Euroformula Open championship leader Oliver Goethe joined Campos Racing for the sixth round of the FIA F3 championship, replacing injured Hunter Yeany.
Goethe’s graduation to the the third tier of the single seater ladder came early and unexpected, throwing the ROFGO Junior driver into the deep water in the middle of the season. Due to the race weekend format of the series, he only had one 45-minute practice session to learn the car he has never driven before and he took to it like a duck to water, finishing in P20, ahead of several more experienced competitors.
But it was the Qualifying where he really shone. The young Dane posted a whopping 1:33.106 laptime, only 0,3s off pole that put him P12 and thanks to the reverse grid, this also meant that he secured pole position for the sprint race.
After the extreme heat leading up to the weekend, the Hungaroring showed a completely different face on Saturday. The skies opened up in the morning hours, leaving the track soaking wet for the start of the race. So much so that the stewards called for a rolling start, meaning that the young Dane had to lead the train of 30 cars bunched up behind him in these conditions, having never driven this car in the wet before.
Despite the challenging start, Ollie put up a brave fight, trying to fend off fellow ROFGO Junior Franco Colapinto, although his lack of experience did show in the first couple of laps. Once he found his feet, Ollie started to show his true pace and was able to run with race winners behind him, after 18 eventful laps and the 5th best lap time, Goethe crossed the line in P8, scoring three points in his first ever race on the doorstep of F1.
Sunday’s race was more difficult for all the drivers with a wet track to begin with and a dry track by the end. Ollie suffered too much wheel-spin off the line and tumbled down the order. However, he again showed impressive pace during the race and gained a huge amount of experience in his first F3 outing which will be valuable for next year.
“What an experience it has been! Qualy was perfect. If you’d have told me one week ago that I will start my first FIA F3 race from pole position I wouldn’t have believed you. I struggled a lot to start off with as it was in very tricky wet conditions where I lack any experience at all in this car and to jump straight into a race was really tough. However the pace after a few laps was good and I managed to come P8 which is a decent result in the end and most importantly I learnt a lot and gained crucial experience.”