#21 Jüri Vips (EST – Hitech Grand Prix Mecachrome Dallara)
Qualifying: 6th – Race 1 Grid: 6th – Race 1 Result: 5th
Race 2 Grid top 8 in reverse order: 4th – Race 2 Result: 21st
FIA F3 Championship position: 3rd – 122 points – after 12 of 16 races
#14 Yuki Tsunoda (JAP – Jenzer Motorsport Mecachrome Dallara)
Qualifying: 3rd – Race 1 Grid: 3rd – Race 1 Result: 6th
Race 2 Grid top 8 in reverse order: 3rd – Race 2 Result: 2nd
FIA F3 Championship position: 10th – 37 points – after 12 of 16 races
#4 Liam Lawson (NZL – MP Motorsport Mecachrome Dallara)
Qualifying: 10th – Race 1 Grid: 10th – Race 1 Result: 12th
Race 2 Grid top 8 in reverse order: 12th – Race 2 Result: 19th
FIA F3 Championship position: 11th – 22 points – after 12 of 16 races
The dark sky that hung over the Francorchamps circuit before the FIA F3 Race 2 on Sunday reflected the sombre mood as a minute's silence was held for Anthoine Hubert who tragically lost his life following a crash in Saturday's F2 race.
Saturday's F3 race had been a staunch test for the Red Bull Juniors with Jüri Vips managing 5th after qualifying 6th and Yuki Tsunoda having to fight hard for 6th having qualified 3rd. For Liam Lawson it was 12th from P10.
Those black clouds did produce a smattering of rain during Sunday's reverse grid race. Tsunoda was very strong and took second while Vips had a damaged car from the first corner and later had to pit for a new front wing following a post safety car restart incident. Lawson finished 19th after being knocked into an early spin.
Tsunoda on the pace all weekend
"For Race 1 the start was good, I tried to pass Piquet (Pedro Piquet) on the outside on the exit of turn 1," enthused the 19-year-old Japanese. "We ran side by side and I also tried on the straight but it was impossible. I was having trouble with oversteer from the start and I realised that if I kept pushing hard I would lose my tyres by mid race."
"So I stopped trying to chase the leaders and conserved my tyres. That worked and at the end I was catching Pulcini (Leonardo Pulcini) and I tried to catch him on the straight with 2 laps to go but was not close enough, I concentrated on putting myself in the right position on the last lap for the DRS. His tyres were gone so he was slower but also Lundgaard (Christian Lundgaard) and Jüri (Jüri Vips) had caught us so as I passed Pulcini they got the slipstream from both of us."
"I tried to block Jüri, braking massively late but overshot and he got ahead so I finished 6th."
"My Race 2 start was not so good and Jüri almost passed me off the line. There was space up the inside into turn 1 though so I tried to overtake 2 cars, locked the front a bit and touched with Pulcini. I was lucky to be P2 after turn 1," explained the Jenzer Motorsport driver.
"I tried to follow Armstrong (Marcus Armstrong) but he was too fast in the early laps and he made a gap. I had to conserve my tyres but I could see my pace was then not bad, the same as Armstrong and sometimes a little faster."
"Then we had a Safety Car and that reset everything. On the restart I tried to overtake Armstrong on the straight but pushed too much at Eu Rouge, went over the kerb and exiting turn 3 was off the track so almost lost second to Lundgaard but managed to hang on."
"I was confident of the pace I had before the Safety Car so I concentrated on my driving. Lundgaard did later pass me but I concentrated on not making any mistakes and waited for my chance then overtook him before the final lap. Then pushed to make sure I was clear of DRS for the last lap."
"I was happy with the result and also with Qualifying. This time I did a better job of warming up the tyres and avoided the mistakes I made at Silverstone and the Hungaroring. I was more calm but it still wasn't perfect and I can improve more," concluded the Honda Formula Dream Project driver.
Vips very frustrated
"It was a very tough weekend, the worst of the year so far," stated the 19-year-old Estonian. "We had problems in all sessions."
"In qualifying there was a small mistake from my side but we also struggled with the car set-up. But we were confident that we knew how to correct the car so we were quite confident going into Race 1 that we would be able to do something even starting P6."
"Unfortunately the pace just wasn't there and I had a real battle on and only just managed 5th with a huge fight on the last lap."
"Again we thought that we would be in a better position today but my race was over at Turn 1 when I was hit and got floor damage. It wrecked the speed of the car down the straight and I just went backwards," explained the Hitech Grand Prix driver.
"After the Safety Car two cars in front got messed up as they rolled into the chicane at the restart and I clipped a rear wheel that damaged my front wing. I pitted for a new one and we were at the back but it didn't make any difference to the result really, we were going backwards anyway with the damaged floor and couldn't score points."
Lawson laments difficult Spa
"A very frustrating weekend I'm afraid, just not fast enough," stated the 17-year-old New Zealander. "I couldn't say where the problem is, set-up, it's got to be a combination of things and I couldn't put my finger on it honestly."
"Free Practice looked good but we were using new tyres and the top teams all ran used tyres so that didn't mean anything. When it came to Qualifying we just didn't have it."
"Then in the race I did everything I could, pushed hard but I was just holding people up behind who had more pace so I let a couple go and concentrated on keeping some tyres for the end. That worked and I did get a couple back at the end but it wasn't enough."
"Then today I got hit and turned around, it put me way last and I just did what I could from there. Not a good weekend," concluded the MP Motorsport driver.
#21 Jüri Vips (EST – Hitech Grand Prix Mecachrome Dallara)