DRIVER NEWS: After a two podium finishes in Snetterton three weeks ago things were looking good for Hamad Al Fardan in Monza and sure enough race two saw him secure podium number four of the season.
Al Fardan got his first taste of the ultra fast circuit at the Autodroma Nazionale Monza during the 45-minute Free Practice session on Saturday morning. The GFH backed driver set the fourth quickest time with a 1:50.527 lap at the end of the session. Just a few hours later Al Fardan continued from the good start to qualify his Dallara Mugen-Honda third for rounds 9 and 10 of the Formula 3 Championship. The Bahraini finished both sessions just behind championship rivals Perez and Cheng.
Qualifying 1: 3rd position, 1:49.026 Qualifying 2: 3rd position, 1:48.705
All weekend temperatures at the Italian track had been rising steadily and by raceday there was barely a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately for Hamad the sun wasn't shining and his first race was to end prematurely after a tangle with team-mate Ricardo Teixeira on lap two. After squeezing Al Fardan onto the grass into turn one Teixeria then came together with invitation driver Dominick Muermans forcing Muerman into a spin who through no fault of his own collected Al Fardan en-route. Championship leader Sergio Perez took his fourth victory of the season and Al Fardan's teammate Frankie Cheng took second.
With nearly eight hours in between races in Monza Al Fardan had a long time to contemplate the disappointment of race one, but the Bahraini driver didn't let the incident affect him and put in a sterling drive to take his fourth podium of the season. Al Fardan made a great start in the incident packed race which then saw the Performance driver battling with championship rival Michael Meadows for the first half of the race, eventually Al Fardan got the upper hand and pulled away from Meadows. The remainder of the race was incident free as Al Fardan drove in clear air to the chequered flag and third place. Perez took his second win of the weekend.
The podium finish means that Al Fardan moves up into fifth in the championship with 59 points.
Hamad Al Fardan - Performance Racing Driver "This morning was really disappointing for me after I worked so hard in qualifying. I think I could have finished in third place and maybe had two podiums this weekend again but the second race made up for it. I had a good start but was slightly worried as I only completed one lap in the morning and I was fighting with meadows straight away but after five or six laps I relaxed and enjoyed the race. I'm really pleased with the podium and it moves me up in the championship which is even better."
The British F3 International Series will be back on track at Brands Hatch on July 15-16 for rounds 11 & 12 of the championship.