Verstappen celebrates maiden F3 victory
In the sixth season round of the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Max Verstappen scored the maiden win for his team Van Amersfoort Racing at the Hockenheimring. 16-year-old Dutchman, led from lights to flag and finished ahead of Lotus F1 junior driver Esteban Ocon and Ferrari Driver Academy protege Antonio Fuoco, both for Prema Powerteam. Ocon, who won Race 2 on Sunday morning, extended his points’ lead with his fifth podium finish from six races.
In Race 3 Verstappen used the benefit of pole position and took the lead straight away. The son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen led by Ocon and Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). Meanwhile, John Bryant-Meisner (Fortec Motorsport), Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3) collided in the midfield, which brought the safety car out for a brief while. After the restart, Verstappen remained in the lead from Ocon and Fuoco, who inherited third place as Swede Rosenqvist retired. Eventually, Roy Nissany (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Riccardo Agostini (Eurointernational) scored their first points of the season after finishing in eighth, ninth and tenth place respectively.
In Race 2, Ocon took the lead from Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) at the start and took the chequered flag as the winner after 22 laps. Giovinazzi and Edward Jones (Carlin) finished in second and third place respectively. Verstappen didn’t start as he parked his car at the side of the track due to a gearshift problem. Ocon took the lead from Giovinazzi and Jones. Serrallés overtook Rosenqvist for fourth on the opening lap while Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam) also overtook the Swede on the first lap of the race. During the race, Ocon and Giovinazzi pulled clear from the rest of the field while Jones had to defend his position from Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Blomqvist, the two already having overtaken Serrallés. This battle was briefly interrupted on lap 20 after Michele Beretta (Eurointernational) had come off the track and the safety car was deployed. Racing resumed after one lap; Ocon remained in front of Giovinazzi. Fourth-placed Auer attacked Jones on the final two laps, but the driver from the United Arab Emirates skilfully defended his position and kept the Austrian at bay. Eventually, the Carlin driver was rewarded with third place behind winner Ocon and Giovinazzi. Blomqvist, Latifi, Rosenqvist, Serrallés, Jordan King and Jake Dennis (Carlin) rounded out the top ten.