“Of course, I am delighted with this victory." - Tom Blomqvist
Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) made a splendid start into the new FIA Formula 3 European Championship season: the 20-year-old Brit won the first race of the year from the best-placed rookie, Lotus F1 junior driver Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) and Jordan King (Carlin). At the 5.891 kilomtres long Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, Italian driver Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam), a protégé of the Ferrari Driver Academy, crossed the finish line in fourth place overall as the second-best rookie.
Blomqvist took the lead at the start, followed by Ocon and Fuoco, the latter only being able to defend his third place from a charging King for a brief while. A collision between Michele Beretta (Eurointernational) and Alexander Toril (ThreeBond with T-Sport) led to the safety car being deployed. At the re-start, Blomqvist held on to his leading position while Ocon had to work hard to keep King at bay. Initially, the novice had the upper hand; King had to make do with third.
During the following laps, the positions out in front appeared to be taken, but there was plenty of action at the back of the field with drivers battling for places 18 and onward. After 18 laps, Richard Goddard (ThreeBond with T-Sport) was the best of this group. Eventually, he even managed to make it home in 14th place. King didn’t want to make do with the final podium slot either and increased the pressure on Ocon during the final stages of the race. Unfazed, the 17-year-old Frenchman brought second place home.
Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) finished fifth in the first race of the season from Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam), Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3), Edward Jones (Carlin), Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Felipe Guimarães (Double R Racing).
Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “Of course, I am delighted with this victory. I intended to make a good start and pull a gap during the first few laps. I succeeded very well. After I had built a little advantage, I was able to control the race until the end. I am very happy with such a start into the season.”
Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “In fact, my re-start after the safety car went pretty well, but then, I was too closely behind Tom Blomqvist and Jordan King was able to overtake me. Fortunately, I managed to counter successfully a few metres later. After that, I consistently drove my laps until the finish.”
Jordan King (Carlin): “My start and the first few metres were very good. I immediately made up two places and I gained another one in the third corner. At the re-start I even was past Esteban Ocon for a while, but I wasn’t able to hold on to second place for very long. I am still happy with third place, but I would have been slightly happier with second.”