01 Jun Rookie podium for Fittipaldi at Monza
This weekend saw the FIA Formula Three championship take to the Italian circuit of Monza. Fittipaldi, with the presence of his grandfather, Emerson Fittipaldi, enjoyed a more successful weekend and made the rookie podium in third after Saturday’s result.
Fittipaldi started the first race in eleventh but was able to progress four places throughout the race duration. Rao started the first race from twenty-fifth while Cao was able to charge through the ranks after starting in thirty-first.
Soon after the lights went out, the car of Janosz, racing for Eurointernational, had to be recovered following a start line collision causing the safety car to be deployed.
Although driving with a splint for his broken hand, incurred at Pau only a fortnight ago, Fittipaldi enjoyed his best FIA Formula 3 European Championship result finishing in seventh. Cao, after a successful race, crossed the line in an impressive fourteenth while Rao, who also made huge progress throughout the race, finished just two places behind in sixteenth.
The progress continued in race two, despite three safety car periods throughout the race duration.
Fittipaldi got off to a dominant start in twelfth, gaining a remarkable three places in the first lap putting him ninth. Although Rao and Cao started off further down the grid in fifteenth and seventeenth, they were also able to make notable gains.
After collisions in the midfield, race control sent the safety car out. Only one lap after the restart, Giovinazzi and Stroll battled for fifth place, which ended with another collision. Stroll barrel-rolled his car, but remained unscathed. This brought the safety car out for the second time in this race.
After charging his way through the grid into fifth in the period between the two safety car periods, Fittipaldi remained in fifth.
With fourteen minutes on the clock, Fittipaldi could not defend fifth any longer and Menezes took the place, pushing him down to sixth. Fittipaldi continued to fight in order to regain the place but more cars were on his tail were quickly catching up with him. After a continuous battle, Fittipaldi lost an unfortunate number of places, pushing him into ninth.
With ten laps remaining, kfzeile24 Mücke Motorsport driver, Beretta, barrel-rolled his car after a collision, but also remained unscathed. This resulted in yet another safety car intervention.
Nearing the end of the race, Rao and Van Amersfoort Racing driver, Lorandi, collided. The race was stopped and not restarted shortly before the scheduled end.
After continuing to battle for position, Fittipaldi crossed the line in ninth, in his second top ten finish of the weekend. Despite a collision in the closing stages of the race, Rao had a classified finish in fifteenth, making up a hugely impressive fifteen places during the race. Cao was also able to make up a great number of places, finishing in seventeenth.
Although the third race of the weekend allowed little time for significant progress, Cao was able to push his way through the pack, gaining eight places, resulting in sixteenth. Fittipaldi, starting from thirteenth, gained a position, resulting in a twelfth position finish.
Further down the field, Tveter, driving for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, ran into the back of the Team West-Tec F3 car of Schiller and became airborne. As the car became stranded as a result, the race director sent the safety car out. Tveter was taken to hospital for a check-up.
Only three laps after the restart Jensen, racing for kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, collided with Prema Powerteam driver Stroll prompting a second safety car intervention. The third race of the weekend was then red-flagged. With two cars having barrel-rolled in the second race already, though without any injuries for the drivers involved, and medical care being required for Tveter after his accident in the opening stages of this race, race control intervened for safety reasons.