DRIVER NEWS: Hamad Al Fardan secured his first podium finish this weekend with an excellent drive in the opening round of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series. The GFH backed driver's third place finish means he maintains his 9th place in the championship with 20 points.
In the first qualifying session of the weekend Al Fardan struggled to get a clear lap without either heavy traffic or yellow flags and eventually finished the session in 4th position. Qualifying two went much better for the Bahraini driver and he finished the session in second place, his highest qualifying position in the championship to date.
Due to slippery conditions race one started behind the pace car, and thereafter the first race on Bucharest's new street track had continual safety car interruptions which left very few laps for racing. Despite the difficult circumstances Al Fardan kept his cool and drove a faultless race to a third place finish and his first podium.
Again race two started behind the pace car and conditions were much worse than on the previous day. Only 20 cars crossed the finish line and unfortunately Al Fardan was one of the casualties. Al Fardan started the incident packed race well and was catching his championship rival in first place, but conditions proved to get the better of the Bahraini driver and on lap 11 he crashed his #38 car into the wall. It was a disappointing finish to the weekend but Al Fardan has shown the F3 fraternity that he is capable of racing with the front runners and is now looking forward to Snetterton next month and hopefully his first win.
Hamad Al Fardan "It has been very difficult conditions all weekend with constant safety car periods and red flags so it has been hard to keep good concentration. I am so pleased to get my first podium in F3, especially here in Bucharest. None of the drivers had raced at the track before so hopefully I have proved that I have the ability and pace to race with the front runners.
"The second race was very disappointing for me. I started from second on the grid and was consistently catching Perez but the conditions on track were bad and I ended up crashing into the wall.
"Overall I am really pleased with the weekend despite the crash and I think the team did a great job and the car was good all weekend. We have come a long way since Oulton Park and Donington. This weekend has been a real boost and I'm now really looking forward to Snetterton next month. Thank you again for the support from Bahrain and my sponsors."
Bobby Issazadhe "Hamad did a great job in race one but unfortunately in race two he made a mistake and ended up in the wall. I think if this had not happened then Hamad would have had his second podium for sure, and perhaps even his first win. On track he has shown that he is experienced and is keeping up with all the other drivers in the championship. This year is the best and most competitive I have ever seen the British F3 National Class, it is going to be a tough year for all the drivers."
Following the race in Bucharest British F3 International will be back on track at Snetterton on June 2-3 for rounds 7 & 8 of the championship.