In the first nine races of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season, 225 points have been up for grabs. Still, three rounds into the campaign, there is nothing to separate Joel Eriksson and Lando Norris (GBR) – who are tied, to the point, for the overall lead. Heading to Budapest as the battle resumes this weekend, however, Swede Eriksson is determined to eke out a small advantage.
Eriksson and Norris might have enjoyed the strongest start to the season, but their rivals are not far behind. Maximilian Günther (GER) is in hot pursuit in third, sitting just two points adrift of the leading duo, while Britain’s Callum Ilott holds fourth a further 28 points down.
Eriksson, the only driver in the field to have won races at all three rounds this season, expects another close-fought tussle as racing resumes at Hungarian Grand Prix venue the Hungaroring.
“It could hardly be closer than it is at the moment, but I actually enjoy it,” says Joel Eriksson. “That’s what I think racing should be like – competitive and close. I’m confident with my driving at the moment, I know the team do everything in their power to give me a good car, and that’s the way we need to keep going. I’m looking forward to the weekend and given the start we’ve had to the season, the aim is obviously to win more races.”
Hungaroring was one of two circuits, along with Austria’s Red Bull Ring, that staged the official pre-season tests in the build-up to the campaign, which means all the teams and drivers arrive at the venue knowing pretty much exactly what to expect.
Eriksson was a regular feature at the top of the timesheets in testing, and also scored a podium at the Budapest circuit during his rookie FIA F3 European Championship season last year.
“Hungaroring is a track I know really well,” the Team Motopark racer concludes. “We were quick there from the go last year already, and we had two good days of testing there before the season. I like technical tracks which require you to think a couple of corners in advance, and that’s what the Hungaroring is all about. If we can just get the set-up right for the conditions, I’m confident that we can have another good result this weekend.”
The Hungarian round of the championship marks the first time this season that Formula 3 slots onto the support bill for the DTM, where Eriksson serves as a member of BMW’s junior programme.
As ever in Formula 3, three races are set to be staged this weekend, taking place on Saturday and Sunday.
FIA F3 European Championship | Rd. 4
All times local – GMT+02:00
Free Practice 1: 13.30-14.10
Free Practice 2: 14.20-15.00
Qualifying 1: 18.00-18.20
Race 1: 10.40-11.15
Qualifying 2: 16.15-16.35
Race 2: 11.05-11.40
Race 3: 17.00-17.35
TV / live stream
FIA F3 European Championship races are broadcast throughout a wide network of TV stations. Click here to find out where to watch in your part of the world. All races are also transmitted LIVE at www.fiaf3europe.com/live and in-house at www.joelerikssonracing.com, with Eurosport airing a highlights package in the days following each round.
Live timing for each session of the 2017 FIA F3 European Championship is available at www.fiaf3europe.com/live.
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
After 9 of 30 races
1: Joel Eriksson (SWE), 139 p.
2: Lando Norris (GBR), 139 p.
3: Maximilian Günther (GER), 137 p.
4: Callum Ilott (GBR), 109 p.
5: Ferdinand Habsburg (AUT), 49 p.
ABOUT THE CIRCUIT
Lap length: 4.381 km
Hungaroring FIA F3 EC data
Lap record: 1m34.023s (M.Günther, 2016)
Latest event: 2016
Most recent winners (2016):