Barnicoat struggles at Imola

Ben Barnicoat rounded off a troublesome penultimate round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Imola with a 13th place finish in the final race in Italy.

Having been handed a three-place grid penalty from the day’s earlier race two in which he was unable to finish, Barnicoat started in ninth place on the grid.

It was a race in which Barnicoat struggled to mount any sort of challenge once he began to lose places on only the second lap of the race.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver lost two places on lap four and a further spot to Motopark’s Sergio Sette Camara, as the Brazilian took the position around the outside of Tamburello.

Barnicoat was then immediately on the defensive once again to hold off a second group of cars including Prema’s Maximilian Gunther and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Harrison Newey.

But Barnicoat was unable to resist Gunther’s advances and once past, the German was soon two seconds up the road demonstrating Barnicoat’s lack of pace in 13th place.

The second half of the race was far more static, with position changes at a premium, and with Barnicoat half a second behind Gunther for the remainder of the race, he took the chequered flag to round out a frustrating weekend for the Hitech GP driver.

Newly crowned champion Lance Stroll scored his second race victory of the weekend, with Barnicoat’s team-mate George Russell second. Van Amersfoort’s Callum Ilott was third.