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Hartley hampered in Holland


A mechanical problem frustrated the pace of Brendon Hartley in Sunday’s second race of the European Formula 3 Championship at Zandvoort in Holland

The New Zealander was well off the pace and struggled to finish in eighth place after starting from tenth in the longer race.

“I just had no pace and right now we don’t understand what the issue is with the car. I was right there during Friday testing, setting lap times in the top three; but something is not right because we were 1.5 sec down in the second race,” said Hartley.

“I lost sixth gear during the race and that will have cost me time, although maybe there is something more. I need to stay confident but this is pretty stressful”

Hartley’s Red Bull car started the Saturday race from a lowly 19th on the grid after being hit by a wayward Sam Bird’s car during the 30 minute grid qualifying session. The Englishman misjudged his weaving to warm the tyres; and the collision damaged Hartley’s suspension.

Adding to Hartley’s confusion, his Carlin Motorsport team mate Jake Rosenzweig had his best result ever, finishing on the podium with a solid third placing. The American rookie has trailed behind Hartley’s times at the three previous Euro meetings in 2009 yet at Zandvoort on Sunday Rosenzweig’s car was over half a second faster than Hartley.

“Something’s not right, we were on the pace on Friday and now my car is around 1.5 sec off the front runners.”

Euro Series championship leader Jules Bianchi completed a dominant display at Zandvoort by taking his second win of the weekend on Sunday morning.

The ART driver completed the double despite having to start the ‘top eight reverse-grid’ race from eighth place. He made his way up to fourth with a strong start, then moved up to third by passing Rosenzweig, and took second when Henkie Waldschmidt served a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.

Bianchi reeled in race leader Sam Bird at more than a second a lap and, after several laps pressuring the leader, he eventually sneaked through at the first corner when Bird ran slightly wide with seven laps to go.

After that, Bianchi streaked into the distance, eventually finishing more than six seconds clear of Bird, who took second ahead of Carlin Motorsport's Rosenzweig. The American backed up his first points finish from Saturday with another good performance, sustaining pressure from the experienced Christian Vietoris for most of the race.

Bianchi is the first driver to win both races on the track in a weekend since the Euro Series adopted the reversed-grid format for the 2006 season. That year, Sebastian Vettel was credited with both wins at the Nurburgring, but that was only after race two winner Paul di Resta was handed a time penalty after the race.

Euro Formula 3 Championship – Zandvoort Race 2

 1.           Jules Bianchi                      ART                        D/M                       40m34.182s

 2.           Sam Bird                              Mucke                  D/M                       +6.205

 3.           Jake Rosenzweig              Carlin                     D/V                        +7.575

 4.           Christian Vietoris              Mucke                  D/M                       +7.918

 5.           Jean-Karl Vernay             Signature             D/V                        +8.632

 6.           Valtteri Bottas                   ART                        D/M                       +9.455

 7.           Esteban Gutierrez           ART                        D/M                       +13.068

 8.           Brendon Hartley               Carlin                     D/V                        +22.100

 9.           Alexander Sims                 Mucke                  D/M                       +24.420

10.          Marco Wittmann              Mucke                  D/M                       +25.619

11.          Roberto Merhi                  Manor                  D/M                       +27.108

12.          Stefano Coletti                  Prema                   D/M                       +35.638

13.          Cesar Ramos                      Manor                  D/M                       +53.965

14.          Pedro Nunes                    Manor                  D/M                       +54.469

15.          Nick Tandy                          Kolles                    D/V                        +56.288

16.          Christopher Zanella         Motopark            D/M                       +56.567

17.          Henkie Waldschmidt        SG                          D/M                       +58.175

18.          Basil Shaaban                     Prema                   D/M                       +58.948

19.          Mika Maki                           Signature             D/V                        +59.430

20.          Johnny Cecotto Jr            HBR                        D/M                       +1:28.086

21.          Andrea Caldarelli              SG                          D/M                       +1 lap

22.          Tiago Geronimi                 Signature             D/V                        +2 laps

23.          Matteo Chinosi                  Prema                  D/M                       +4 laps


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