For the British team Hitech Grand Prix, 2017 was its second full season on the FIA Formula 3 European Championship grid. The squad around former Karting World Champion Oliver Oakes relied on the services of drivers Ralf Aron, Jake Hughes, Tadasuke Makino and Nikita Mazepin. The drivers managed a total of 13 podiums, thus securing fourth in the 2017 team championship for the British outfit.
Briton Jake Hughes was the driver who scored the highest amount of points for the team. At the end of the 30-race season he had added a total of 207 points to his tally to come fifth in the driver championship standings. He started into his first full FIA Formula 3 European Championship season by securing a third place in his home meeting at Silverstone. Afterwards, he had to cope with a dry spell at Monza and in Pau – but in Hungary he was back on the podium by clinching a second place. Following another two podiums at Norisring and Zandvoort he finally made it to the top step at the Nürburgring. Here the 23-year old from Birmingham celebrated his first FIA Formula 3 European Championship race win. At the end of the season he could look back at the win in the Eifel and six more podiums. And with also securing two pole positions he demonstrated that he has what it takes to also be quick in the qualifying.
The team-internal second position was secured by 19-year old Ralf Aron. But the Estonian had to fight hard for this position as his team-mate Nikita Mazepin also delivered in fine style. In the end, the young Russian finished just 15 points behind Aron but at the same time, the junior driver of the Force India Formula One Team secured the better individual results. He came third once and clinched two second places, while Aron’s best results were two third places at Pau and Nürburgring. In the end, both made it to the top ten in the FIA F3 drivers’ ranking: Aron came ninth and Mazepin finished right behind his team-mate in tenth position.
Japanese Tadasuke Makino had to cope with a somewhat more difficult season. For the 20-year old who was promoted to the Formula One feeder series from Japanese Formula 3, all European circuits represented virgin soil and in addition, he had had to skip several races to recover from a hand fracture he suffered at Nuremberg’s Norisring. But when he returned, the Honda protégé raced on a higher level than before and secured the first podium of his FIA Formula 3 European Championship career at the Red Bull Ring.