Moscow European F3: Lotus F1 junior Esteban Ocon dominates again
|By Marcus Simmons||Sunday, July 13th 2014, 09:48 GMT|
Lotus F1 junior Esteban Ocon continued his domination of the Formula 3 European Championship weekend at Moscow Raceway by sweeping to victory in the second race.
The Frenchman got a great start from pole position to extend a 1.3-second margin on the first lap, and extended that to 5.3s by the end of the race over Ferrari protege Antonio Fuoco, his team-mate in the Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes line-up.
Fuoco had a tough race, with Tom Blomqvist in his mirrors for the duration in his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen.
Blomqvist stepped up the pressure in the closing laps, getting to within half a second of the Italian, but could not quite get close enough to make a move.
Max Verstappen ran fourth for the first half of the race, but then slowed and finally retired to the pits with an alternator problem, meaning his deficit to championship leader Ocon has widened to a cavernous 109 points.
Up stepped Lucas Auer to claim fourth in the lead Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes, with Jordan King taking more good points with fifth in his Carlin machine.
King's team-mate Jake Dennis had Auer's fellow Mucke runner Felix Rosenqvist up behind him for most of the race, but the English rookie managed to contain the Swedish F3 veteran for sixth.
There was plenty of entertainment in the lower reaches of the top 10. Gustavo Menezes speared boldly down the inside of Nicholas Latifi for eighth at the final corner with three laps to go - bizarrely earning a warning flag for driving etiquette - only to run wide at Turn 1 and hand the place back to the Canadian.
Dennis van de Laar then ran wheel to wheel around the outside of Menezes at the final turn of the race, the Dutchman getting edged wide onto the asphalt run-off but claiming the verdict by just four hundredths of a second - a move that is being scrutinised by officials.
Results - 24 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Esteban Ocon Prema Dallara-Merc 35m42.871s 2. Antonio Fuoco Prema Dallara-Merc +5.309s 3. Tom Blomqvist Carlin Dallara-VW +5.842s 4. Lucas Auer Mucke Dallara-Merc +7.028s 5. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW +8.685s 6. Jake Dennis Carlin Dallara-VW +13.728s 7. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc +15.890s 8. Nicholas Latifi Prema Dallara-Merc +23.652s 9. Dennis van de Laar Prema Dallara-Merc +26.583s 10. Gustavo Menezes Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +26.621s 11. Felix Serralles West-Tec Dallara-Merc +27.192s 12. Tatiana Calderon Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc +29.846s 13. Jules Szymkowiak Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +31.485s 14. Santino Ferrucci Eurointernational Dallara-Merc +34.724s 15. Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Merc +38.165s 16. Antonio Giovinazzi Carlin Dallara-VW +50.904s Retirements: Sean Gelael Carlin Dallara-VW 23 laps Michele Beretta Eurointernational Dallara-Merc 15 laps Max Verstappen Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 12 laps Hector Hurst West-Tec Dallara-Merc 1 lap