Lotus’s Kimiya Sato starred at Germany’s Sachsenring with pole position, two wins from three races, a second place, and two fastest laps. He now leads the championship with 101 points, ahead of team mate Jimmy Ericksson who’s earned 73.
The Swede was baulked by traffic in qualifying and was denied a front row slot, starting P3 for Race 1. Meanwhile team-mates Artem Markelov and Sheban Siddiqi had their own issues, a misfire causing the Russian to start 7th while Siddiqi was sick as a dog last weekend and unable to show his true speed. Race 1 saw Ericksson cross the line second behind Sato, with Markelov P4 and Siddiqi retiring due to illness. With the top eight reversed for Race 2, it was Sato again who showed tremendous racecraft, barttling from eighth to second. Ericksson was similarly feisty, starting P7 and finishing third. Markelov took a trip through the gravel at the start of the race and recovered well to finish fifth. Siddiqi, feeling better, finished P10 having started at the back of the grid.
Race 3 was another Sato-fest. He beat Gerhard Berger’s nephew, Lucas Auer, and Stig Blomqvist’s son Tom to finish first. Ericksson was fourth, Siddiqi P12, and Markelov was disqualified for a dangerous pass.
Timo Rumpfkeil, team principal: “Kimiya did a fantastic and faultless job all weekend and deserves to now lead this championship. It was an epic performance. Jimmy was unlucky not to qualify on the front row. In Race 3 he was involved in some incidents which cost him a podium and some more points. Artem is feeling more and more at home in F3, for this is only his second year of car racing, and by setting the fastest lap in Race 2 he confirmed to me he has the speed to be a winner. There’s a lot more to come from Sheban, who suffered from food poisoning this weekend. Under the circumstances I think P10 in Race 2 was a great result. Overall this was a strong weekend for us, with two wins, three podiums, pole position and all three fastest laps. We’re keen to carry on this momentum and extend our lead in the upcoming races.”