This weekend will mark round two of the FIA F3 European Championship, as the season resumes at the high-speed circuit of Monza on the outskirts of Milan. As part of the build-up to the event, a day of official testing is scheduled in at the Italian Grand Prix track tomorrow (Wednesday), with Joel set to get his first-ever taste of the famous venue.
Finishing fourth, first and second respectively as the season got underway at Silverstone (UK) earlier in the month, Joel heads into this week’s activities leading the overall standings.
For the second event in succession, however, he will have to overcome the hurdle of racing at a circuit he has never before seen – making Wednesday’s test all the more important as he bids to defend his championship lead on unknown territory.
“Monza is a new track for me, but so was Silverstone and we managed to get away from there with a strong result,” says Joel. “That said, it did take a while to get up to speed in Britain and I had to think quite carefully about the way I was driving, so it wasn’t an easy task. It probably won’t be this week either, especially with Monza being a home event for our rivals Prema.”
While its vast straights and tight chicanes make Monza a unique challenge in many ways, Joel does expect the relative simplicity of the layout to make track knowledge less of an issue than at Silverstone, where several corners bleed into each other in more complex sequences.
“On paper, I think Monza should be an easier track to learn,” Joel concludes. “The lines appear to be more straightforward than at Silverstone, and there is less combined steering and braking input. Then again, you never know; it might turn out I’m completely wrong! I do feel more confident about Monza than I did going into Silverstone, though, and with a full day of testing tomorrow it should hopefully be all fine this weekend.”
Joel currently heads the championship standings by 12 points from Callum Ilott (GBR).
A report will be published at www.joelerikssonracing.com at the end of Wednesday’s running.
All times local (GMT+02:00)
FIA F3 European Championship | Official test
Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Wednesday 26 April
Morning session: 09.00-12.30
Afternoon session: 14.00-17.30
CURRENT CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
After 3 of 30 races
1: Joel Eriksson (SWE), 55 p.
2: Callum Ilott (GBR), 43 p.
3: Lando Norris (GBR), 42 p.
4: Maximilian Günther (GER), 39 p.
5: Jake Dennis (GBR), 38 p.