Sunday 13th May,2018

PREMA Theodore Racing and Ralf Aron celebrated a great win today in the Grand Prix of Pau, the opening round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. After improving to P8 in race 2 this morning, the Estonian took the lead on the wet at the start of race 3 (which officially counts for the Grand Prix roll of honor) and then stayed out front until conditions forced race control to stop the running. Half points were awarded. On an additional positive note, Marcus Armstrong posted his first podium finish in the series with a great third place overall in race 2, before suffering from a contact in race 3. Also on the podium as the third best rookie in race 3, Robert Shwartzman rebounded from a tough qualifying 2 session while the same goes for Mick Schumacher, who impressed with the seventh place in race 3. Guanyu Zhou had to deal with the consequences of qualifying 2, ending up P12 and P13 respectively but showing great pace. While Aron is second in points, PREMA Theodore Racing took an early lead in the team competition. 

#1 Guanyu Zhou
Race 2 – P12    Fastest lap – 1’11″581    
Race 3 – P13    Fastest lap – 1’25″559

“After the tough qualifying 2, we were starting from the back on a track where it’s really difficult to overtake. Race 2 was pretty good and we had great pace. I made some nice passing moves too. In the end we were not in points but we recovered well, and even in race 3 starting P18 and finishing P13 was quite positive. In the end, there was a lot of water and the track was undrivable. The top-10 finishers took half points so it’s good for me in terms of the championship: there’s still a long way to go and we look forward to the next round.”

#4 Mick Schumacher
Race 2 – P10    Fastest lap – 1’11″418    
Race 3 – P7    Fastest lap – 1’24″974

“In race 2 my start was good and the pace quick so I could improve my position up to tenth place even if I was blocked in the early running. In race 2, with rainy conditions, I had a great start and managed to gain a lot of spots. When the race stopped due to the weather, we were P7 so more valuable points came. Let’s get more good results in the next round.”

#7 Ralf Aron
Race 2 – P8    Fastest lap – 1’11″633    
Race 3 – P1    Fastest lap – 1’23″670*

“I’m delighted for winning the Grand Prix. I was really comfortable in the rain and we have clearly been the quickest. I’m really happy with the team because we were struggling yesterday with the rain in qualifying but we made the car really good overnight. I’m very very happy, it’s a bit of a pity for the half points situation because we could have had a healthy lead in the championship, but our form seems great so I look forward to the next rounds.”

*Fastest lap of the race

#8 Marcus Armstrong
Race 2 – P3    Fastest lap – 1’10″830    
Race 3 – DNF    Fastest lap – 1’25″577

“My start in race 2 was okay, not particularly good, but not particularly bad either. In turn 1, I then managed to take fourth place. After Scherer crashed into the barriers and slid back onto the track, he almost collected me. From that point of view, I was lucky to be on the podium in the first place. In race 3, we were put out of contention due to an early contact.”

#10 Robert Shwartzman
Race 2 – P9    Fastest lap – 1’11″636    
Race 3 – P6    Fastest lap – 1’24″962

“I did the best I could in both races today. In race 2, I was a bit far on the grid and it was tough to overtake my way to the front, but we managed to get into the points zone which is positive. In race 3, although it was raining, I did a very good start, controlling the wheelspin and passing two cars straight away. Then I got by Marcus with the melee at the beginning. The rest of the race I stayed behind Ticktum in P6 as there were no chances to pass him. Q2 apart, we had speed all weekend. We didn’t have the best luck but we hope to change that from the next round.”
 
Teddy Yip commented:
“This weekend has certainly been a trophy haul for Prema Theodore Racing. Collectively the team has secured 8 podiums featuring 3 wins, not to mention all the rookie podiums. I’d like to congratulate Ralf for winning the historic Grand Prix de Pau and can’t wait to see what this season brings.”

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