Armstrong and Zhou lead European Formula 3

19 Jul 2018

After four rounds, Ferrari Driver Academy drivers are first and second in the championship, split by a single point. Shwartzman on the up.

Marcus Armstrong has increased his lead in the European FIA Formula 3 championship, thanks to a big points haul at Holland’s Zandvoort circuit, in round four of the season. The 17 year old Ferrari Driver Academy student is now on 131 points, with Guan Yu Zhou now in second spot just one point behind.

The Chinese Ferrari Driver Academy student’s weekend got off to a great start as he took pole for Race 1 before going on to finish second. He had to fight his way to third in Race 2, coming from the third row of the grid. Zhou did it again in Race 3, finishing second from fourth on the grid.

In Race 1, Armstrong held on to his grid position of fourth and then, in the second race he staged a great climb up the order from the third row of the grid to the second step of the podium. “We had a new clutch when meant we got good starts,” explained Marcus. “I’m happy with the result, especially in the second race. Setting the race fastest laps shows that our potential in the race was very good and I think the points I scored here will be very important come the end of the year.” Armstrong’s chances of a good result in the final race at Zandvoort came to nothing in qualifying, when he was slowed by a technical problem, which meant he started from the back row of the grid and only managed to finish 16th.

“This was definitely a positive weekend,” said Zhou. “Although in Race 1, I was hoping for more than second place after starting from pole. We had a good pace and the whole team did a fantastic job. I scored a lot of points and, especially in Race 3, I didn’t want to take any risks at the start. There’s still a long way to go in the championship and it will be important to make the most of any opportunity to move forward in the points table, as I did this weekend.” The Zandvoort weekend highlighted the work down by the Prema team, which made a clean sweep of the podium places in the first two races. This technical edge also saw Robert Shwartzman finish twice in the points, to make it into the top ten of the classification.

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