|What||FIA European Formula 3 Championship Round 1 Report|
|When||12-13 May 2017|
|Community||South Africa, International.|
Points on Formula 3 debut for Jonathan
The Pau Grand Prix has always been an extreme exercise of survival — the tight street circuit through the Pyrenean foothill town leaves no room for error and the race has a long tradition of crashes and drama, not quit the ideal venue for any driver’s FIA Formula 3 debut. That’s however what faced Cape Town racer Jonathan Aberdein over the past weekend, but the young South African overcame the challenge to score points in the final race of a weekend typical of Pau’s epic reputation.
“This weekend was a baptism of fire!” Jonathan admitted. “It was a tough first weekend and my pace was really good throughout the weekend but couldn’t put that into a result. "Still I am delighted to have scored my first FIA European Formula 3 Championship points on my debut in pouring rain with 8th in today’s final. “I was particularly happy to finish my first street race in the rain without any damage to the car and to have kept it in one piece.” It was however a tough weekend for Aberdein, who qualified 15th for the first race after a small error on his quick lap.
“You only have one shot in Formula 3 qualifying,” Jonathan explained “It’s all about a perfect lap and all it took was one bad corner — I was too late on the brakes into the last chicane and that put me on the back foot down in 15th on the grid for race 1. “I was cautious at the start and dropped back to 17th before fighting back up to 12th, but I lost a position after the safety car, so finished 13th. “I was ninth on the race 2 grid after a great qualifying for that heat on a drying track, but I was hit from rear at the start and picked up a puncture, so I had to pit to change tyres and ended up 18th.
“The final went better — it was so tricky in pouring rain, but I brought it home eighth to score my first championship points.” Aberdein concluded. “That was a tricky but positive weekend all round, but thanks to Team Motopark for a great car as always.” Jonathan now enjoys a short break before race 2 at the Hungoraring in Budapest, Hungary 2-3 June.