Jüri Vips

Vips wins to end the FIA F3 season in Sochi

#21 Jüri Vips (EST – Hitech Grand Prix Mecachrome Dallara)
Qualifying: 9th – Race 1 Grid: 9th – Race 1 Result: 8th
Race 2 Grid top 8 in reverse order: 1st – Race 2 Result: 1st
FIA F3 Championship position: 4th – 141 points – after 16 of 16 races

#14 Yuki Tsunoda (JAP – Jenzer Motorsport Mecachrome Dallara)
Qualifying: 17th – Race 1 Grid: 17th – Race 1 Result: 12th
Race 2 Grid top 8 in reverse order: 12th – Race 2 Result: DNF Incident/Technical
FIA F3 Championship position: 9th – 67 points – after 16 of 16 races

#4 Liam Lawson (NZL – MP Motorsport Mecachrome Dallara)
Qualifying: 23rd – Race 1 Grid: 23rd – Race 1 Result: 18th
Race 2 Grid top 8 in reverse order: 18th – Race 2 Result: 8th
FIA F3 Championship position: 11th – 41 points – after 16 of 16 races

None of the Red Bull Juniors were satisfied with the final weekend of FIA F3 action despite good drives from all three and victory for Jüri Vips in Race 2. The 19-year-old Estonian had crossed the line 3rd in Race 1 in Sochi but a penalty dropped him to 8th. He converted the pole to victory in Race 2 while Liam Lawson cut through to 8th and Yuki Tsunoda was denied a good finish by a puncture.

Vips misses his aim

"Well, the win is nice but I'm still disappointed about the weekend. I came here to get third in the championship. That is what I wanted for the Super Licence points but it wasn't possible so I can't be pleased about the weekend. The Prema cars were just too fast this time."

"I enjoyed the track and actually we were stronger in yesterday's race, the car was very good, the guys did a great job and I managed to come from 9th to cross the line 3rd. Then got the penalty that dropped me to 8th. Today I was struggling a little more with the balance but managed to keep the gap to Armstrong. I had to push to keep the advantage and stay ahead, out of the DRS. I got a little lucky today, the race came to me," explained the Hitech Grand Prix driver.

"It's a shame about the Safety Car incident yesterday but I don't think it cost me too many points in the end as I would not have started today on pole and getting ahead would have been very difficult."

Lawson happy to make a point

"In the end it was really good, I enjoyed today's race and it's great to end the FIA season by showing what we could do. It's a shame that it was the first thing we did right all weekend," stated the MP Motorsport driver frankly.

"Qualifying was a bit of a disaster but I really enjoyed the track, there is a lot to it, I felt that I was driving it well and I'm glad I got to show that today. It is a great place in all, a fun atmosphere."

"I am happy that the year ended like that and though the results could have been better this season I learnt a lot and showed that. Early on I struggled with the tyres, sometimes I pushed too hard. There were qualifying sessions where I didn't put in the perfect lap but there were also plenty of positives," added the Kiwi who scored a 2nd and a 3rd along the way.

"I'm going to Monza with my sights on second in the Euroformula championship. I am glad I've done both series this season, a lot of track time has helped the experience even if swapping cars and tyres has also been difficult."

Tsunoda pushing a touch too hard

"I did the very best that I could today, I pushed hard right from the start, the car was a little better and I went for it. By mid race I had used all the tyre and I was then just trying to hang on," explained the Jenzer Motorsport driver.

"Doing that I squeezed the ART car too hard and I got a puncture, that was my mistake."

"Unfortunately we did not have a successful Qualifying. The way we had our tactics for the tyres and the final push meant that as I exited the pit lane the other cars were already on their warm up laps. As I kept out of their way I picked up a lot of rubbish on my tyres. I ended up doing three warm up laps and the tyres were past their peak by the time I pushed."

"Then in Race 1 the car was not really good, I tried to go forward but actually I was having to work hard just to hold onto my position."

"So now I am looking forward to Monza, some pizza and good racing," smiled the Honda Formula Dream Project driver referring to the last round of the Euroformula Open season in two weeks.