Three rounds, nine races – that’s all that remains of the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Amid an increasingly intense title fight, Joel Eriksson joins his fellow rivals for a journey to the famous Nürburgring this weekend, with the Swedish 19-year-old bidding to become “Lord of the ‘Ring” on a crucial meeting in the Eifel mountains.
Eriksson arrives at the Nürburgring holding third in the European Championship standings, 55 points down on current leader Lando Norris and 44 adrift of second-placed Maximilian Günther (who is racing on home soil in Germany this weekend).
With a maximum 225 points remaining available in 2017 – 75 of which will be disputed in the Eifel – Eriksson knows this is the time to overcome recent qualifying issues and try to reduce the gap to his title adversaries.
“This is an important weekend, but they really all are and the only difference now is that you’re running out of time to make up points,” says Joel Eriksson. “It’s always three races per weekend and the same amount of points wherever we go, but this is when you start getting no second chances. I probably need to out-score Lando and Maximilian this weekend, that’s the reality, and we’ve been working hard since the last race at Zandvoort to ensure we are on top of the game.
“We’ve had a great test in which we focussed on qualifying performance, and all we can do now is wait and see where it leaves us. I don’t think there’s any point in changing my own approach, so I’ll be racing as hard as ever. It’s about getting everything out of qualifying more consistently.”
The F3 field is expanding to 22 cars this weekend, the largest number so far in 2017. The Carlin squad is adding Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup leader Sacha Fenestraz to its roster, while Max Defourney – another Eurocup racer – joins Van Amersfoort Racing.
There is also an addition to the line-up at Eriksson’s outfit Team Motopark, as Romania’s Petru Florescu steps in from the lower-tier EuroFormula Open series. In doing so, the Team Motopark attack is now up to five drivers for the rest of the season: Eriksson, Florescu, Japan’s Marino Sato, and German duo Keyvan Andres Soori and David Beckmann.
Following the Nürburgring round, visits to the Red Bull Ring and Hockenheim will conclude the FIA F3 European Championship campaign.
FIA F3 European Championship | Rd. 8
All times local – GMT+02:00
Free Practice 1: 11.45-12.25
Free Practice 2: 12.30-13.10
Qualifying 1: 17.50-18.10
Race 1: 10.45-11.20
Qualifying 2: 16.50-17.10
Race 2: 11.05-11.40
Race 3: 16.55-17.30
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 21 of 30 races
1: Lando Norris (GBR), 313 p.
2: Maximilian Günther (GER), 302 p.
3: Joel Eriksson (SWE), 258 p.
4: Callum Ilott (GBR), 221 p.
5: Jehan Daruvala (IND), 140 p.
ABOUT THE CIRCUIT
Lap length: 3.629 km
Nürburgring FIA F3 EC data
Lap record: 1m20.866s (F.Rosenqvist, ’15)
Latest event: 2016
Most recent winners (2016):