Barnicoat rescues EF3 result with P5

Following a tough fourth weekend of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, Ben Barnicoat recovered crucial points with a fifth place finish in the final race at Spielberg, Austria.

Following two previous races in which Barnicoat suffered a puncture, was handed a drive-through penalty for a jumped start, as well as a post-race grid penalty, Barnicoat was eager to make amends in the finale.

Starting from ninth place, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver took advantage of some drivers, including his Hitech GP team-mate George Russell, coming into bother at the opening two turns.

It promoted Barnicoat up to sixth place before a safety car was required on lap three to clear a car from the gravel at the inside of turn two, Remus.

Barnicoat made an excellent restart, powering up to head seven cars all running towards turns one and two. He was then forced to defend from Motopark’s Joel Eriksson on lap nine, before Eriksson became embroiled in a six-car tussle for position, in a race where many drivers were warned or penalised for exceeding track limits.

That enabled Barnicoat to pull clear by over 2.5 seconds from the pack behind, and comfortably finish in fourth position.

However, race stewards decided to relegate Barnicoat to fifth place in the result following post-race investigations, for overtaking Sette Camara under the safety car period.

Prema’s championship leader Lance Stroll dominated at the head of the race, to take victory by under five seconds, from Van Amersfoort’s Callum Ilott. Stroll’s team-mate Maximilian Gunther was third.