Barnicoat returns to top 10 Dutch finish

Ben Barnicoat scored his first top 10 finish in four races after finishing eighth in the second FIA Formula 3 European Championship race of the weekend at Zandvoort in the Netherlands.

Following a tough opening race of the weekend in which the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver had to start from the back of the grid, Barnicoat began Saturday’s second race from 11th place.

The majority of the action took place off the line ahead of the opening corner of the race, as Barnicoat progressed past his Hitech GP team-mate George Russell into eighth place by the fifth lap.

From there, little action took place, with the layout of the circuit not lending itself to overtaking opportunities.

Barnicoat came home therefore in eighth position, with Prema’s Nick Cassidy scoring his maiden FIA F3 European Championship victory ahead of his team-mate Maximilian Gunther and Van Amersfoort’s Callum Ilott.

“My getaway from the lights was my best start of the year,” Barnicoat said. “It launched me past a couple of drivers immediately and I drove around the outside of the sweeping turn one to take a couple more into eighth place.

“My pace not too bad, particularly in the first part of the race, but I began to struggle in the middle section. I still need to do some more work ahead of tomorrow’s finale. The plan will be to repeat my start, you need a good getaway through the first few corners as around this track, the first lap makes your race.”