Season review part 3: Motopark

Motopark, a German team on the FIA Formula 3 European Championship grid, contested the 2016 season with three newcomers and one experienced driver and was very successful with this combination. Sweden’s Joel Eriksson became ‘rookie of the year’ and finished fifth in the drivers’ championship. But Eriksson wasn’t the only Motopark driver who delivered in style. At the end of the season, every driver of Motopark had at least secured two podiums. 

The best driver of the team based in Oschersleben was Joel Eriksson who switched to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship as ADAC Formula 4 Vice-Champion. He looked comfortable right away and secured his first podium as early as in the season kick-off at Le Castellet. In the following race meeting, at the Hungaroring, the young Swede who was signed as BMW Junior, during the course of the season, demonstrated that this success hadn’t been a flash in the pan by adding further two podiums to his tally. Afterwards he had to cope with a minor low – but at Spa-Francorchamps, the challenging ‘Ardennes Rollercoaster’, he was not only back on the podium but even upped the ante by celebrating his first FIA Formula 3 European Championship race win. In the final third of the season, the younger brother of GP2 driver Jimmy Eriksson kept on impressing consistently. He made it to the podium in seven of the last 11 races, secured the rookie title and was rewarded with a prize money cheque for €100,000.

The second-best Motopark driver in the 2016 season was Finland’s Niko Kari who finished 10th in the drivers’ championship and fifth in the rookie ranking. Kari who advanced to the FIA F3 European Championship as reigning SMP Formula 4 Champion and who is supported by Red Bull had his season highlight in race one of the Imola weekend when he proved to be unbeatable. Similar to his team mate, Eriksson, he also displayed a good shape in the early stages of the season and secured his first podium as early as in the fourth race of the season. In addition to his win in Italy and the second place at the beginning of the year, he added a further three podium finishes to his tally during the course of the season.

Sérgio Sette Câmara finished the season right behind Kari. The Brazilian, member of the Red Bull Junior Team like Kari, secured a podium at both street circuits, Pau and the Norisring, but also struggled with technical problems during the year. Both at the Nürburgring and at Imola he set the fastest times in one of the qualifying sessions but in both cases he wasn’t rewarded with the pole as he received 10 place grid penalties for engine changes – as stipulated by the regulations.

Another two places behind, on position thirteen in the final classification, followed China’s Guan Yu Zhou. In the end, the Ferrari Junior who was signed for Motopark’s F3 line-up as Italian Formula 4 Vice-Champion clinched two podiums, secured at Le Castellet and the Hungaroring.