Maini completes rookie European F3 season inside top 10

With the season finale at Hockenheim, Arjun Maini completed his rookie season in the FIA European F3, finishing ninth in the standings among 18 rookie drivers.

Maini started the weekend with a 18th and 14th place in the two practice sessions, led by Carlin's Callum Ilott and champion Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) respectively.

Fellow Indian and Motopark driver Mahaveer Raghunathan did not compete in the final race of the 2015 weekend, which meant he ended 18th in the rookie standings.

Good qualifying

The Van Amersfoort Racing driver looked in a better shape in qualifying as he finished 13th in the first session, 0.949s off polesitter Rosenqvist's time. It was Prema 1-2-3-4 as Maximilian Gunther was second, Lance Stroll third and Jake Dennis fourth for race one.

In the second qualifying, Maini was again 13th but this time only 0.488s off the time of Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) as Dennis and Rosenqvist completed the top three.

Taking the second-best time, the Indian driver was 14th for the third race while Dennis took pole ahead of Giovinazzi and Rosenqvist.

Incident in race one

Starting 13th in the first race, Maini made up two places to 11th but then dropped to 17th on lap four when he went wide in the corner, having missed the breaking point.

His misfortunes didn't end there as a little later on lap six, he lost his front wing, requiring an unscheduled pitstop to change the wing, dropping him to 30th.

 A damage meant, he lost significant pace and only finished 29th as Prema's Lance Stroll won the race from Dennis and Rosenqvist.

Quite second race

After a bad first race, the Indian was looking for a fresh start in race two starting from 13th again. It wasn't a very good start as he lost two places to 15th in the first lap.

He quickly made up a place to 14th on the second lap and stayed on until the 10th lap when he lost a place to sit 15th behind his teammate Alessio Lorandi.

He finished 15th in the end, scoring points in rookie standings as Giovinazzi took the win while Dennis and Rosenqvist were second and third again.

Mixed run in the final race

The third race of the weekend was going to be a tricky one with weather playing a big role in it - the grid was divided at the start with some drivers starting on slicks while others on wets.

Maini started on wets and had a good start making up a place in the opening lap. With safety car interruptions, a lot of drivers dived into pits to change tyres which moved Maini to eighth at one stage.

On a drying track, staying on wets wasn't the best idea as Maini dropped back to 16th on lap nine which is when he decided to switch to slicks.

As a result, the Indian dropped to 25th but made up six places to 19th by lap 15 to finish his rookie F3 season. Rosenqvist ended as the winner with Signature's Alexander Albon second and Giovinazzi third.

Maini finished 18th in the main standing with 27 points as Rosenqvist, the European F3 champion ended with 508 points, Giovinazzi, the runner-up with 412.5 points and Dennis third with 377 points.

The rookie standing was headed by Maini's teammate Charles Leclerc with 533.5 points as the Indian was ninth with 117 points.

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About this article
Series F3 Europe
Event Hockenheim II
Track Hockenheim
Drivers Arjun Maini
Teams Van Amersfoort Racing
Article type Results