Challenging weekend for Joey Mawson in Italy

PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action during Round Two at Monza
PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action during Round Two at Monza

Australian Joey Mawson experienced a challenging weekend during Round Two of the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Monza, Italy.

The PODIUM-backed driver fought gallantly across the weekend but was unable to show his true potential.

After qualifying tenth Mawson was fighting inside the top ten in Race One before he was caught up in an incident involving his Van Amersfoort Racing team-mate Pedro Piquet.  He would eventually be classified 14th.

In Race Two, Mawson made an impressive start to move up the order from his 13th starting position to be in a points-scoring position in the opening few laps.  After running as high as eighth, contact from a car behind him caused a puncture to his left-rear tyre.  As a result he was forced to pit and replaced the tyre ending his run towards the front.

Due to having his second fastest lap in Qualifying Two removed due to exceeding track limits, Mawson started the final race from 18th.  Determined to make the most of his opportunities Mawson was the big mover in the opening lap to charge his way inside the top ten.  He was then battling with Mick Schumacher and Pedro Piquet for ninth before dropping a few places.  His run ended after Marino Sato locked his brakes while making an attempt to pass Mawson.  The contact damaged Mawson’s right rear suspension and left him stranded.

“It was one of those weekends when nothing went right.  No matter what we tried with the car we just couldn’t extract the most amount of speed out of it which left me vulnerable in the races,” said Mawson.

“Every race I made some great starts and moved up the order in the early laps but I just couldn’t maintain the speed of the front runners.

“We continually improved across the weekend and gained with every session but we’ve still got to get a lot more out of the car to be fighting for podiums at the next round.”

After two rounds of the Championship Joel Eriksson leads the standings on 104 points ahead of Lando Norris on 103.  Mawson is 11th on 14 points.

The next round will be contested on the Pau street circuit in France on May 19-21.

1. Joel Eriksson – 104 points
2. Lando Norris – 103
3. Callum Illott – 76
4. Maximilian Günther – 72
5. Mick Schumacher – 43
6. Jake Dennis – 38
7. Jehan Daruvala – 37
8. Ferdinand Habsburg – 35
9. Guanyu Zhou – 31
10. Jake Hughes – 16
11. Joey Mawson – 14

Iconic Monza has Joey Mawson excited

Joey Mawson suiting up to climb aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara.
Joey Mawson suiting up to climb aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara.

Australian Joey Mawson will head to the iconic Monza circuit in Italy for Round Two of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this weekend.

After posting some impressive times during his initial Formula 3 test at the venue last year, the PODIUM-backed driver is excited about heading back to the world’s third oldest racing circuit.

“Racing at Monza is going to be very special. It’s one of those circuits that you always dream of racing on,” said Mawson.

“No matter what category it is the racing is always close and exciting. Due to the nature of the circuit it’s very hard to pull a gap.  As a result there is a lot of ‘chess games’ going on as drivers decide when to pass and when to defend, which makes it very exciting.”

While he may have recorded a pair of top ten finishes in his Formula 3 debut two weeks ago at Silverstone, Mawson has got his sights set on a significant speed improvement aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing entry in Italy.

“In between rounds myself and the team have been working hard to come out with an improved package at Monza. The test day on Wednesday should give us a really good guide for the weekend ahead,” said Mawson.

“My goal for the weekend is to continue scoring points and move up in the Championship standings. Qualifying well is important, which is something we didn’t get on top of at the opening round.”

Mawson will take to the 5.793km circuit for a test day on Wednesday ahead of practice beginning for the round on Friday. Qualifying 1 will follow this in the afternoon. Race One will then be held on Saturday morning ahead of Qualifying for Races Two and Three in the afternoon. A further pair of races that are 33 minutes plus one lap in duration will highlight Sunday.

After one round in the 10-event Championship Mawson is seventh in the standings on 14 points.

Friday April 28
12:00pm – 12:40pm Free Practice 1
12:45pm – 1:25pm Free Practice 2
5:00pm – 5:20pm Qualifying 1

Saturday April 29
11:05am – 11:45am Race 1
4:45pm – 5:05pm Qualifying 2

Sunday April 30
11:00am – 11:40am Race 2
3:15pm – 3:55pm Race 3

Friday April 28
8:00pm – 8:40pm Free Practice 1
8:45pm – 9:25pm Free Practice 2
1:00am – 1:20am (Sat) Qualifying 1

Saturday April 29
7:05pm – 7:45pm Race 1
12:45am – 1:05am (Sun) Qualifying 2

Sunday April 30
7:00pm – 7:40pm Race 2
11:15pm – 11:55pm Race 3

Joey Mawson in the points at Silverstone

PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action during Round One at Silverstone
PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action during Round One at Silverstone

Australian Joey Mawson has started off his campaign in the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship with a pair of points scoring hauls at the Silverstone circuit in England.

