PREMA Theodore Racing and Ralf Aron celebrated a great win today in the Grand Prix of Pau, the opening round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. After improving to P8 in race 2 this morning, the Estonian took the lead on the wet at the start of race 3 (which officially counts for the Grand Prix roll of honor) and then stayed out front until conditions forced race control to stop the running. Half points were awarded. On an additional positive note, Marcus Armstrong posted his first podium finish in the series with a great third place overall in race 2, before suffering from contact damage in race 3. Also on the podium as the third best rookie in race 3, Robert Shwartzman rebounded from a tough qualifying 2 session while the same goes for Mick Schumacher, who impressed with the seventh place in race 3. Guanyu Zhou had to deal with the consequences of qualifying 2 too, ending up P12 and P13 respectively but showing great pace. While Aron is second in points, PREMA Theodore Racing took an early lead in the team competition.
# 1 - Guanyu Zhou
“It’s unbelievable to be the first Chinese driver to win a Formula 3 race and also in FIA Formula racing. It’s been tough to get there but all the preparations to get there paid off. The pace was good from day 1 and a good start put me in the lead. It was really intense with many safety cars and stuff going on during the run but I kept my had cool and pushed as much as I could stay in front by being fast in the last sector. I’m really thankful to the team for giving me such a great car.”
# 4 - Mick Schumacher
"In race 2 my start was good and the pace quick so I could improve my position up to tenth place even if I was blocked in the early running. In race 3, with rainy conditions, I had a great start and managed to gain a lot of spots. When the race stopped due to the weather, we were P7 so more valuable points came. Let's get more good results in the next round."
# 7 - Ralf Aron
"I'm delighted for winning the Grand Prix. I was really comfortable in the rain and we have clearly been the quickest. I'm really happy with the team because we were struggling yesterday with the rain in qualifying but we made the car really good overnight. I'm very very happy, it's a bit of a pity for the half points situation because we could have had a healthy lead in the championship, but our form seems great so I look forward to the next rounds."
# 8 - Marcus Armstrong
"My start in race 2 was okay, not particularly good, but not particularly bad either. In turn 1, I then managed to take fourth place. After Scherer crashed into the barriers and slid back onto the track, he almost collected me. From that point of view, I was lucky to be on the podium in the first place. In race 3, we were put out of contention due to an early contact.”
# 10 - Robert Shwartzman
"I did the best I could in both races today. In race 2, I was a bit far on the grid and it was tough to overtake my way to the front, but we managed to get into the points zone which is positive. In race 3, although it was raining, I did a very good start, controlling the wheelspin and passing two cars straight away. Then I got by Marcus with the melee at the beginning. The rest of the race I stayed behind Ticktum in P6 as there were no chances to pass him. Q2 apart, we had speed all weekend. We didn't have the best luck but we hope to change that from the next round."