GIANMARCO RAIMONDO ITALIAN F3 HOCKENHEIM REPORT Young Canadian formula car driver has solid weekend in Hockenheim to sit third in rookie points St. Catharines, Ontario - Gianmarco Raimondo, Canadian formula car racer continues to improve and...
GIANMARCO RAIMONDO ITALIAN F3 HOCKENHEIM REPORT
Young Canadian formula car driver has solid weekend in Hockenheim to sit third in rookie points
St. Catharines, Ontario - Gianmarco Raimondo, Canadian formula car racer continues to improve and impress in the Formula 3 Italia Series. Working closely with Team Lucidi mechanics and engineers, the 19-year-old St. Catharines native is gaining confidence in the closely contested F3 grid. The team headed to Hockenheim, Germany for second weekend of racing that saw 29 drivers take part in rounds three and four of the 16 round junior formula car series. Coming off a solid weekend at Misano Adriatico in the season opener, Raimondo looked to complete the race schedule and take home some more valuable points. In the opening weekend at Misano, Raimondo was able to qualify in seventeenth in the wet and move forward in race one up to sixteenth also in the wet. Race two was held under sunny dry conditions and Raimondo was able to charge forward to eleventh spot at the stripe. This past weekend at Hockenheim would prove more challenging and the rising start would stand up to the elements and score well.
"Friday was the first time the car has been driven since it had been fixed from my massive testing crash in Imola a few weeks earlier," commented Raimondo from his new home in San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy. "In the first session I was already having problems with an oil leak from the engine, spraying a bit of oil on my rear tires and brakes. The team worked like animals all through the night taking apart every piece trying to find the issue."
Saturday qualifying started with heavy rains that diminished in intensity as minutes went by forcing many teams and drivers to gamble on setup as the track was getting drier and drier. The changing conditions caught the team off guard and Raimondo was not able to take advantage of the drying track conditions with fast laps coming late in the session. Raimondo was only able qualify in twenty-sixth with a time of 1:59.371.
"In the rain for qualifying, everything seemed in order," continued Raimondo. "It was unfortunate that I didn't get a chance to better my times as I had to retire early from the session, having to start from 26th in both races."
In race one, the third year junior formula car driver managed to overtake six cars on the opening lap and then another four during the next lap. By the 3rd lap Raimondo had rocketed up to fourteenth position. On the last lap Gianmarco was able to simultaneously advance on the two drivers battling in front of him, finishing twelfth at the checkered. All three Team Lucidi drivers were able to salvage solid results with Raimondo able to recover up to the twelfth final place, second of the rookies.
"Knowing that the condition and the set-up of my car was podium quality and that I've had success in pre-season testing there, I had confidence entering the race," commented Raimondo on his race one charge forward. "Moving up 17 spots is really good on that track."
Race two, held the following day under sunny skies, would see Raimondo make another amazing charge forward through the field. The talented teenager left nothing on the track as he attacked from the drop of the green to mount an assault on the field. At the flag Raimondo had moved up 18 spots to take eleventh in the final tally. Raimondo is currently third in the rookies' classification at 41 points and has an 18 points gap to the lead.
"Entering the second race, I had even more confidence from the first. Even though my start wasn't as successful as the previous one and the change in rubber from other cars changed driving style a bit, I was still able to get in the right positions to pass and finish eleventh," continued Raimondo. "Overall the weekend for me was incredibly difficult, but on a positive note I learned a lot of race craft and built an even better relationship with my team," smiles Raimondo. "Let's hope Imola will be better knowing that we have the pace."
While the team was not able to grab all the points they had hoped for, Raimondo's performance was one of note for the Team Lucidi squad.
"Raimondo has been the only one of the team to finish the two races," commented Team Principal Gabriele Lucidi. "He (Raimondo) is growing and his third place in the rookies classification is certainly encouraging".