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Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) was unbeatable in today’s eleventh race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season at the 4.381 kilometres long Hungaroring. The Brit started the race from pole position and won after 22 laps with a margin of 8.6 seconds from his closest rival Joel Eriksson (Motopark) from Sweden.

In bright sunshine near the Hungarian capital of Budapest, third place went to Chinese Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam). In the drivers’ standings, German Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) remains on top, he finished the race in sixth place.

Because of its comparatively fluent characteristics, the Hungaroring is known for providing only few opportunities for overtaking. Well aware of this, Callum Ilott did everything to remain in front after the start. Joel Eriksson slotted into second place and initially put the leader under pressure. The latter, however, remained unfazed and held on to the lead.

Lando Norris started the race from third place on the grid, but the British rookie didn’t have a good getaway. He dropped back to 16th place and failed to make it back into the points during the race.

Out in front, Callum Ilott pulled away from his main rival Joel Eriksson more and more and eventually secured an undisputed victory. Eriksson and Zhou joined him on the podium. Classified in fourth place, Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix) only just missed out on a podium finish while David Beckmann (Motopark) was able to score his first championship points by finishing fifth. Günther had to make do with sixth place, followed by the best rookie driver Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing), Jehan Daruvala (Carlin), Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam) and Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin).

Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam): “My start was okay. In the first corners, Joel tried to attack me, but from lap two onwards, I was able to pull a gap and then extend my advantage. Actually, I had expected my tyres to degrade more, but fortunately, this wasn’t the case. Thus, I was able to continuously extend my lead and then win the race.”

Joel Eriksson (Motopark): “My start wasn’t particularly good and as the start is one of the few possibilities to make up positions at this track, I stayed in second place behind Callum. Nevertheless, it is nice to be back on the podium after my weaker performance from yesterday.”

Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam): “I am happy to have scored my first podium finish of the season. At the start, I managed to overtake Lando and then I tried briefly to attack Joel. Later on, I saved my tyres and particularly tried to ensure that the gap to Jake Hughes behind me wouldn’t get too small. I managed quite well, my third place was never under threat

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Sebastien Buemi has extended his lead in the FIA Formula E Championship standings to 15 points having just managed to stay ahead of main title rival Lucas Di Grassi around the narrow streets of Monaco following a high-pressure fight to the flag.

The Renault e.dams driver secured an impressive pole position, and led the race from lights to flag, mirroring his victory at the same venue two years ago. The Swiss driver made a good start and pulled a relatively comfortable gap in the first stint, but after the pit stops, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’s Di Grassi edged closer and closer to the back of the championship leader, eventually crossing the line just over three tenths behind.

Nick Heidfeld made a welcome return to the podium for the first time since the opening round of the season. He piloted his Mahindra Racing machine to a distant third having made a strong start to gain three places in the opening laps.

Another driver to make up places of the line was DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird, however the British driver’s fortunes were soon to change as he lost the rear of the car exiting turn nine and swiped the barrier. After a lengthy pit stop he was able to rejoin the race and still picked up a point for fastest lap.

For the first half of the race Nelson Piquet Jr had been running in third position for NextEV NIO, but the TECHEETAH car of Jean-Eric Vergne clearly had more pace and was trying to find a way past. After attempting a move into the tight turn three on lap 20, he made an identical attempt the next time around and almost made it stick. The pair went side by side, but as the track tightened up Vergne made contact with the barrier which put him out of the race. Heidfeld was able to get through as the pair in front clashed, opening the door to his podium finish.

The incident brought out the safety car, prompting almost all the teams to make their mandatory pit stop and car change. During the flurry of stopes, an unsafe release for the #28 car of Antonio Felix da Costa meant that a 33 second time penalty was applied to his finishing time after the race, dropping him from eighth down to 11th and out of the points.

Despite the contact, Piquet held on to fourth place to the flag, fighting with Venturi’s Maro Engel, the second Mahindra of Felix Rosenqvist and di Grassi’s team-mate Daniel Abt who finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Gutierrez, Prost and Evans rounded out the top ten.

Around the famous Monaco streets it was an intriguing ePrix which culminated in an intense final few laps. The battle now heads to Paris in just one week’s time for round 6 of the 2016/2017 season.

Sebastien Buemi said: “In the first stint I managed to pull a little gap, but Lucas was using a bit less energy than me. When the safety car came out we knew we had to try to learn from them [Abt] after what they have done in Hong Kong and Mexico by stopping very early, so that was the right call and then we knew it was going to be very difficult because to finish we would have to save quite a lot of energy. I managed to build a bit of a gap just to be safe and he played with me a bit because when we were passing the guys who were a lap down he consumed a little bit more than expected so I had to do the same. Then he did two laps where he kind of backed off, which was good for me, but in the end we both finished with nothing left.”

Lucas Di Grassi said: “On the first stint the pace was not really there but we were saving much more energy. In the second stint I was trying to keep up with him. I had around one per cent more than him, so I knew if I had the right strategy I could attack him in the end. The problem is here in Monaco there is nowhere to overtake and if you’re an experienced guy like Seb you know how to close the door. Also I would never go for a gap where you cannot overtake or I would risk all the race. If he’d left any door open, or any of the straights were longer than 360 metres, for sure I would have had a go.”

Nick Heidfeld said: “It’s good to be back on the podium especially as we have been unlucky in the past two races. I tried to go through the start in my head and I knew there might be a train on one side and this could be a chance to overtake a lot of cars and obviously we know from two years ago how it can pan out in Turn 2 with cars flying over each other, so it was very important to get clear to get back into the line and it worked verY well and I managed to take three cars there. We’d discussed a lot about strategy and I said we just follow Lucas and that’s what we did and it was a good strategy!”

