Season review, part 2/4

With 10 race weekends and 30 races in five European countries contested, the successful FIA Formula 3 European Championship debut season is over. The best up-and-coming motor-racing talents demonstrated their skills in front of hundreds of thousands of motor-racing enthusiasts on site and followed by a remarkable TV audience. Thanks to podiums secured by their drivers, the three British teams, Carlin, Fortec Motorsports and ThreeBond with T-Sport, can look back on a successful FIA Formula 3 European Championship season with podiums secured by their drivers.

Experienced Formula 3 driver Harry Tincknell assumed the team-leader position at Carlin and secured two podiums, this year. The Briton proved to be particularly competitive at his home circuits: at Silverstone, he celebrated a race win and in one of the races contested at Brands Hatch he finished runner-up. In the end, Tincknell finished fifth in the championship. His team-mate Jordan King, who advanced to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship as Formula Renault NEC Vice-Champion, was particularly delighted with having finished second at Zandvoort and third at the Red Bull Ring. The 19-year-old secured sixth place in the championship. Nicholas Latifi and Jann Mardenborough convinced with a steep learning curve and secured several top-10 positions, in the 30-driver field. Red Bull junior Daniil Kvyat, who already has secured a race seat for the 2014 Formula 1 season, joined the FIA Formula 3 European Championship action only on the third race weekend. And despite being a guest driver without the right to score points, the young Russian convinced: he won a race on the Zandvoort weekend and secured another six podiums.

Meanwhile, Luis Felipe Derani proved to be the Fortec Motorsports spearhead: thanks to his impressive second half of the season, the Brazilian worked his way up to eighth position in the championship. Altogether, the 19-year-old secured three podiums. For his team-mate Félix Serrallés, the season didn’t run that satisfying. At Hockenheim, he finished runner-up twice but in the second half of the season, the Puerto Rican lost his top-ten position in the championship ranking. Josh Hill, the son of Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill, surprisingly retired from motor-racing for good during the season. So, John Bryant-Meiser contested the final two race meetings for the British squad. The Swede quickly familiarised himself with the planet’s most competitive young-gun series and soon succeeded in scoring his first points.

ThreeBond with T-Sport only really got going in the second half of the year. Alexander Sims took over the vacant cockpit of William Buller to secure two podiums on his first race weekend right away. At the Nürburgring, the Briton again was a factor in the battle for the top positions and his efforts were rewarded with a second and a third place. At Vallelunga, Sims gave his team even more top results by finishing second twice and third, respectively. The season of his team-mate Richard ‘Spike’ Goddard was rather mediocre as he failed to score points. In the team ranking, the Britons who were the only ones to race with a ThreeBond Nissan engine, finished fifth.