Strong F3 debut for rookie Reshad

Réunion Island racer Reshad de Gerus made a confident start to his 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship campaign this weekend, impressively moving up the leader board in all three races at Circuit Barcelona de Catalunya.

The 17-year-old’s mission in Spain was to build on his solid pre-season testing form by gaining valuable experience in the trio of races that supported Formula One’s Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

As expected, Friday afternoon’s 30-minute qualifying session was tough, mainly owing to Reshad’s lack of experience when optimising the set-up of his Charouz Racing System car across a single ‘push lap’.

But he knew his race pace would be strong and the youngster showed his formidable promise as he gained an impressive 19 places across all three races.

Reshad’s opening encounter returned a P20 finish after starting from P28, while he improved even further during Saturday afternoon’s second race as he came home P14 – just under four seconds shy of the points-paying positions.

Sunday’s final race also produced a positive outcome as Reshad overtook five of his rivals to finish P23.

“For me, it was a very good first weekend in F3 and I’m happy with how things have gone,” the Frenchman said. “I did some very solid races and was always recovering some places from my start position.

“It was important for me to finish all the races without any problems because that gives you confidence. I approached the races like I wanted to and had a good mind set for the entire weekend. I felt very confident with the car and that gave me the belief that I could overtake and make the progress I wanted.”

This weekend’s opening round in Spain was the first of seven events that Reshad will contest this season. It also gave him his first experience of racing wheel-to-wheel with the 29 other cars on the hugely-competitive F3 grid.

He said: “Driving with so many cars was interesting – especially at the start of each race! But I got a mega launch off the line for Race 1 and that helped to ease me into things. I overtook four or five other guys on my first lap which was also very nice.”

With his first race weekend now complete, Reshad’s attention turns to this week’s official F3 test at Jerez in Spain on 12-13 May. Having identified in Barcelona the areas in which he needs to further improve, the FFSA Academy member knows what he’ll be working on when he hits the track on Wednesday and Thursday.

“I learned a lot this weekend and we have a clear picture of where we need to improve,” he explained. “I expected a bit more from qualifying so I will be working on putting everything together in one lap and improving the car’s qualifying set up when we go to Jerez.

“If I can start higher up the grid, I know my race pace is strong enough to carry me towards the points. That’s the target.”

Reshad will be back in F3 racing action next month when the series visits Le Castellet for his home event. The French Grand Prix weekend will be held on 25-27 June.

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