Positive start ends in disappointment for Joey Mawson

Joey Mawson aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara on the Pau street circuit
Joey Mawson aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara on the Pau street circuit

After a positive start to the weekend, Australian Joey Mawson’s run at Round Three of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in France has ended in disappointment.

Competing at the famous Pau Grand Prix circuit, Mawson started the weekend by setting the fifth fastest time in practice before converting this into a fifth starting spot for Race One during qualifying.

In Race One Mawson made some early moves aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing entry to slot himself into third place. He would hold this position with consistent lap times until six minutes from the end when there was a short sprinkle of rain, the rear of car the moved sideways during a fast right hand turn and Mawson hit the wall side on causing heavy damage. Behind him Jake Dennis and Jake Hughes also had the same experience and slid off.

Qualifying 12th for Race Two meant that a good result was going to be challenging but Mawson got a solid start and held his position. On the penultimate lap whilst in 11th Mawson clipped a kerb on an unusual angle and damaged his rear suspension, as he could feel there was a problem he pulled into the pits meaning he was classified 16th at the end.

Starting from sixth for the final race Mawson was once again showing some good speed to be running near the front of the field. Unfortunately damage to his front wing during a restart after a safety car period ended his run.

“If I was to look at the positives I had a lot more speed here than what we did at Monza, but I wasn’t able to convert that into a result,” said Mawson.

“All weekend the car felt strong and despite not finishing the races I was able to show some good potential. I set the second fastest lap time in both race one and three and was right up there all weekend.

“It was a big step forward for the team, now we’ll go back to the workshop and look to step it up again for the next round.”

The next round of the championship is in four weeks time at Hungaroring on June 16-18.

1. Joel Eriksson – 139 points
2. Lando Norris – 139
3. Maximilian Günther – 137
4. Callum Illott – 109
5. Ferdinand Habsburg – 51
6. Ralf Aron – 46
7. Mick Schumacher – 45
8. Harrison Newey – 43
9. Jake Dennis – 41
10. Jehan Daruvala – 40
15. Joey Mawson – 14

French street challenge awaits Joey Mawson

PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action at the previous round in Italy
PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action at the previous round in Italy

Australian Joey Mawson is getting set to do battle in the 76th edition of the famous Grand Prix de Pau in France this weekend.

The PODIUM-backed driver will contest races 7-9 in the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship around the 2.7km street circuit with the Van Amersfoort Racing outfit.

Having competed at the event during his 2014 French Formula 4 campaign, it will be the second time Mawson has lined up on the tight layout.

“I raced in Pau during my year in the French F4 Championship so I’ve got a bit of a feel for the place, but this weekend will be another big learning experience,” said Mawson.

“I’m really excited, it’s the first street circuit of the year. Of the whole calendar it’s probably the one I’ve been looking forward to the most so far.

“The high aero of the Formula 3 cars should make it very exciting to drive around there and putting a good lap in around Pau will be very satisfying.”

Mawson knows that getting valuable track time during practice will be vital to setting the platform for a good weekend.

“Most street circuits are generally difficult to overtake on and Pau is very much like that as it’s very narrow. Qualifying well is going to be absolutely essential to how the weekend goes,” said Mawson.

“It’s important to collect as much data and do as many laps as possible in practice, the track is always evolving across the weekend. You start off with no grip and then it changes so much with every session.

“It’s really important to learn, get the laps in and continually stay on top of the conditions.”

Mawson believes his main focus for the weekend will be to continue to make progress and improving while adding to his championship points tally throughout the event.

Mawson will take to the circuit for the first of two 40-minutes practice sessions on Thursday morning ahead of Qualifying in the afternoon.  Race one will be contested at 11:10am on Saturday ahead qualifying for races two and three later in the day.  Sunday’s action will be highlighted by a pair of races.


Friday May 19
10:15am – 10:55am Free Practice 1
11:00am – 11:40am Free Practice 2
3:25pm – 3:45pm Qualifying 1 – Group A
3:50pm – 4:10pm Qualifying 1 – Group B

Saturday May 20
11:10am – 11:45am Race 1
3:35pm – 3:55pm Qualifying 2/3 – Group A
4:00pm – 4:20pm Qualifying 2/3 – Group B

Sunday May 21
10:40am – 11:15am Race 2
4:00pm – 4:35pm Race 3

Friday May 19
6:15pm – 6:55pm Free Practice 1
7:00pm – 7:40pm Free Practice 2
11:25pm – 11:45pm Qualifying 1 – Group A
11:50pm – 12:10am Qualifying 1 – Group B

Saturday May 20
7:10pm – 7:45pm Race 1
11:35pm – 11:55pm Qualifying 2/3 – Group A
12:00am (Sun) – 12:20am Qualifying 2/3 – Group B

Sunday May 21
6:40pm – 7:15pm Race 2
12:00am (Mon) – 12:35am Race 3