Just as he did at Spa a week ago Carlos Sainz Jr. was dominant in a very wet Race 3 of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Snetterton on Sunday. The 17 year old Spaniard set off from 2nd on the grid in his Carlin Dallara VW and took control from pole man Jack Harvey (GBR - Carlin Dallara-VW) at the start, completing the first lap 1.4 seconds clear of the opposition
While the Red Bull Junior dominated, Harvey was frustrated, slipping behind his chief championship rival Felix Serrralles (PUR - Fortec Dallara-Mercedes) on the first lap and forced to follow him home and see his points lead cut to 4 with 6 races remaining.
Sainz was delighted by his 12.4-second victory: “I’m very pleased to be back on top of the podium again. I really like these conditions, and I had a really good car for them…”
The fabulous win in Race 3 expunged the frustrations of Race 1 and 2. Having been knocked out on the first lap of the opening race he was forced to start at the back in Race 2 and could only fight through to 11th. The win was a much fairer reflection of his pace at the Norfolk circuit as he had done well in qualifying, just 11 thousandths behind Harvey.
"It was a good qualifying for all Carlin drivers, but I'm disappointed that I missed pole by just a hundredth of a second,” said Sainz after qualifying. “In the dry it will all depend on who can handle the tyres the best. The tyres only offer optimum grip for a few laps, then they deteriorate quickly and suddenly and even varyingly. This will certainly decide the race."
In the event the weather only produced a dry track for the sprint on Sunday morning and the afternoon feature race was delayed 20 minutes by heavy rain. That was of little concern to Sainz who claimed his first victory in Britain, his 5th in the British F3 season.
Provisional championship standings
1st Harvey 252 points, 2nd Serralles 248, 3rd Jaafar 232, 4th Sainz 197, 5th Lynn 186, 6th Tincknell 169