Valuable experience for Martinius in Monaco FIA Formula 3 round


Martinius Stenshorne gained invaluable experience of the Monte Carlo circuit in this weekend’s latest round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship. The 18-year-old Norwegian McLaren Driver Development Programme recruit finished both the Sprint and Feature races on his first visit to Monaco, also demonstrating his speed around the Principality with a series of fastest laps.

Martinius finished out of the points in both races, however gained 12 positions in the Sprint and set the third fastest lap. In Sunday’s Feature race he stayed clear of the numerous on-track incidents and set the fastest lap overall.

With the lap count limited in Thursday’s practice due to rain, Martinius went into Friday qualifying with very little running under his belt. His session was then compromised by a technical issue on his first potential fastest lap and a red flag on his second. The unfortunate sequence of events would drop him down the order in his group and put him 28th on the aggregated grids for the Sprint and Feature races.

Starting so far down on the hard-to-pass track compromised opportunity to gain position, so the focus switched to preparing for future race outings in Monaco.

Sun and little cloud cover created perfect racing conditions for Saturday’s Sprint, however the race was far from perfect for the field. Multiple safety car periods and stoppages caused by multi-car pile ups and then stranded cars meant Martinius’ progress through the field was limited. He focussed on his own race and getting to grips with the track to finish 16that the flag fall.

Starting close to the rear of the grid for the Feature, Martinius honed his driving style around the notoriously unforgiving track. After the first safety car period he was sitting in 27th overall, so took a tactical drive through the pitlane to gain some clear air. The gap to the rear of the field fell from over 20secs to under 6secs at the flag fall as Martinius lapped unhindered. He posted the fastest lap of the race en route to 26th overall.

While not the final results hoped for, Martinius leaves Monaco with vastly improved knowledge of the Monte Carlo track and two race finishes. The next round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship will be in four weeks from 21 – 23 June in Barcelona, Spain.

Martinius Stenshorne: “I knew Monaco would be a tough track and now I understand a lot more why it has that reputation! I’ve learnt so much this weekend that will be really valuable for the future, not just here in Monaco, but how to get the best from the car and myself. Starting far down the grid for both races, I focussed on my own race and keeping clear of the walls. The results don’t show the speed we had during the races –this is definitely something to take home. There’s a big gap now until Barcelona so it gives us the opportunity to look through the weekend in more detail, analyse what worked well and how to keep improving over the season.”