Joel takes away a slender overall lead from round two of the FIA F3 European Championship after coming home in fourth place in the final race of the weekend at Monza.
From pole, Joel made a relatively good start, although unlike in Race 2 earlier in the day he could not defend his lead on the opening laps, instead dropping down to fifth on a busy first few tours.
He began fighting back by passing Maximilian Günther for fourth at the Rettifilio chicane on lap four, however, and quickly set about chasing down the leading trio which consisted of Callum Ilott, Lando Norris and 2016 Motopark team-mate Guan Yu Zhou.
The move on Zhou came on lap ten, with Joel slipstreaming alongside the Chinese through Curva Grande and subsequently snatching third at the Della Roggia chicane – with Günther also taking advantage of the situation to demote Zhou to fifth.
With Günther sticking on Joel’s slipstream for the next few laps, the German eventually managed to launch an attack at Della Roggia on lap 12, taking third.
Günther and Joel then ran in close proximity over the next five laps, until – at the start of lap 17 – Joel dragged alongside the 2016 championship runner-up heading into the Rettifilio.
Günther appeared to move across under braking as the duo approached the chicane, however, pushing Joel onto the astroturf on the outside and forcing him to take evasive action by diving down the escape road.
The incident caused Joel to drop out of reach of Günther, who went on to finish third with Joel fourth. The stewards are currently reviewing the situation.
Ilott won the race, with Norris second. Joel set the fastest lap.
With two rounds of the FIA F3 European Championship now completed, Joel leads the standings by a single point from Norris, as the field now moves on to the streets of Pau in three weeks’ time.
“That was a pretty tough race. The car wasn’t great, but it feels good to leave Monza with such a strong overall result. Let’s see what the stewards say regarding the situation with Günther.”
RESULTS – Race 3
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TV / live stream
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Live timing for each session of the 2017 FIA F3 European Championship is available at www.fiaf3europe.com/live.
WHERE IT HAPPENS
Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Lap length: 5.793 km
Monza FIA F3 EC data
Lap record: 1m44.082s (C.Leclerc, ’15)
Latest event: 2015
Most recent winners (2015):