Solberg extended his points lead over Johan Kristoffersson – who could only manage fourth.

Timmy Hansen completed the podium, ensuring a one-three for Team Peugeot-Hansen, their best ever combined finish.

Next race: Holjesbanan, Sweden (4th-5th July)

Also last weekend

Nico Rosberg took victory in the Austrian Grand Prix to close within ten points of Lewis Hamilton.

In GP2 the fight for victory was closer but the championship is decidedly one-sided. Stoffel Vandoorne took his fourth feature race win out of four, then fought from eighth to second in race two. Rio Haryanto hung on to win despite pressure from the McLaren driver and a damaged front wing.

Luca Ghiotto converted a pole position into victory in the first GP3 race, while a storming drive from ninth on the grid saw team mate Oscar Tunjo win race two. Another Ferrari junior driver was on the wrong side of the stewards following a collision with his team mate: Antonio Fuoco tangled with Jann Mardenborough in race two, earning a three-places grid penalty for Silverstone.

Ghiotto now enjoys a 19-point championship lead over Marvin Kirchhofer, as Esteban Ocon was excluded from third place when his car failed a technical check.

Over to you

Next weekend the first Formula E champion will be decided in a double-header event in London. At the opposite end of the speed spectrum, IndyCar will be in action on the Fontana superspeedway and NASCAR takes in one of its two road courses as it heads to Sonoma.

The European F3 drivers will have to be on their best behaviour at the tricky Norising street circuit where they will be supporting the DTM. The WTCC feld heads immediately to Paul Ricard where hopefully some Auto GP cars will turn up to race as well.

Meanwhile in the British Touring Car Championship Lewis Hamilton’s younger brother Nicolas will make his debut in an Audi S3 at the Croft round.

Tell us about your race weekend viewing plans – and what you enjoyed last week – in the comments.

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18 comments on “Ferrari junior gets race ban in F3 clampdown”

  1. FlyingLobster27
    22nd June 2015, 13:26

    This will come as no surprise to anyone who’s read my posts in this topic before: I watched the Blancpain Series. Just a week after listening to more than 16 hours of the Le Mans 24, I sat down for all six hours of a day-to-night GT3 race at Paul Ricard (and my social life is what it is, thank you very much).
    It was just brilliant. I’ll stick to making four points about the race, to avoid taking too much time out of my day.

    -Well over 50 cars getting through turn one without damage inflicted (for the third time this year) is a sight to behold. There was drama at turn 4 though, that took the two previous race winners out.
    -Race control decided not to police track limits at the long right-hander after the Mistral straight, claiming it wasn’t advantageous. The fact that everyone was doing it, putting all four wheels on the second to third blue stripe beyond the white line between the apexes, proved them outrageously wrong. It did lead to a variety of amusing lines though.
    -The Marc VDS BMW climbed up the field having started from pit lane, that is behind SIXTY other cars. In the third hour, it was already fighting a Bentley for a top-10 spot! And that fight was epic, as Andy Meyrick tried to hold on against a faster Maxime Martin. Classic stuff, and it took a brave and intelligent use of the traffic to resolve the battle.
    -After a safety car period put ten lapped cars between first and second, the leading Nissan driven by Katsumasa Chiyo made good on its clear-track advantage, only to be reeled in late in the last hour, and in the dark, by Steven Kane in the Bentley. I won’t spoil the end in case someone wants to watch highlights… but what. a. race.

    After last weekend, I made up my mind to go to the Le Mans 24 Hours next year. After this weekend, I’m thinking I shoud perhaps slot a Blancpain Endurance event in there too.

  2. You always somehow skip the Blancpain series. Next to WEC surely the top GT series…

    With 83 cars a massive and impressive field. Nissan could not impress in Le Mans but surely did in Paul Ricard. Audi #1 (the new R8) had trouble early on ruling him out of contention after a poor qualy. The Huracan seemed to take its first win after the DSQ from the Monza round but also an issue halted their hopes. The Bentleys where there but could never really challenge the Nissan (P1; Wolfgang Reip, Alex Buncombe, Katsumasa Chiyo) or Lamborghini.

