Race gains for Sauber Junior Team F3 squad in Belgium


31 August 2019
I made up some places but then going into Pouhon I was side-by-side with one of the Campos cars and he just pushed me straight off.

“I made up some places but then going into Pouhon I was side-by-side with one of the Campos cars and he just pushed me straight off. ”


Raoul Hyman  

The Sauber Junior Team returned to action in the FIA Formula 3 Championship at the spectacular Spa-Francorchamps circuit earlier today, making gains during a competitive first race at the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

The Sauber Junior Team development programme was launched ahead of the 2019 season and, through a collaboration with Charouz Racing System, is running reigning ADAC F4 Champion Lirim Zendeli, F3 podium finisher Fabio Scherer and F3 Asia champion Raoul Hyman in the F3 category.

With a solid practice session under their belts, the trio went into Friday afternoon’s all-important qualifying session in optimistic mood. However, it proved to be a troubled session with a hydraulic issue hampering Fabio and Lirim suffering contact.

Lirim therefore started this morning’s 17-lap race from P30 after a grid penalty. The German immediately made progress and used his pace well as he chipped away at the rest of the pack, coming across the line in P22 – an impressive eight-place gain on his starting position.

Starting from P24, Raoul was in the thick of the action during the opening phase of the race, but had to take avoiding action after he was pushed wide by a rival into the high-speed Pouhon corner.

That pushed the Briton towards the rear of the field and, battling damaged tyres from the incident, he eventually finished in P26.

Fabio was also in the fight and ran as high as P22, but his race was undone when he received a penalty for mistakenly carrying out an additional reconnaissance lap. Having an extra 10 seconds added to his race time for the communication mix-up meant he dropped to P27.

The Race 1 results mean Lirim will start from P22, Raoul P26, and Fabio P27 for Sunday’s second race in Belgium, which is scheduled to start at 09:45 local time.

Antonin Charouz, Charouz Racing System owner, said: “Unfortunately, today’s race was always going to be tough after the issues we had in qualifying. But our pace was largely good during the race and it was pleasing to move up the order. If we can steer clear of further little issues and maintain our pace, I’m hopeful all three cars can score solid results tomorrow.”

Jamie Dye, Team Manager, said: “It wasn’t the race we were looking for but we know why. Lirim did well to make up eight positions, while with Fabio we simply had a mix-up in communication and that led to the penalty. That was a big shame. Raoul’s race was wrecked on the first lap. We considered pitting him in case there was a Safety Car but ultimately decided to save the tyres for tomorrow’s race.”

Lirim Zendeli said: “I think I could have made more positions as I had quite good tyres at the end, but because of the fight at the beginning we had quite a gap to make up. I closed eight or so seconds but it wasn’t enough to get more positions. Hopefully tomorrow, starting a bit further forward, we can make some places by capitalising on the good tyres I normally have towards the end of the race.”

Fabio Scherer said: “It was probably one of the most difficult races of the season for me, unfortunately. It wasn’t easy to drive the car, and it didn’t feel like we had the pace of the others. Then, at the end we got a penalty which was something we should have avoided. It was an honest mistake but we need to learn from it.”

Raoul Hyman said: “I made up some places but then going into Pouhon I was side-by-side with one of the Campos cars and he just pushed me straight off. I’m upset but at the same time I’m grateful we didn’t end up with a broken monocoque as it could have been a big accident. I think I got off lightly, it was really bad from him. After that I had four flat-spotted tyres so it was a salvage job.”

I made up some places but then going into Pouhon I was side-by-side with one of the Campos cars and he just pushed me straight off.

“I made up some places but then going into Pouhon I was side-by-side with one of the Campos cars and he just pushed me straight off. ”


Raoul Hyman  
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