Zandvoort Formula 3 Euro Series: Daniel Juncadella wins amid wet/dry chaos
|By Jamie O'Leary||Sunday, August 26th 2012, 10:24 GMT|
Daniel Juncadella took a major step towards the Formula 3 Euro Series title with victory in a chaotic wet/dry final race of the weekend at Zandvoort on Sunday.
The Spaniard boldly started a wet race on slick tyres and was able to reap the benefits when the track dried out to win for the fifth time this year by 3.2 seconds from Will Buller, despite the safety car appearing three times.
The wet conditions at the start meant that the action got underway behind the safety car, but chaotic scenes followed as the green flags were waved.
Raffaele Marciello ran into the back of his polesitting Prema team-mate Sven Muller as the pair came over the line to commence racing.
Muller had been forced to brake hard after realising that if he overtook the safety car before it had crossed the pit entrance line, he would have been given a drive-through penalty.
With both machines out on the spot and the safety car reappearing to allow the damage to be cleared up, new leader Felix Rosenqvist and many of the others who had started on wet tyres, pitted for slicks.
Prema driver Juncadella assumed the lead and was never headed as he increased his Euro Series points lead to 25 points and his FIA European F3 Championship advantage to 34.5.
When racing resumed it was Sandro Zeller - the only man left on wets - who took second with a fine move on Buller's Carlin machine on lap eight.
But the Jo Zeller driver was soon holding up an eight-car train and dropped back to fifth behind Buller, the recovering Rosenqvist and the Swede's Mucke team-mate Pascal Wehrlein in three corners on lap 11.
Further round the lap Carlos Sainz Jr lined up right behind his rear-wing. But as he moved left to attempt a move, he forced Tom Blomqvist - one of three drivers alongside him at the time - into the side of Michael Lewis.
Lewis, who could not move left himself due to the presence of Lucas Wolf, made contact with Blomqvist's machine, putting both out on the spot and bringing the safety car back out.
Just two more racing laps were run, but that still gave Wehrlein time to pass Rosenqvist for the final podium spot at the Audi S on the final lap. Sainz and Emil Bernstorff completed the top six.
Results - 18 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Daniel Juncadella Prema Dallara-Merc 40m27.322s 2. Will Buller Carlin Dallara-VW + 3.293s 3. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Dallara-Merc + 4.454s 4. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc + 4.691s 5. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW + 5.708s 6. Emil Bernstorff Ma-con Dallara-VW + 8.394s 7. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Merc + 11.681s 8. Andrea Roda Zeller Dallara-Merc + 12.083s 9. Sandro Zeller Zeller Dallara-Merc + 15.900s Retirements: Tom Blomqvist Ma-con Dallara-VW 11 laps Michael Lewis Prema Dallara-Merc 11 laps Luis Sa Silva Angola Dallara-Merc 8 laps Raffaelle Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc 2 laps Sven Muller Prema Dallara-Merc 1 lap