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Mahindra secures maiden victory in the FIA Formula E Championship in the first of two races at Tempelhof Airport as championship fight takes another exciting turn.

Felix Rosenqvist has secured his and his Mahindra team’s first victory in the FIA Formula E Championship today, 10 June, at the historic Berlin Tempelhof Airport. There was double cause for celebration for the squad, as local German racer Nick Heidfeld also took a podium finish in third, just behind pole-sitter Lucas di Grassi.

The ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport driver had come out on top in front of his team’s home crowd in what was an incredibly close qualifying Super Pole, beating DS Virgin Racing’s Jose Maria Lopez by just 0.001s. The two Mahindra drivers lined up alongside one another on the second row of the grid – Rosenqvist just 0.083s off the outright fastest time in third and Heidfeld three tenths back. As the lights went out the pair swept past Lopez who made a slow getaway, while di Grassi held his lead in the opening laps.

The Brazilian driver was able to edge away and had a lead over Rosenqvist of 1.5s after ten laps while Heidfeld came under serious pressure from Lopez and his team-mate Sam Bird, but was able to resist the challenge until the pit stop phase.

Rosenqvist, however, had his sights firmly set on the top step of the podium, and as the cars approached mid-distance, had closed right in on the leader. As the cars flew past the packed grandstands on the run down to Turn One, Rosenqvist made his move around the outside to grab the lead on lap 22. With the advantage to the Swedish former FIA Formula 3 European Champion, he was the first to dive into the pits to make his mandatory car change. Di Grassi shadowed the new race leader, and almost all the drivers quickly followed suit to pit at exactly the mid-point in the race.

Rosenqvist just managed to hold onto the lead as the pair re-joined the track, and for the second half of the contest he edged away to take a popular first win by just over two seconds. The result for the Mahindra squad brings them to within 17 points of ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport in the teams’ standings, who are in turn 56 points from Renault e.dams.

Behind battle for the podium positions, there were changes aplenty throughout the top ten. Having had a strong first half of the contest, Bird lost places in the pit stop phase and dropped down the order, while Nicolas Prost, Daniel Abt, and Jean-Eric Vergne were fighting hard throughout the race.

Championship leader Sebastien Buemi had a difficult qualifying around the new 2.27km layout at Tempelhof and started from 14th position in the #9 Renault e.dams car. During the race, the Swiss driver took a calculated approach to steadily climb up the order, picking off place after place with his preferred overtaking spot on the brakes at the tight turn nine hairpin.

He crossed the line just behind the Techeetah car of Jean-Eric Vergne, who had been holding fifth for much of the race, however a five-second penalty for an unsafe release during the pit stop phase dropped Vergne down the order, provisionally handing Buemi the position.

Having achieved a strong result on the circuit, Buemi was later disqualified from the race, with the tyres on his cars failing to comply with minimum pressure according to the Michelin Formula E tyre working range for the Berlin ePrix. The gap has therefore closed at the top of the drivers’ championship order to 22 points.

These changes to the classification mean that behind the podium finishers it was Lopez and Prost in the top five, with Abt, Bird, Vergne, Maro Engel and Oliver Turvey completing the top ten.

Rosenqvist said: “It feels incredible, from the start of the day the car felt good, quick and consistent. I made a small error in Super Pole qualifying, otherwise we could have been on pole. We came here much more prepared [than when I was on pole in Marrakech] and it’s a great compliment to the team. We have some fantastic people. I was waiting for this and it finally it came.”


With Round 8 of the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship season coming up tomorrow, the German fans have another unpredictable and exciting contest in store.

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Following an action-filled first race on the famous roads of Monte Carlo in 2015, the FIA Formula E Championship returns this weekend for Round 5 of the 2016/2017 season.

On that first visit it was Sebastien Buemi who dominated, securing pole position and taking the race win. Two years later and three rounds into the season, Buemi was once again on a roll having taken a hat-trick of victories in Hong Kong, Marrakesh and Buenos Aires. However, in Mexico last time out it was Lucas Di Grassi who grabbed the headlines with a fantastic victory at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, while a spin for Buemi means that the gap between them at the top of the table is now just five points.

Di Grassi’s win from down in 15th on the grid was the result of a carefully calculated strategic drive, and set a new record for the lowest position from which a Formula E race has been won. We can expect both drivers to be at the sharp end on the hallowed Monaco tarmac this weekend.

Behind the two front-runners, Season 3 is shaping up to be incredibly unpredictable in the mid-field. DS Virgin Racing, Techeetah, Mahindra Racing and NEXTEV NIO are all within a handful of points of one another, and on the challenging narrow roads of the principality, a lot could change this weekend.

Mexico was a breakthrough event for the Jaguar squad, which scored its first points with both drivers in the top ten and a standout performance from Mitch Evans in fourth place. This moved the team ahead of Venturi in the standings, and as Monaco is a home race for Venturi, its drivers Maro Engel and Stephane Sarrazin will be looking for points to reverse their fortunes.

The FIA Formula E Championship is also getting behind the first ever FIA Volunteers Day which takes place this weekend. On Friday 12 May, six headline events around the world, including the Monaco ePrix, are leading a collective ‘thank-you’ message to all the volunteers who freely give their time to make motor sport possible. To get involved wherever you are in the world, use #FIAVolunteersDay to share your experiences as a marshal, race official or anyone who volunteers at racing events.