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Race Report

Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2024

Circuit: Melbourne, Length 5.278 km, 22nd – 24th March 2024, Rounds 3 + 4

Charlie Wurz (A), Max Esterson (USA), Matias Zagazeta (PER)

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Wurz in the top five in Melbourne

The FIA F3 Championship competed it’s 2nd event in the FIA F1 program of the Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2024. The race took place at the temporary Albert Park circuit in Melbourne. The fast street course held high demands on our rookies. Rather cool but sunny weather accompanied the race weekend in the Australian metropolis.

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© Dutch Photo Agency

Race One Qualifying

Friday, 22/03/24, 14.00 – 14.30, Weather: Sunny, 21°C

The weekend program began early on Friday morning with free practice. It was important to learn as much as possible before going straight into qualifying after just this one session. Apparently none of our drivers had driven here before, and the experience found in the simulator can not really replace the reality. In the end, Charlie took a promising 7th place, Max was 20th and Matias, who was unable to complete his entire program due to a technical problem, was in 29th place. After the session his engine had to be changed.
The qualifying began just a few hours later, now in slightly warmer temperatures and in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Our drivers gave their best. With just under 5 minutes to go there was an interruption following an accident. Then it was about the last chance to improve the lap times. After an exciting final sprint, Charlie was in 14th place, Max was 20th and Matias was right behind him in 21st place.

This season, two FIA F3 races will be held per race weekend. The starting grid for race 1 (sprint race, 40 minutes) is based on the reversed 12 first positions of the qualifying session. Race 2 on Sunday (feature race, 45 minutes) takes place according to the exact result in qualifying. These constellations promise exciting races!

Race One Grid
1st Mari Boya (E) Campos  
2nd Laurens van Heupen (NL) ART  
3rd Martinius Stenshorne (NOR) Hitech  
14th Charlie Wurz (A) Jenzer Motorsport  
20th Max Esterson (USA) Jenzer Motorsport  
21st Matias Zagazeta (PER) Jenzer Motorsport  

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© Dutch Photo Agency


FIA F3 Championship

Race One (Sprint-Race, 40 Minutes)

Saturday, 23/03/24, 11.15, Weather: Cloudy, 18°C

Although it was still quite overcast in the morning and there was some drizzle from the clouds, the speaker immediately assured the crowd that it would soon clear up and become fine in the afternoon. “Typical Melbourne weather, where you can sometimes experience the whole four seasons in one single day!” That's how it happened, and the sun came out for the race. The start went well, the large field set off safely. Charlie was surprised by Montoya, but drove excellently afterwards and had already worked his way up to 10th place by the middle of the race. When Bedrin and Beganovic made mistakes, Charlie benefited and was now in 8th place. Matias started very well and immediately gained positions. He moved up to 15th place, which he held steady. Soon after the start, Max was too far out and ended up on the grass. Luckily he managed to get back into the race. He lost some momentum and fell back to 24th place. When Inthraphuvasak spun into the gravel trap after contact with Smith, the safety car had to take over the field. At the restart, Charlie had to admit defeat by Beganovic, lost his rhythm, lost several places and found himself in 13th place. Charlie got this place safely across the finish line. Matias defended 15th place until the finish, and Max managed to make up ground in the final laps and work his way up to 19th place at the end.
Several penalties were awarded to drivers after the race. With this Charlie moved up to 11th place, Matias remained 15th. Max received a time penalty for repeatedly not respecting the track limits and ultimately ended up in 26th.

Results Race One
1st Martinius Stenshorne (NOR) Hitech 35:32.870  
2nd Arvid Lindblad (GB) Prema Gap 1.673
3rd Laurens van Heupen (NL) ART Gap 1.958
11th Charlie Wurz (A) Jenzer Motorsport    
15th Matias Zagazeta (PER) Jenzer Motorsport    
26th Max Esterson (USA) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Mari Boya (E) in 1:36.209

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© Dutch Photo Agency

Race Two Grid
1st Leonardo Fornaroli (I) Trident 1:33.044
2nd Gabriele Mini (I) Prema 1:33.063
3rd Dino Beganovic (S) Prema 1:33.344
14th Charlie Wurz (A) Jenzer Motorsport 1:34.312
20th Max Esterson (USA) Jenzer Motorsport 1:34.484
21st Matias Zagazeta (PER) Jenzer Motorsport 1:34.517


FIA F3 Championship

Race Two (Feature Race, 45 Minutes)

Sunday, 24/03/24, 09.05, Weather: Sunny, 18°C

The main race took place under blue skies but in still cool temperatures on Sunday morning. Shortly after the start there were a few accidents and the safety car had to be deployed. Charlie had gotten off very well and was already 12th. Max had also improved, he was 18th. Matias didn't get off to the start as he wanted, he was now in 23rd place. Charlie was ready at the restart and managed to gain three positions in quick succession. There was no stopping him and, lap after lap, he overtook other competitors while driving fast. He had a fair fight with Montoya, with Montoya at first getting past Charlie, but several laps later, and four positions further ahead, Charlie managed to catch Montoya and claim 5th place. Charlie was the only rookie in the top ten and kept up with the pace of the leaders. Many drivers now complained about the degradation of the tires, but Charlie brought an excellent 5th place to the finish without any problems. In doing so, he collected further valuable points. Max had a very good race today. He improved from 20th on the grid to 13th. Towards the end he struggled with the condition of his tires, but still brought home 14th place. Matias drove in 23rd place for many laps. He gained momentum in the final laps and managed to work his way up to 17th place in quick succession. This meant that all of our drivers reached the finish with undamaged vehicles after a spectacular main race.

Results Race Two
1st Dino Beganovic (S) Prema 41:23.816  
2nd Leonardo Fornaroli (I) Trident Gap 1.682
3rd Gabriele Mini (I) Prema Gap 3.221
5th Charlie Wurz (A) Jenzer Motorsport    
14th Max Esterson (USA) Jenzer Motorsport    
17th Matias Zagazeta (PER) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Dino Beganovic (S) in 1:35.588

After Melbourne, the FIA F3 returns to Europe for further testing days in Barcelona in April before the racing season continues in Europe. The next race will take place on the weekend of May 19th in Imola (Italy).

Championship standings after 4 out of 18 races:

1st Luke Browning (GB), 37 points; 2nd Leonardo Fornaroli (I), 37 points; 3rd Gabriele Mini (I), 32 points; 4th Dino Beganovic (S), 28 points; 5th Arvid Lindblad (GB), 23 points; 6th Tim Tramnitz (D), 21 points; 14th Charlie Wurz (A), 10 points; 18th Max Esterson (USA), 5 points

Charlie Wurz (A)

© Dutch Photo Agency

Max Esterson (USA)

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Matias Zagazeta (PER)

© Dutch Photo Agency

2024 FIA F3 Meisterschaft

29 Feb 01/02 March 2024 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix Sakhir (BHR)
22/23/24 March 2024 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Melbourne (AUS)
17/18/19 May 2024 Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Imola (I)
23/24/25/26 May 2024 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix Monte Carlo (MC)
21/22/23 June 2024 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Barcelona (E)
28/29/30 June 2024 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix RedBull Ring (A)
05/06/07 July 2024 Formula 1 British Grand Prix Silverstone (GB)
19/20/21 July 2024 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring (HU)
26/27/28 July 2024 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps (B)
30/31 Aug 01Sept 2024 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix Monza (I)

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