The PODIUM-backed driver started the weekend by qualifying ninth, 11th and 13th for the three races respectively.

Mawson put in a sterling drive in the opening encounter that saw him record a fifth place finish.

In Race Two, Mawson appeared to again be on the charge from his 11th starting position to be challenging for sixth place within the opening few laps. Unfortunately by mid race, his Van Racing Amersfoort Dallara began to suffer from tyre degradation, and his lap times suffered as a consequence. Despite fighting gallantly to hold onto positions, he would eventually drop to 11th at the chequered flag.

Race three once again saw Mawson make some impressive gains in the opening few laps to move up five places into eighth spot. He then fended off a challenge by his team-mate Harri Newey for several laps before eventually pulling clear and recording his second championship points for the weekend.

“Over the whole weekend we struggled as a team with the pace but I’m quite satisfied that I got the most out of the car that I could have,” said Mawson.

“To record a top five result in my first weekend as a rookie in F3 is very satisfying but we need to unlock the key to the outright speed across all three races.

“We didn’t go backwards in the races and if it wasn’t for the tyre degradation in race two, I would have been able to get three top ten finishes. However we didn’t have the pace of the front-runners, and we’ll be working hard to analyse the data over the next two weeks before Monza to improve.”

With three different race winners across the weekend, Race Two winner Joel Eriksson leads the Championship on 55 points ahead of Callum Illot (43) and Lando Norris (42). Mawson is seventh on 14 points.

The next event on the schedule is in two weeks time (April 29-30) at Monza, Italy.

1. Joel Eriksson – 55 points
2. Callum Illott – 43
3. Lando Norris – 42
4. Maximilian Günther – 39
5. Jake Dennis – 38
6. Jake Hughes – 15
7. Joey Mawson – 14
8. Jehan Daruvala – 13
9. Mick Schumacher – 12
10. Guanyu Zhou – 12

Joey Mawson ready for F3 opener

Joey Mawson will make his FIA Formula 3 debut in England this weekend.
Joey Mawson will make his FIA Formula 3 debut in England this weekend.

Australian Joey Mawson is ready for the next step in his flourishing career when he tackles the opening round of the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship this weekend.

The season opener, to be contested at the famous Silverstone circuit in England, will see the PODIUM-backed driver line up against 19 other young talented drivers from 11 countries – including his arch-rival from last year’s German F4 Championship Mick Schumacher.

“It’s a very exciting time for me as I head into my first weekend in Formula 3.  It is a real dream to compete in this Championship,” said Mawson.

“Silverstone is a fantastic circuit, especially in a F3 car because it has a lot of downforce, but that also means passing is going to be difficult.  While not impossible, it is certainly harder to pass in a Formula 3 car than it was in a Formula 4 car which means qualifying will be important.

“While pre-season testing went well, I know that a race weekend will see things go to another level.  I’ll certainly be a ‘sponge’ to learn everything as quick as possible and get up to speed on an F3 race weekend.”

With the opening round being contested alongside a round of the World Endurance Championship, the event will be attended by one of the largest crowds of Mawson’s career thus far.

“Sharing it with the WEC is very exciting.  It means that we are on a very big stage and there will be a lot of very influential people in the world of motorsport in attendance,” said Mawson.

“My aim for the weekend will be to finish all three races inside the top ten and achieve some good points towards the Championship.”

Mawson will take to the 5.9km circuit for the first time on Thursday afternoon for practice ahead of the opening qualifying session for 2017.  Qualifying 1 will decide the grid for the opening race, while Saturday’s second qualifying session will determine for Race Two.  The grid for the final race is decided by a driver’s second fastest lap times in Qualifying 2.  All races will be 33 minutes plus one lap in duration.

In all three races contested on a race weekend, the Championship points for the 10 best-placed drivers are awarded according to the well known Formula 1 system.

Thursday April 13
12:20pm – 1:00pm Free Practice 1
1:05pm – 1:45pm Free Practice 2
5:40pm – 6:00pm Qualifying 1

Friday April 14
1:30pm – 1:50pm Qualifying 2
3:55pm – 4:30pm Race 1

Saturday April 15
11:00am – 11:35am Race 2

Sunday April 16
9:00am – 9:35am Race 3

Thursday April 13
9:20pm – 10:00pm Free Practice 1
10:05pm – 10:45pm Free Practice 2
(Fri) 2:40am – 3:00am Qualifying 1

Friday April 14
10:30pm – 10:50pm Qualifying 2
(Sat) 12:55am – 1:30am Race 1

Saturday April 15
8:00pm – 8:35pm Race 2

Sunday April 16
6:00pm – 6:35pm Race 3