Battling F3 performance by Reshad in Austria

The third round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship in Austria returned a trio of solid results for Réunion Island racer Reshad de Gerus this weekend, despite a lack of traction and straight-line speed.

The rookie, who celebrated his 18th birthday at the Spielberg circuit, continued his crucial learning as the F3 series supported F1’s Austrian Grand Prix weekend.

In arguably the world’s most competitive single-seater championship, Reshad was buoyed by a pleasing qualifying result on Friday afternoon.

The Charouz Racing System driver emerged in P24 – only one second shy of the benchmark pole time. That gave him reason to feel optimistic for the three upcoming races.

“My pace in qualifying was much better and I was confident in the car,” he explained. “The track was really busy with traffic and I didn’t get a single clear lap, which was unlucky and a bit frustrating. But to finish a second off the front row was still a good step forward for me.”

A mistake at the start of Saturday morning’s opening race cost Reshad a couple of places, but he fought hard to recover and was initially classified P23 at the finish. However, he was later promoted to P20 when a number of his rivals received penalties for exceeding track limits.

The second and third races proved tougher for Reshad as he battled with a lack of traction and straight-line speed from his car – not ideal when the Spielberg track is dominated by four high-speed straights and only has 10 corners across the entire 4.31km lap.

A clutch problem in Race 2 also hampered his progress and he finished P23.

Sunday’s final race was interrupted by a Safety Car period and Virtual Safety Car restrictions. But Reshad fought hard and returned another P20 finish. This result was then amended the next day when time penalties for other drivers elevated Reshad into P17.

Reflecting on his third F3 weekend, FFSA Academy member Reshad said: “Things started positively and I felt great after qualifying, but then the races were more difficult than we were all expecting.

“We had issues with traction and straight line speed and it was hard to make progress. Instead of looking forward to gain positions, I was looking back to defend. I think it’s the same for all three cars in the team.”

Reshad is hoping his team can identify and remedy the issues it suffered in Austria when the series returns to action at round 4 in Hungary (30 July – 1 August).

“I’m hoping the engineers can fix the problem because, personally, I feel like I’m continuing to improve and I really love driving this F3 car.”

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