Christian Lundgaard and Max Fewtrell both stepped up to the inaugural FIA Formula 3 Championship with ART Grand Prix this season after they went head-to-head for last year’s Formula Renault Eurocup title.
Christian finished sixth in the Drivers’ Championship behind five drivers who have previously competed in Formula 3 or GP3. The Dane made an excellent start in Barcelona with a second place in the first race of the season. It could have been one better for Christian who had crossed the line first but was handed a five-second penalty for a Virtual Safety Car infringement, which put him to second.
He had to wait until Hungary for his first win after starting from pole position. He claimed two fourth place finishes in Belgium before securing another superb pole position in Monza, where he was unfortunate to leave empty-handed. Christian finished third on debut in the Macau Grand Prix Qualification Race and then fourth in the Main Race. He ended his year with a maiden outing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Trident Motorsport.
Max joined Christian at ART and he too found podiums difficult to come by in a competitive field. An impressive weekend in Austria saw Max take his first podium with second place, which he later followed up in Hungary, finishing behind Christian. A run of bad luck ensued, with technical problems meaning Max missed out on likely podiums in race two in Hungary and later in Belgium. The Briton finished tenth in the Drivers’ Championship.
Yifei Ye was announced as an Academy member in Shanghai in April but faced a tricky year in Formula 3 with Hitech Grand Prix. He remained resilient to score his first points of the campaign in the final round in Russia.
Christian Lundgaard: “The second-half of the season has been a tough one mentally and with difficult results. We lost a friend at a race weekend with a couple of rounds to go and that has been a very difficult concept to understand. In the end, finishing sixth is not the result we wanted, but I’ve learned so much during the year. We didn’t get everything out of our potential and losing points isn’t acceptable, but we will have to learn. I lost fifth in the championship at the final round in Russia because I was hit while under safety car conditions; it wasn’t the way we wanted to end the championship, but we had an excellent weekend in Macau and then a really good experience in Formula 2 to round off the season. I’m already fully focused on 2020.”
Favourite Moment: “Macau was the highlight of the year because it was my first time out there and getting third in race one and fourth in the main race was way better than I’d ever thought. It’s just such an amazing place to drive and something every race driver should experience.”
Max Fewtrell: “This year has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for many reasons. We didn’t get the results we wanted. We had two strong weekends where we were fighting for the win but in the end finished in second place, which were still good results. We showed what we could do there, but it was too inconsistent. Sometimes we’d be absolutely nowhere and then the next week we’d be in with a chance for the win. It’s been up and down and not the end the result we wanted at all as we targeted to compete for the title. I’m looking forward to 2020 and getting back on the top step and have a chance at claiming the crown.”
Favourite Moment: “My favourite moment of the year was testing the R.S.17. To finally take an F1 car out on track on a test day was a dream come true and probably the best day of my life so far. From the moment I stepped in a go-kart to that point was all building up. It was really special to me. I’ve experienced what it’s like being an F1 driver for a day and doing that full-time is the end goal.”
Yifei Ye: “It’s been a challenging rookie season for me in FIA Formula 3. The level of the field this year was extremely high. It was not easy for me to learn the F3 car with very limited track time and to compete with drivers who have more experience. But we improved step by step and we have shown good pace in the second half of the season and we finished the year with a great result and a lot of confidence for the future. Big thanks to all the Renault Sport Academy staff for the great help and support.”
Favourite Moment: “Russia, the final round of the year where I nailed the practice session, messed up the qualifying but then I had two strong races coming back from behind and taking my first points in the process with many great overtakes.”