01 Daniel Ticktum
02 Alex Palou
21 Devlin DeFrancesco
01 Daniel Ticktum
02 Guanyu Zhou
18 Devlin DeFrancesco
01 Daniel Ticktum
02 Enaam Ahmed
19 Devlin DeFrancesco
01 Enaam Ahmed
02 Marcus Armstrong
16 Devlin DeFrancesco
Devlin DeFrancesco had a positive weekend at the Hungaroring for the second round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, with his results improving as the event went along, and some invaluable experience gained.
The 4.381km circuit gave the drivers some relief from the streets of Pau, with far fewer incidents across the board. Calling upon his experience having driven at the track in his 2017 Euroformula Open campaign as well as in the official tests earlier this year, Devlin entered the weekend with a positive mindset.
With the Carlin squad seemingly not finding the exact sweet spot in practice sessions, Devlin pushed during the two morning sessions however did not feel like he set a representative time. The team worked tirelessly in between sessions in attempt to extract the full potential from the track however it was not to be with Devlin leaving qualifying knowing there was more to come in the races.
Track conditions were less than ideal for Saturday morning’s race, with damp patches on the circuit making things tricky for the drivers. Even so, all the cars got away cleanly, with DeFrancesco holding on to his position and beginning his chasing down of the cars ahead. There was drama in the first corner, with two front-runners, Daniel Ticktum and Marcus Armstrong colliding, causing the latter to drop to the very back of the pack and promoting Devlin a place all within the first 600m.
Driving a great clean race, Devlin pressured the cars in front leaving a nice gap to those behind, however with the track being notoriously difficult to overtake, it became increasingly difficult for the young star to find a way past. However, by being mistake free and not conceding any positions, he once more benefitted from retirements, elevating him two more places and seeing him cross the line in eighteenth.
Eager to put yesterdays difficult Qualifying behind him, Devlin set out for the second qualifying session on Saturday afternoon to set his grid positions for Races 2 and 3. In blistering hot conditions, the pack was incredibly tight with hardly anything splitting the entire field. Putting in several clean pacey laps Devlin ended the sessions in the mid-field for the remainder of the weekend.
Race Two got underway bright and early on Sunday morning in the sweltering Hungarian heat as Devlin took his position on the grid. Getting off the line clean and precisely, Devlin maintained his position and set off if pursuit of a points finish. With overtaking opportunities severely limited, the race turned out to be fairly uneventful for most involved. However, Devlin drove a quick and sensible race, staying on the track where others faulted to cross the line in sixteenth improving several positions form his start.
Conditions took a turn for the worse between the two races, with heavy rain turning the pits into a ice-rink during the DTM race unfortunately injuring mechanics and marshalls. The young drivers found themselves lining up for the delayed Race 3 on a drying track with tyres being changed up until the final moments.
Chaos ensued from the outset, with the top three attempting to go three-wide in Turn 1, resulting in damage for one of the leaders and a Full Course Yellow. Undeterred by the drama infolding in front of him Devlin remained focused and climbed up four spots to sit comfortably in sixteenth at the restart.
Keeping everyone on the edge of the seats, Devlin pulled of one of the overtakes of the weekend Julian Hanses moving him even closer to a points playing position. With drivers dropping down the order left and right, DeFrancesco was able to claim his best finish of the year so far, a strong fourteenth, with the promise of points edging ever closer.
‘Overall it was a tough weekend’ Devlin commented. ‘But we fought back and stayed clean in the races so there's definitely positives to take. I'm now looking forward to the next one!’
The championship will now take another short break before heading to the third round of the season on the weekend of 23rd to the 24th of June at the historic Norisring in Germany. DeFrancesco will be looking to build on his experience from this weekend as he hunts down his first points of the season.