Maiden F3 points and pole in Austria for Sauber Junior Team


29 June 2019
I was at the front of my train and didn’t have the tow or DRS to catch the guys in front.

“I was at the front of my train and didn’t have the tow or DRS to catch the guys in front.”


Raoul Hyman  

The Sauber Junior Team claimed its maiden FIA Formula 3 Championship points during the first race of the weekend at the Spielberg circuit in Austria today (Saturday).

The driver development squad, a collaboration between Sauber Motorsport and distinguished junior outfit Charouz Racing System, will also start Sunday’s second race from pole position.

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz drivers Lirim Zendeli, Fabio Scherer and Raoul Hyman were determined to convert the strong race pace they showed in France last weekend, into strong results at the home of F1’s Austrian Grand Prix.

ADAC F4 champion Zendeli claimed his best grid spot of the year as he qualified P11. However, he started Saturday’s race from P8 after some of his rivals were handed post-qualifying penalties.

In blistering temperatures, the German remained part of the lead train of cars for much of the 24-lap race and secured his maiden points in the F3 category with a neat pass on the last lap, sealing P8 in the final results – and reversed-grid race pole.

F3 Asia champion Raoul lined up P24 on the Race 1 grid and impressively worked his way forward to P19, racking up more valuable experience and understanding aboard the F3/19 machine.

Fabio started P23 but his challenge came to a premature end after the front wing of his car suffered damage. He was forced to retire in the pits after completing only two laps of the 4.32km circuit.

Sunday’s second F3 race is scheduled to start at 09:35 local time (GMT +2). As Lirim starts from the front row, Raoul will line up P19 and Fabio P29.

Antonin Charouz, Charouz Racing System team owner, said: “We’ve established a very good performance base in recent weeks and that showed today. I’m delighted that we could score our first points of the season and reward the hard work that the team has put in. I hope we can celebrate some more success from the front row tomorrow.”

Jamie Dye, team manager, said: “The first two rounds were difficult so to get four points on the board today is a real morale boost for the entire team. Lirim remained calm throughout and pushed when he needed to; he can be pleased with his performance. Raoul did well to gain quite a few places, but he couldn’t quite catch the next group of cars. Fabio was unlucky to sustain damage in such a minor incident.”

Lirim Zendeli said: “That was amazing! I knew my tyres were better than my rivals and I was just leaning back and waiting. It was great to feel that we can keep up with the guys at the front. I wanted to overtake earlier but I made a bit of a mistake, so on the last lap I risked it into Turn 1, got the tow up to Turn 3, and got my chance to pass – and made it stick. Starting from P1 tomorrow brings pressure, but that’s what we want. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Fabio Scherer said: “I didn’t have too bad a start and the first two laps were okay. But then when we were fighting I touched someone with my front wing into Turn 2 and something was broken. We came into the pits to try and repair it but the nose pegs were too damaged and that was the end of my race, sadly. I hope I can get a more positive outcome tomorrow.”

Raoul Hyman said: “It was a lonely race. The start was okay and I think I gained one or two spots. But I got pushed off at Turn 2, which was annoying. From there, we had a gap to the next group of cars, and even though my pace was similar, I was at the front of my train and didn’t have the tow or DRS to catch the guys in front. I knew unless there were fireworks ahead, it was just a case of bringing it home while understanding how we can improve the car.”

I was at the front of my train and didn’t have the tow or DRS to catch the guys in front.

“I was at the front of my train and didn’t have the tow or DRS to catch the guys in front.”


Raoul Hyman  
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