Season review part 4: Van Amersfoort Racing

Dutch team Van Amersfoort Racing started into the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season with Callum Ilott, Anthoine Hubert, Harrison Newey and Pedro Piquet and secured a total of three race wins. The team’s spearhead, Callum Ilott, finished sixth in the championship while Hubert, the team’s best rookie, came third in the rookie ranking.  

Briton Ilott who switched from Carlin to Van Amersfoort in the off-season, made a good start into 2016. He won a race at the season kick-off at Le Castellet but failed to score in one of the other two races. Afterwards, Ilott celebrated another race win, finished second once and secured three third places. After the first half of the season, he was one of the toughest rivals of Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam), who went on to secure the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title. The second half of the season wasn’t as successful for Ilott, in the last five rounds of his championship campaign, he made it to the podium only twice and failed to score in seven races. In the end, the 18-year old had to settle for finishing sixth in the championship.

Rookie Anthoine Hubert joined the team of Frits van Amersfoort just shortly before the season kick-off, but the Frenchman felt at home right away. He already scored his first points as early as at Le Castellet but later in the season, the 20-year old even upped the ante: at Nuremberg’s Norisring, virgin soil for the Frenchman, he celebrated his first Formula 3 European Championship race win. And he confirmed his competitiveness by coming second in one of the other two races. A short time later, at Spa-Francorchamps, he made it to the podium once again. In the end, he finished eighth in the championship and third in the rookie rankings.

Just like Hubert, his team-mate Harrison Newey also started into the season as FIA F3 European Championship rookie. And the Briton who advanced to the series from the ADAC Formula 4 even made a better start into the season than Hubert who had made the switch from Formula Renault 2.0. After all, Newey scored two points in the first round of the season while Hubert failed to score in this race. Then, however, the son of Formula One designer Adrian Newey was outperformed by the more experienced Frenchman. Nonetheless, the Briton secured several top-10 results – inter alia a sixth place at Spa-Francorchamps as well as two eighth places: at the Red Bull Ring and Imola.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s Pedro Piquet switched to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship as two-time Brazilian Formula 3 Champion and consequently was anything but an F3 rookie.  Nonetheless, the son of three-time F1 World Champion Nelson Piquet needed his time to adapt to the high level of the European F3 series. The 18-year old achieved his best result in the second round of the race meeting at Spa-Francorchamps, the challenging Ardennes Rollercoaster, by finishing sixth. With another four top-10 results, Piquet made it  – just like Newey – to the top 20, in his debut season in European motor racing.