Race Report

2019 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix

Circuit: Sochi (RUS), Length 5.848 km, 27th - 29th September 2019, Rounds 15 & 16

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN), Andreas Estner (D) and Charles Leong (MAC)

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No luck in Sochi

The FIA F3 Teams met up at the intriguing Sochi (RUS) circuit, as ever in 2019 racing as one of the support races for the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Because this was the last event of 2019, and the winner of the championship and the following positions were not yet decided, an exciting weekend was in prospect. Competition was tough and everybody gave it their best shot to try and impress.

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Race One Qualifying

Friday, 27/09/19, 13.00 – 13.30, Weather: Cloudy, 24°C

With Macau's Hon Chio (Charles) Leong, making his debut in the category with our team at this event, as well as Yuki and Andreas, we had three rookies at the start, none of whom had ever driven on this track before. In free practice, which took place early on Friday morning, they finished 22nd, 27th and 28th.
A little later, the qualifying session took place and two of our drivers improved. Yuki finished 17th and Andreas was 26th. For Charles it was impossible to improve in the end because his exhaust broke which was a shame.

Race One Grid
1st Robert Shwartzman (RUS) Prema 1:52.583
2nd Jehan Daruvala (IND) Prema 1:52.775
3rd Marcus Armstrong (NZ) Prema 1:52.853
17th Yuki Tsunoda (JAP) Jenzer Motorsport 1:53.938
26th Andreas Estner (D) Jenzer Motorsport 1:54.912
29th Charles Leong (MAC) Jenzer Motorsport 1:57.166


FIA F3 Championship

Race One (40 Minutes)

Saturday, 28/09/19, 10.15, Weather: Cloudy, 21°C

It rained in the night and dark clouds were looming over the circuit come the morning, although in some places the clouds were breaking and blue sky shone through. As a result everyone decided to start on slick tyres, only for there to be a sudden intense downpour during the first racing lap. Two drivers immediately headed into the pit lane to mount rain tyres. Two more cars spun off track, and Charles, who had already made up some places, slid off the track in a slippery spot and ended his race in the tyre wall. Luckily, he was unhurt. The Safety Car took charge of the field until all the affected cars were cleared away. The rain stopped, and soon those drivers who had changed tyres earlier were back in the pits again to change back to slicks! Yuki put in a great first lap and had already moved up to 12th place. After that, he was in a group battling for positions. For some time he was ahead but he was overtaken again, and at the end he crossed the finish line in 12th place. Andreas had kept his place and improved to 23rd after the restart. A little later, he spun after sliding on the still slippery stretch of track. However, he was able to continue and finally finished the race in 24th place.
Marcus Armstrong won the race ahead of Robert Shwartzman, but second place in the race was enough for Robert Shwartzman to become the first champion of the new FIA F3 Championship.

The grid for the second race of the weekend was set by reversing the order of the first eight finishers in the first race, with the rest of the places set according to finishing order in the first race.

Results Race One
1st Marcus Armstrong (NZL) Prema 42:35.319  
2nd Robert Shwartzman (RUS) Prema Gap 1.077
3rd Niko Kari (FIN) Trident Gap 4.911
12th Yuki Tsunoda (JAP) Jenzer Motorsport    
24th Andreas Estner (D) Jenzer Motorsport    
DNF: Charles Leong (MAC) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Jake Hughes (GB) in 1:55.513

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Race Two Grid
1st Juri Vips (EST)) Hitech  
2nd Jake Hughes (GB) HWA  
3rd Pedro Piquet (BRA) Trident  
4th Jehan Daruvala (IND) Prema  
5th Leonardo Pulcini (I) Hitech  
6th Niko Kari (FIN) Trident  
12th Yuki Tsunoda (JAP) Jenzer Motorsport  
24th Andreas Estner (D) Jenzer Motorsport  
27th Charles Leong (MAC) Jenzer Motorsport  

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FIA F3 Championship

Race Two (40 Minutes)

Sunday, 29/09/19, 09.55, Weather: Dry, 20°C

On Sunday morning, the sun was shining for the last race of the season. Yuki started well and overtook several cars on the first lap before getting into a battle with Verschoor, in which he finally prevailed to claim 7th place. Shortly before the end of the race Yuki fell back and pulled into the pit lane at the end with a flat tyre. This prevented him from achieving an excellent result which was a real pity. Andreas was also doing well and he worked his way steadily forward, finishing the race in a good 18th place. Charles now finally got the opportunity to experience a full race distance in such a powerful car. He drove well and completed the full distance this time, and finished 21st.

On 20th to 22nd October 2019 the official post season test days of the 2019 FIA F3 championship will take place at Valencia (E), where new drivers will be able to prepare for the 2020 season.

Results Race Two
1st Juri Vips (EST) Hitech 42:35.319  
2nd Marcus Armstrong (NZL) Prema Gap 2.159
3rd Robert Shwartzman (RUS) Prema Gap 9.596
18th Andreas Estner (D) Jenzer Motorsport    
21st Charles Leong (MAC) Jenzer Motorsport    
25th Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Marcus Armstrong (NZL) in 1:55.860

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Championship final standings after 16 races:

1st Robert Shwartzman (RUS), 212 points; 2nd Marcus Armstrong (NZ), 158 points; 3rd Jehan Daruvala (IND), 157 points; 4th Juri Vips (EST), 141 points; 5th Pedro Piquet (BRA), 98 points; 6th Christian Lundgaard (DK), 97 points; 9th Yuki Tsunoda (JPN), 67 points

Yuki Tsunoda (JAP)

Andreas Estner (D)

Charles Leong (MAC)

© Photo Pellegrini

2019 FIA F3 Championship

10/11/12 May 2019 Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Catalunya (E)
21/22/23 June 2019 Formula 1 French Grand Prix Le Castellet (F)
28/29/30 June 2019 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix RedBull Ring (A)
12/13/14 July 2019 Formula 1 British Grand Prix Silverstone (GB)
2/3/4 August 2019 Formula 1 Ing Magyar Nagydij Hungaroring (HU)
30/31 Aug, 1 September 2019 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps (B)
6/7/8 September 2019 Formula 1 Gran Premio d’Italia Monza (I)
27/28/29 September 2019 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix Sochi (RUS)


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