Habsburg Takes Maiden Win in Spa
Ferdinand Habsburg claimed his maiden win in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship yesterday at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. The young Austrian stormed through the field from eighth on the grid to take Carlin’s fourth consecutive victory in the championship. Team mate Jehan Daruvala claimed fifth and was the highest placed rookie. Ameya Vaidyanathan continued his education in the series to claim 14th at the flag. It was a race to forget for championship contender Lando Norris, who after another good start was out of the race after an incident on lap one.
As the lights went out for the second race of the weekend, pole man Norris once again made a good start off the line. Norris was soon the victim of the strong tow gained by the cars behind and found himself swamped from behind. In the fight for position Norris made contact and damaged a front track rod putting him instantly out of the race.
Daruvala and Ferdinand stayed clear of the opening lap chaos and were running fifth and sixth respectively as the field completed the first lap while Vaidyanathan was running in 15th. A lap later Daruvala and Habsburg has moved up to fourth and fifth and were fighting amongst themselves for position.
Habsburg’s fight to the front really began on lap 5 when he wrestled fourth from team mate Daruvala before setting off in pursuit of Jake Hughes for the final podium position. By lap seven Habsburg had the move done with just Gunther and Ilott now ahead of him who had been fighting between themselves for the lead. As the Prema pair switched positions, Habsburg closed in on Ilott, claiming second with a fantastic move into Les Combes.
With only championship leader Gunther ahead, Habsburg could smell his first series victory and closed in on the leader as the race entered the final stages. After briefly dropping back Habsburg made another charge, storming past Gunther and immediately pulling away to break the tow. Just a lap later Habsburg had pulled out a 1.5 second gap as Gunther fell into the clutches of a charging Joel Eriksson behind.
Daruvala was also involved in some close racing action, having been passed by Ilott for p5 who had dropped down the field. The Force India Academy driver fought back though, taking fifth and also fending off Nikita Mazepin to hold his position.
It was Habsburg who took the flag first, claiming a popular victory and also the fourth consecutive win for the Carlin team since race two at Norisring. Daruvala came home fifth and stood on the top step of the rookie podium with Vaidyanathan crossing the line 14th.
Speaking about his race, a delighted Habsburg said, “Really pleased, it was amazing to win a race for Carlin; it’s great to have three race winners in the team now. I made a good start, was a little unlucky in turn four, but didn’t matter as we had a really fast car. I got through the pack, had really good pace and managed to drop the cars behind and importantly break the tow quickly. It feels awesome to take my first race win here at Spa.”