F3 graduates become F1 front-runners

The ability of the British F3 Championship to find the best single-seater drivers in the world was underlined at the weekend, after the top six finishers in the German Grand Prix were all graduates of the UK's premier single-seater series

F3 graduates become F1 front-runners

Race winner Rubens Barrichello celebrated his first victory on Sunday since he won at Donington in 1991 in an F3 season which saw the battle between the little Brazilian and current F1 World Championship rival David Coulthard go down to the wire. Barrichello emerged on top winning the championship by nine points.

Also in the top six at Hockenheim were 1990 British F3 champion Mika Hakkinen and his season-long rival of that year, Mika Salo. The points-scoring positions in Germany were completed by last year's British F3 revelation Jenson Button and sixth placed man in the 1993 Championship, Pedro de la Rosa.

To round off a successful weekend for the UK's top slicks and wings formula, current series front-runner Tomas Scheckter took second place in the FIA International Formula 3000 race. One time F3 race winner in 1995 Cristiano Da Matta also won his maiden Champ Car race at Chicago.

"This fantastic result in Germany highlights exactly why Formula 3 is recognised as the best training ground for young drivers," enthused Jeremy Lord of the Formula Three Association (FOTA). "To have had 13 of the 22 starters as former F3 racers is exceptional, but a top six lock-out is amazing. We look forward to seeing the next F1 drivers emerging from this year¹s championship."

The 2000 championship is currently being led by Antonio Pizzonia who has already successfully tested for the Benetton F1 team this year. The Brazilian leads Tomas Sheckter by 30 points with four rounds to go. The series moves to Silverstone for round 13 on August 20.

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