Volkswagen driver Mika Maki on the podium in Formula 3 Masters Wolfsburg (14 June 2009). The Finn Mika Maki was the strongest "powered by Volkswagen" driver in the Formula 3 Masters at Zandvoort. The 21-year old from team Signature finished ...
Volkswagen driver Mika Maki on the podium in Formula 3 Masters
Wolfsburg (14 June 2009). The Finn Mika Maki was the strongest "powered by Volkswagen" driver in the Formula 3 Masters at Zandvoort. The 21-year old from team Signature finished second in the traditional invitation race reserved for Europe's best Formula 3 drivers and teams. The Brazilian Tiago Geronimi (Signature) finished ninth after a fighting performance. In contrast Jean Karl Vernay's (France/Signature) race was a little unfortunate, he started the race from a promising fifth position on the grid. He retired after a collision.
Maki started the 25-lap race from second position, and put the leader Valtteri Bottas (Finland/ART-Mercedes) under pressure particularly in the closing stages of the race, but was beaten at the finish by 2.6 seconds. Tiago Geronimi qualified in eleventh position on his Zandvoort debut. In the race he proved his fighting spirit and moved up two positions before taking the chequered flag. The Belgian Laurens Vanthoor (Carlin Motorsport), championship leader in the German ATS Formula 3 Cup, finished 15th in his Dallara F308 Volkswagen. Jean Karl Vernay, who is fourth and best placed Volkswagen driver in the Formula 3 Euro Series with one victory, retired in Zandvoort after a collision on the ninth lap. The Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Carlin Motorsport) was also desperately unlucky: The British Formula 3 Championship leader could not compete in the race because of gearbox failure.
Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director:
"The Formula 3 Masters in Zandvoort has huge tradition and is very famous: The best drivers and teams from the various European based Formula 3 series' meet here every year. Mika Maki's second place is a very good result. He and team Signature have proved that the combination of a Volkswagen engine, Dallara chassis and good preparation is also absolutely competitive at an international level. Unfortunately, Jean Karl Vernay was involved in an accident early in the race, otherwise he would also been capable of taking a top result."
#18 - Mika Maki (FIN) - Volkswagen Dallara F308 - Team Signature
Qualifying: 2nd place - race: 2nd
"My car was well prepared throughout the entire weekend by the team. Unfortunately I missed taking pole position in qualifying, the higher afternoon temperatures prevented faster lap times. Furthermore, the circuit was very dirty at the end of qualifying. I made a good start, but pole sitter Valtteri Bottas also. I held back a little in the opening laps to look after my tyres. I attacked towards the end, but unfortunately it wasn't quite enough."
#20 - Tiago Geronimi (BR) - Volkswagen Dallara F308 - Team Signature
Qualifying: 11th place - race: 9th
"Zandvoort was new territory for me in a Formula 3 car, but I felt comfortable from the word go. I could have made the top-ten in qualifying but unfortunately I made a few mistakes. The race was very exciting. My car was perfect and I could attack. Since overtaking at Zandvoort is really tricky any more than ninth position wasn't possible. However, my performance makes me optimistic for the remainder of the season."