Renault Sport Academy Driver Sacha Fenestraz bounced back from two frustrating qualifying sessions to take home 14 points in round two of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship at the Hungaroring last weekend.
The 18-year-old endured engine problems at the beginning of the weekend, but recovered from that to clinch eighth, ninth and sixth across the three races in Budapest.
In the first qualifying session, which decided the starting grid for Saturday’s opening race, Sacha recorded the thirteenth fastest time, putting him on the seventh row.
On the dry side of the grid after overnight rain, Sacha made a bright and aggressive start, moving up to tenth place by the end of lap one. He gained a further two places over the next few laps and maintained that eighth spot to the flag.
Later in the day, again Sacha struggled with single-lap pace in the second qualifying session, which meant he would line up thirteenth and twelfth for Sunday’s double-header.
Like in race one, the French-Argentine was quick out of the traps, gaining four places into ninth to take two points.
Sacha’s best getaway of the weekend came in race three, as he climbed three places by turn one to rise to ninth before capitalising on rivals’ errors to slot into sixth by the mid-point of the opening lap. As the race settled, Sacha held his cool to seal eight points and third-place in the rookie classification to end the weekend on a sweet note.
Sacha heads to round three at the Norisring in two weeks’ time fourth in the Drivers’ Championship on 51 points.
Sacha Fenestraz – Carlin - #11
“It was a tough weekend in the end. We had a tricky start on Friday and we had work to do to improve. We discovered some engine issues, but luckily, we fixed that by Saturday. In qualifying I felt I drove well, but with the engine problem we were a bit far back in P13. In all three races I wanted to be aggressive at the beginning of the race and I wanted to win as many places at the start as possible because it’s a hard track to overtake at. The only opportunities to pass were on the first few laps. I did that, starting P13, finishing P8 in race one, then P9 in race two and then in the final race going from P12 to P6. That was a really great race for me. Overall, we improved a lot throughout the weekend, so that’s good progress and we have positives to draw from that area. We did struggle a bit, but hopefully that won’t happen again for the rest of the season.”