TEAM NEWS: Carlin on top form to claim 14 out of 18 podiums in F3
TEAM NEWS: The Carlin F3 team continued dominant form in the British F3 championship this weekend, taking a further five podium positions at the historic Monza circuit. In a remarkable repeat of the team’s performance at Snetterton, the team finished 1-2-3 in race one, with Maro Engel leading the way, and 2-3-4 in race two.
The Hampshire based team have taken an incredible 14 podiums from a possible 18 over the last six events and stand second, third, fourth and seventh in the drivers’ championship. Since the championship visited Bucharest in May, the team have recorded five third places, six second places and three wins. There have been at least two Carlin drivers on every podium since round five in Romania.
After a typically exciting race one at Monza, race two was set to be another show down. Carlin driver Maro Engel started from pole for the second consecutive race and had a good start to lead into the first corner. Behind him, team mate Mario Moraes had a lightening start from ninth on the grid to line up second behind Engel, but was later deemed to have jumped the start and was forced to take a drive-through penalty.
Sam Bird continued the impressive form which has seen him claim six consecutive podium finishes and rise to second in the championship. The 21 year-old BP Ultimate driver had a good start from eighth on the grid, to get through the first corner in seventh. By lap three, Bird was closing up on Esteban Guerrieri and Sebastian Hohenthal and passed both drivers only to fall back to fifth again later that lap. The F3 rookie wasn’t giving up though, and made up the two places to pull away from Hohenthal and cross the line third.
Alberto Valerio had a great start from fifth but was hit by Atte Mustonen going into the first corner and had to pit for a new front wing, effectively ending his race before it began. Demonstrating what could have been front running pace, the Brazilian went on to set the fastest lap of the race and a new F3 lap record of 1m46.073.
F3 rookie Niall Breen also took away a clutch if championship points, crossing the line fourth having started 11th. The 21 year-old had a great start away from the line to pass Jonathan Kennard, and even debris under his front wing could not stop the young Irishman. Breen began to chase down Rudolfo Gonzales and Stephen Jelley, the former barrel-rolling in front of Breen’s car. Breen went on to pass Hohenthal and Guerrieri to take fourth place, just behind team mate Sam Bird.
Team Principal, Trevor Carlin was impressed with his team’s efforts, “The team did a fantastic job again this weekend and all five drivers were impressive. Alberto was very unlucky in race two, and showed he had the speed to finish on the podium by setting a new lap record. It was also unfortunate that Mario jumped the start as he was showing great pace as well. Sam has been incredibly consistent this season as has Niall who did well to finish fourth from his grid slot and Maro has driven perfectly all weekend.
“The last six races have been amazing, to claim all but four podium positions since Donington demonstrates how well the drivers and engineers are working together. I think we have a very strong team for the remainder of the championship.”