More F3 progress for Reshad at French Grand Prix

Rookie racer Reshad de Gerus gathered more valuable experience in the FIA Formula 3 Championship this weekend as he battled across three races at Circuit Paul Ricard in France.

The second round of the 2021 series supported Formula One’s French Grand Prix and that meant the 17-year-old, who hails from from Réunion Island, had the support of the passionate home crowd.

A brake issue during free practice limited Reshad’s track time on Friday and that compromised his qualifying session later the same day. He therefore lined up P26 for the opening race.

But the Charouz Racing System driver showed his mettle on Saturday morning as he impressively battled his way up the leaderboard to finish P19.

“We had a lack of performance in the car for Race 1 and I was suffering with understeer. So to push my way forward and gain seven places was pleasing in this situation,” Reshad explained.

Saturday’s second, 20-lap race, was more of a struggle for the FFSA Academy member. Contact from another car cost him time during the opening exchanges and then a continued lack of pace further restricted his progress as the race unfolded. He classified P25.

But Sunday’s wet race brought an exciting conclusion to Reshad’s weekend. Having moved up the order to P24, an unfortunate spin dropped him to the back of the field with 10 laps to run.

“The car was very good in the initial laps and I was making progress – despite the poor visibility,” he explained. “But I picked up a slow puncture and that spun me round. The car stalled and I lost a lot of time.”

With nothing to lose and with the track drying, Reshad bravely headed into the pits to switch from wet tyres to slicks. He emerged as the fastest car on the track by some distance and set a string of fastest laps as he closed to the cars in front.

As the chequered flag dropped, Reshad had overtaken eight rivals and classified P21 to complete a memorable recovery on home soil. His fastest lap time was also seven seconds quicker than any other driver could manage.

“I look a lot of pleasure from the last 10 laps and learned a lot from the experience of driving on slicks in wet conditions, he said. “It increased my confidence with the car and it was a good strategy in the end. Two more laps and I think I’d have got inside the top 15.”

Reflecting on the second round of the series as a whole, Reshad felt he could take some positives away from Paul Ricard.

“It was a challenging weekend but I can see I’m continuing to make progress and improve my mindset with every race,” he said. “I’ve finished all six races so far this season and made good progress in all but one. That gives me a lot of confidence.

“We definitely need to address qualifying because we missed something this weekend. If everything is good, I know I can fight inside the top-15 quite easily.

“But I’ll keep learning and push to make an improvement at Spielberg – a track that we should be more familiar with having already tested there during pre-season.”

Spielberg, the home of the Austrian Grand Prix, will host the third round of the F3 series next month. Reshad will be on track from 2-4 July.

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