24 Mar Rain cuts race 3 short
Rain seemed to be the theme of the day as, after a wet race 2 earlier in the day, more rain fell at the Italian circuit of Monza for the third and final race of the FIA F3 European Championship first round. After just nine laps track conditions were considered to dangerous for the race to continue and a red flag was waved. Pipo Derani finished fifth with Josh Hill 12th, Felix Serralles 15th and Dmitry Suranovic 18th. Only half points were awarded for the session.
Due to continuous rain it was decided that once again the race should be started under the safety car. After three laps the field was racing again, however the wet weather seemed to be too much to contend with as a number of cars spun off track. All four Fortec drivers stayed out of trouble until on lap 4 Serralles spun heading into the gravel. However the talented young Puerto-Rican got the car back on track and rejoined the race in 22nd.
Out in front Derani was maintaining his fifth place position and concentrating on staying out of the battle that was brewing with the front four drivers. Hill had also kept his head down and was sitting comfortably in 14th, as did team-mate Suranovic who was just a few places down the field.
With 15-minutes left on the clock an incident saw several cars end up in the gravel, resulting in the safety car being called out. Just five minutes later the red flags were flown and the race conditions deemed to dangerous to carry on.
On finishing in fifth place Derani commented: “After the first two races a fifth is really good. The race was all about keeping the car on track and not making any silly moves. It’s a pity that in the first two races I couldn’t make points as we had a really good car – the first race I got hit and the second my light wasn’t working so I got a penalty. I’m now really looking forward to the next round and the good results to come.”
The next round of the FIA formula 3 European Championship will take place in Silverstone on the 13th and 14th of April.