Race Report

Formula 1 Grand Prix de France 2019

Circuit: Le Castellet (F), Length 5.821 km, 21st - 23rd June 2019, Rounds 3 & 4

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) and Andreas Estner (D)


Tsunoda shines at Le Castellet

The 2019 FIA F3 circus met up for the second event of the season as they ran as part of the Formula One programme at the French Grand Prix 2019, held at Le Castellet on the historic Paul Ricard Circuit. Weather conditions were perfect for the event and it was very clear just how close the competition is within this highly competitive field.

fiaf319 lecastellet 01 

Race One Qualifying

Friday, 21/06/19, 17.50 – 18.20, Weather: Cloudy, 23°C

In preparation for Formula 1 parts of the track were equipped with new Tarmac, and we were first to drive on it. The conditions would change the more it was driven on, but even so free practice on Friday morning was completed without incident. As always, an exercise with the Virtual Safety Car was first on the program, and then the sessions began properly. Our two rookie drivers finished 18th (Yuki) and 23rd (Andreas).

It remained very warm on Friday evening for the qualifying session, which was hard fought with lap times very close across the large field; 20 drivers were within a second of the pole time. Yuki didn’t manage to set a good time and found the high-tech car difficult to get to grips with after two races in a different category during the six-week break. Andreas also felt the effects of the long break after Barcelona, and was rather too cautious in his approach.

Race One Grid
1st Jake Hughes (GB) HWA 1:49.519
2nd Jehan Daruvala (IND) Prema 1:49.606
3rd Robert Shwartzman (RUS) Prema 1:49.758
27th Yuki Tsunoda (JAP) Jenzer Motorsport 1:51.987
28th Andreas Estner (D) Jenzer Motorsport 1:52.066

 fiaf319 lecastellet 02

FIA F3 Championship

Race One (40 Minutes)

Saturday, 22/06/19, 10.30, Weather: Sunny, 25°C

Yuki and Andreas, who were at the very back of the field, got ready to attempt a massive catch up in the race. Andreas made the better start and got in front of Yuki, but Yuki soon counter attacked, making his way forward. Once the DRS was activated Yuki improved his position lap after lap. It wasn’t always easy, and sometime the overtaken competitor would regain their position. However, Yuki steadily worked his way up towards the top ten. There was a deal of movement throughout the pack, and positions at the front also kept changing. By half-time Yuki was in 17th place, setting a fast pace, and eventually breaking into the top ten in the penultimate lap to claim 9th place. He was unstoppable and crossed the finish line in an excellent 7th place, having made up 20 places by the end of the race. It meant he would start Sunday’s race from 2nd place! Andreas was a little more cautious at first than Yuki, but then he also started his own exciting chase for places! He improved steadily and made it up to an excellent 11th place by the chequered flag for his best race to date. After a badly messed up qualifying session both drivers found their rhythm in the race and were able to put everything right again.

The grid for the second race of the weekend was set by reversing the order of the first eight finishers in the first race, with the rest of the places set according to finishing order in the first race.

Results Race One
1st Jehan Daruvala (IND) Prema 38:27.360  
2nd Robert Shwarzman (RUS) Prema Gap 2.805
3rd Pedro Piquet (BRA) Trident Gap 3.213
7th Yuki Tsunoda (JAP) Jenzer Motorsport    
11th Andreas Estner (D) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Felipe Drugovich (BRA) in 1:35.209


Race Two Grid
1st Alexander Peroni (AUS) Campos  
2nd Yuki Tsunoda (JAP) Jenzer Motorsport  
3rd Marcus Armstrong (NZ) Prema  
4th Bent Viscaal (NED) HWA  
5th Juri Vips (EST) Hitech  
6th Pedro Piquet (BRA) Trident  
11th Andreas Estner (D) Jenzer Motorsport  

 Jenzer, Paul Ricard 2019 6704

FIA F3 Championship

Race Two (40 Minutes)

Sunday, 23/06/19, 09.55, Weather: Sunny, 23°C

Yuki got off to a good start and slotted in in end behind Peroni. He hung on to Peroni, but it wasn’t long before Shwartzman pushed his way past. An exciting battle promptly developed between the top three, and on lap 8 Yuki managed to get past Peroni to take the lead. Just one lap later Shwartzman attacked, and although Yuki fought back, Shwartzman took full advantage of the DRS. Yuki held onto 2nd place for several more laps, but then his tyres, which he had pushed a bit too much in the fight for the top, started to go off. He dropped back to 4th, then 7th, which was where he finished after a demanding race. Afterwards, he was handed a time penalty because in his fight with Peroni, he had forced Peroni off the track. That dropped Yuki to 9th in the rankings in the end. Andreas ran wide after the start and lost a few places, but he managed to regain a number of places during the race, settling into 15th place for quite some time. Shortly before the end of the race, Andreas managed to attack again and work his way back up to 11th, which had been his starting position. He’d made it to within reach of a place in the top ten!

We look forward to the next race which will be held at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in just one week’s time.

Results Race Two
1st Robert Shwartzman (RUS) Prema 38:04.147  
2nd Pedro Piquet (BRA) Trident Gap 1.479
3rd Jehan Daruvala (IND) Prema Gap 2.849
9th Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) Jenzer Motorsport    
11th Andreas Estner (D) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Marcus Armstrong (NZL) in 1:52.171


Championship standings after 4 out of 18 races:

1st Robert Shwartzman (RUS), 70 points; 2nd Jehan Daruvala (IND), 58 points; 3rd Marcus Armstrong (NZ), 37 points; 4th Juri Vips (EST), 32 points; 5th Pedro Piquet (BRA), 27 points; 6th Christian Lundgaard (DK), 24 points; 11th Yuki Tsunoda (JPN), 9 points

Yuki Tsunoda (JAP)

Andreas Estner (D)

© Photo Pellegrini

2019 FIA F3 Championship

10/11/12 May 2019 Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Catalunya (E)
21/22/23 June 2019 Formula 1 French Grand Prix Le Castellet (F)
28/29/30 June 2019 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix RedBull Ring (A)
12/13/14 July 2019 Formula 1 British Grand Prix Silverstone (GB)
2/3/4 August 2019 Formula 1 Ing Magyar Nagydij Hungaroring (HU)
30/31 Aug, 1 September 2019 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps (B)
6/7/8 September 2019 Formula 1 Gran Premio d’Italia Monza (I)
27/28/29 September 2019 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix Sochi (RUS)


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