Just 5th place at the end of a dramatic Red Bull Ring Euro F3 weekend for Carlos Sainz jr. was pretty frustrating especially after his brilliant charge through the field in the reverse grid sprint race on Saturday.
Of course it was better than the crash out of 3rd at the end of Saturday's Race 1 but he hopped for better especially as the race winner, Daniel Juncadella (ESP), is one of his championship rivals. At the end of the weekend Sainz is still 3rd in the points. Juncadella leads on 109, Raffael Marciello (ITA) slipped to 2nd with 103 and Sainz has 82.
For the 9th race the Red Bull Junior from Spain started from 6th. The fastest man in Friday's qualifying had been Sweden's Felix Rosenqvist. The Swede immediately moved into the lead but race control was investigating the start, suspecting he jumped it.
Rosenqvist led Juncadella and Buller while Sainz had already broken through to 4th. Championship leader Marciello had completely botched his start and dropped back to the tail end of the field. Rosenqvist then had to serve a drive-through penalty and slid way back.
Wehrlein made it past Sainz who then also came under pressure from his Carlin team-mate Will Buller (GBR), our man from Madrid was unable to keep pace with the leading trio and then, on lap 7, Buller went past.
At the midway point of the race Juncadella had pulled away significantly. Behind him a group of 4 fought over the remaining podium positions: Buller, Wehrlein, Sainz and Müller.
Towards the end of the race Carlos had to defend himself against Tom Blomqvist, the son of another famous rally driver: Stig Blomqvist.
After 26 laps Daniel Juncadella won by a probably record-breaking advantage of 15 seconds, clear of Buller and Müller. Hence Juncadella also took the lead in the points standings, ahead of Marciello and Sainz who crossed the line 5th behind Wehrlein.
Sainz jr.: "We made some changes to the car, and obviously they didn't work. Maybe it was too extreme and too risky. So unfortunately this was the maximum."