    1. FlyingLobster27
      22nd June 2015, 13:45

      They have to make a choice, @xtwl, which I understand fully. Plus it gives us a chance to report on it! ;) Actually, the number of starters was 63, which is roughly how many there’ll be at the 24 Hours of Spa in July.
      Back to the round-up, it’s still a pity they overlook some of the weekend’s best action to talk about… WTCC. I follow it without watching, but even so, I can’t get over the fact that there is still six more weekends of “Citroën locks out podium”. Ugh, end it already.

      1. Admittedly the Citroen domination does get tiresome, although race two in Russia was a real cracker for the WTCC. And it’s a big Championship in it’s own right, an FIA endorsed Touring Car Championship, it would be odd not to cover it. And we can’t just stop covering a series because it’s boring, otherwise this website would no longer be F1 Fanatic! Haha.

        However, if there are a number of people interested in the Blancpain series (@xtwl) then I’ll have a look into it and have a word with Keith, and see what we can do. Do they have a YouTube channel where they upload videos fairly soon after the race?

        1. @bradley13 Every session is broadcasted live on Youtube under the user ‘GT Live’ If I’m not mistaken.

  3. It seems like every idiot in FIA F3(and there are many) has conspired to stop Rosenquist from winning the championship. And the officials aren’t helping with useless collective punishments

    This weekend was a step in the right direction with the ban of Stroll and black flag for Pommer. These punishments should become a common occurence until the driving standards improve dramatically, if the series is not to become a joke

    1. @montreal95 i was thinking the exact same thing. rosenqvist would be leading the standings easily if he hadn’t been taken out so much. also two races in monza were only awarded with half points and he won all three races there. hope he’s used up all of his bad luck now.


    Super GT had another fantastic race in Thailand, broadcast by the crew at NISMO who also covered BES earlier in the day.

    1. FlyingLobster27
      22nd June 2015, 20:49

      Cheers @rjoconnell , good to know there’s a source to see the Super GT. And nice race indeed.
      I’ll be watching some DTM next weekend; it’ll be interesting to see how these two championships, who are heading towards the same tech rules, come together at one point, as Super GT run semi-endurance races while DTM have reverted to full sprint.

      1. The rumor mill is currently leaning towards BMW making a soft launch into the GT500 class before 2017. Right now they have what’s essentially a works team in GT300.

  5. And to think FIA F3 gets you more points towards a Superlicence than WSR…

    1. Fair point.

    2. *than FR3.5 @sharoncom ;)

      WSR is more than just FR3.5, and FR3.5 is more than just WSR.
      WSR is a series of meetings where multiple race classes race: FR3.5, FR2.0 and the Renault Sport Trophy.

      On the other hand, not all FR3.5 races are held during WSR meetings but they are all counted towards the championship. In 2015 these are the Monaco and Austria weekends.

  6. Nestor Girolami isn’t just a regular, he’s the current TC2000 champion, and while that’s something he’s surely proud of, he’s not the best of the lot.

    It’s rumoured that he’s looking at the possibility of a full time WTCC drive next season.

  7. The V8 Supercars action was just fantastic this weekend. The newer direction (COTF) of the sport is working out brilliantly. It is great to see a grid with some of the title contenders hitting issues and being close to the back and entertaining us by running to the front.

    It could really teach F1 some things, the cars are regularly a second apart from P1-25 and it was no difference this weekend. The closeness of the cars really promotes racing and effective overtaking opportunities. It was great to see the emotion from Nick Percat after being punted off the road- something F1 drivers would never do.

    Marcos Ambrose looks like a genius stepping out from the cockpit now- DJR Team Penske have made true progress, with a great driver in Scott Pye. It has definitely helped the team and also Ambrose himself, when he steps back in (presumably when they get a second car back) the team will be far more competitive and Marcos will feel he isn’t letting down the team whilst he learns.

    It’s awesome to watch Prodrive at the front, finally with someone different, since the Australian Grand Prix. RBR and HRT look to be close to the front and with a bit more time they should be. The new pay TV rights have really benefited the diehard fans of the sport with the horrible Fta coverage gone and replaced by live sessions for once.

    1. @ambroserpm, the thing is, part of the reason why the cars are so close is because they are virtually all identical.

      They all use the same chassis, the same brakes, suspension system and tyres, whilst the aerodynamic packages are wind tunnel tested to ensure that they provide the same performance for each manufacturer. If you were to go down the same route in F1, however, the fan base would be up in arms about it…

  8. @bradley19 Fuoco took out my Thai hero Sandy Stuvik, but u don’t mention

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