AUSSIE JOEY MAWSON began his 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship campaign with a pair of point-scoring hauls during a cold and damp Autumn weekend at Britain’s Silverstone.
The PODIUM-backed driver qualified ninth, 11th and 13th for the three races – then put in a sterling drive for fifth overall (second rookie) in the opening encounter. As there’s also a championship for rookies, Joey finished on the podium. Less than a second separated the 18 drivers.
Logistics are tricky at Silverstone for the F3s as the trucks and cars are located in the old ‘national’ paddock, but the pit lane and grid are in the newer ‘international’ area. This means transporting all the equipment required for the pit lane from one end of the circuit to the other. And back again after each session!
In race two, Joey was challenging for sixth until tyre degradation beset his Van Racing Amersfoort Dallara, and he struggled to the chequered flag.
He made impressive gains in the opening few laps of race three to move up five places into eighth, fending off a strong challenge by team-mate Harri Newey, before pulling clear for his second points bag.
“We struggled as a team with the pace the whole weekend, but I’m quite satisfied that I got the most out of the car that I could have,” Joey said. “To record a top five result in my first weekend as a rookie in F3 is very satisfying. But we need to unlock the key to the outright speed across all three races. We didn’t go backwards, but we simply didn’t have the pace of the front-runners. We’ll be working hard to analyse the data and improve before Monza April 29-30.”
With three different race winners across the weekend, race two winner Joel Eriksson leads the Championship on 55 points ahead of Callum Illot (43) and Lando Norris (42). Joey Mawson is seventh on 14.
The FIA is still negotiating with Australian TV broadcasters to enable both live coverage and a highlights program to be aired in Australia.
(After Round 1 of 10)
1. Joel Eriksson – 55 points
2. Callum Illott – 43
3. Lando Norris – 42
4. Maximilian Günther – 39
5. Jake Dennis – 38
6. Jake Hughes – 15
7. Joey Mawson – 14
8. Jehan Daruvala – 13
9. Mick Schumacher – 12
10. Guanyu Zhou – 12