ART vows to learn from penalties for physio interference
The ART Grand Prix Formula 3 team has explained how two physios came to be working on its cars illegally during qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.
Christian Lundgaard and David Beckmann – who qualified fifth and ninth respectively – both had their respective physios holding coolers towards the intakes of their cars, which was deemed by stewards to be illegal as the physios were not declared as part of the 11-person crew allowed to work on each car.
“First of all, at the time when it happened in the pitlane we had an engine issue with water temperature, and the three cars cannot restart [the engines],” ART F3 team boss Mathieu Zangarelli told Motorsport.com.
“So of course when you have this situation just before you start with the second set of tyres, everybody is a bit stressed so we are not looking at who is doing what.
“Of course we never asked these guys to help us with the fan, we don’t need them for that.”
Lundgaard and Beckmann’s weekends were effectively ruined as they were forced to start from the back of the grid in race one.
“We have to take it as an experience,” added Zangarelli. “Of course we ask to the drivers and the people around them to take care of that.
“We have a responsibility as well to take care of that, we have to explain to these people what they are able to do or not.”
It added more trouble for ART in a season where they were expected to dominate, but have struggled to put together clean weekends.
With the F3 car based on the GP3 Series, which ART won the drivers’ title eight out of nine times, it was expected to challenge again this year but trails Prema – which won the first six races of the year – by 150 points in the teams’ standings.
His fellow Renault junior Max Fewtrell scored a breakthrough second in the feature race at the Red Bull Ring and followed that with a fourth to run as the highest ART car in the drivers’ standings 53 points off the top, while Beckmann hasn’t scored for three races.
Zangarelli added that the team had spoken with the drivers after a difficult Paul Ricard weekend where it scored one point between three cars and Fewtrell and Beckmann collided on track.
“We know we have the pace to fight at the front,” he added. “I really want to have a clear event to be able to show what we can do with the line-up and the team.
“For sure they [Prema] do a really good job. They have a good line-up and of course the car looks good in qualy and race rhythm. But I’m sure we are not so far from them.”
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