Mercedes AI-Ring summary

Two Second Places for Alexandre Premat The ASM team's Dallara Mercedes driver Alexandre Prémat finished second in both the 13th and 14th rounds of the 2003 Formula 3 Euro Series at Austria's A1-Ring. Prémat finished both races behind ...

Two Second Places for Alexandre Premat

The ASM team's Dallara Mercedes driver Alexandre Prémat finished second in both the 13th and 14th rounds of the 2003 Formula 3 Euro Series at Austria's A1-Ring. Prémat finished both races behind Ryan Briscoe (Dallara-Opel) who won both heats. The seven drivers with the Mercedes-Benz engine M271 achieved ten out of 16 possible points finishes this weekend. The Mücke team's Dallara Mercedes driver Christian Klien came home fifth twice and maintained his second position in the championship with six races to go. Briscoe leads with 89 points, Klien has 57. Behind the Austrian, there are Dallara Mercedes drivers Olivier Pla (49 points), Prémat (42 points) and Markus Winkelhock (42 points) in the overall positions three to five.

Race 1: Prémat and Spengler started second and third on the grid and maintained their respective positions behind winner Briscoe until the chequered flag. Winkelhock had qualified fourth, but lost one position at the start to Andreas Zuber (Dallara-Opel). When the Austrian spun on lap 9, Winkelhock improved to fourth again and finished in the same position ten laps later. Klien, sixth in qualifying, lost two spots at the start and dropped to eighth, but fought back and was fifth behind Winkelhock on lap 9. Klien attacked his team mate several times but finally came home fifth. The Kolles team's Dallara Mercedes driver Charles Zwolsman improved from 11th at the start to seventh at the finish line. His team mate Jan Heylen ended up 20th. Pla (ASM) retired from eighth place two laps from the end due to a loss of tyre pressure.

Race 2: Prémat started second again, but lost one position to Rosberg on the first lap. The safety car was deployed on laps 2 and 3 following an accident of Zuber. On lap 6, Prémat passed Rosberg at the first corner to regain second place. 13 laps later he finished the race in the same position. Place four was decided after a thrilling fight between Pla, Klien and Winkelhock who came home in this order within 0.748sec.

Spengler ended up seventh. On lap 17, Zwolsman had a coming together with Robert Doornbos (Dallara-Mugen-Honda) and went off momentarily at the first corner and dropped from seventh to 14th. Heylen came home 22nd after pitting to replace a damaged front wing.

Alexandre Premat (ASM): "I'm happy about my second places and I thank everybody in the team for their efforts. I started well, but Ryan Briscoe was just faster. On the first lap of the second race I made a mistake and lost a place to Rosberg, but on lap 6 he ran wide at the first corner and I passed him."

Christian Klien (Mücke, second in the championship): "My starts were not good, but I'm satisfied to have improved in both races. I scored eight points during the weekend, so that the championship is still open."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "It was impossible to beat Ryan Briscoe here, congratulation on two great performances. Alexandre Prémat drove two clean races, and behind him there were a whole bunch of Mercedes-Benz powered Dallaras."

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Series F3 Europe
Drivers Norbert Haug , Robert Doornbos , Ryan Briscoe , Christian Klien , Jan Heylen , Alexandre Prémat , Charles Zwolsman , Markus Winkelhock , Andreas Zuber