Christian Lundgaard and Max Fewtrell, racing as team-mates with ART Grand Prix, have impressed in a so far challenging maiden season in the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
Both are in their third season as Renault Sport Academy Drivers having battled for the 2018 Formula Renault Eurocup title.
Christian crossed the line first in the inaugural FIA Formula 3 race in Barcelona, but was handed a time-penalty for a Virtual Safety Car infringement and fell to second. The middle part of the season has proved tricky with bad luck making points hard to come by. But, the Dane enjoyed a solid weekend in Silverstone with a front row place in qualifying followed by finishes of seventh and fifth.
He backed that up in Hungary by taking the maximum 31 points from a race after taking pole position, a lights to flag victory and the fastest lap in race one.
Max, too, has experienced a similar season to Christian. Things began brightly in Spain with finishes of fifth and eighth before a difficult outing in France with no points on the board. Max recovered well, qualifying second and finishing in the same place in Austria. Another frustrating weekend at home in Silverstone was next but again Max bounced back well to take second in Budapest.
Christian and Max are the top two ‘rookie’ drivers in the Championship having not driven Formula 3 machinery before.
Max tested the R.S.17 in Barcelona, Spain in August for his maiden attempt in a hybrid-engine Formula 1 car.
Christian Lundgaard: “The first part of the season has been tough mentally, with up and down moments. We started very well but have had our struggles. I’m confident we can make up the difference before the end of the season. Consistency is key in the championship and unfortunately, we have been weak so far on that. We need to work harder than ever to get back towards the top of the championship. There has been a lot of things to learn and I’m gaining a lot of experience because of it.”
Max Fewtrell: “It’s been a rollercoaster season so far. We’ve had some good results like in Austria and Hungary, but also some tough weekends as well. We know what we’re capable of, we showed that in Hungary with a decent qualifying and a strong race. We just need to nail the consistency for the remaining rounds to keep in touch in the championship.”
Yifei Ye was announced to the Academy in April at a Renault China event at the Shanghai International Circuit during the 1,000th Grand Prix weekend.
Yifei has endured a difficult season to date and has not scored points, with a best finish of eleventh in Silverstone.
Yifei Ye: “The first part of the season has been really difficult. There have been times where we were on for a decent result but our hard work hasn’t paid off. We have been unlucky at times, but also there are a number of areas for me to improve.”