Ferdinand Habsburg (AUT) proved his maturity and determination in front of a home crowd this weekend, as he took points and put on a passionate drive in each of the three FIA F3 European Championship races at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.
Race one became a case of ‘what might have been’ for the 21-year old from Vienna, who started from 12th on the grid. By turn four, he was up to third place and, at the end of the first lap, he was in fourth. After a few laps, race control decided he should give back one of the positions but, by this time, the opponent had dropped to sixth, so Habsburg was asked to let three cars past. Never giving up, he made two positions back, but the unfortunate situation prevented him from challenging for the podium and he had to settle for fifth.
“That was unfortunate,” he said following the race. “If I’d given the position back immediately, I know I could have passed again and challenged for the podium. But, in sport, these things happen and you have to take the rough with the smooth. It was still mega to climb from twelfth up to third in front of my home crowd.”
In race two, Habsburg was set to do the same again and he carved his way through the pack from thirteenth to eighth. And, race three saw him start in ninth and make some fantastic moves to cross the line in sixth.
“We started on the backfoot because we just couldn’t get the car right for qualifying,” he added. “But, no one in the team gave up. We fought back all weekend and got as much out of it as we could. Things haven’t been easy this season but it’s been great character-building. I guess it’s the more challenging years that make us a better racer in the long-run.
“I was determined to put on a good show for the home fans – you don’t have to be at the front to race with spirit. I’m grateful to everyone who came out to watch us race. We really do have the best fans in the world here at the Red Bull Ring.”
The final round of the FIA F3 European Championship takes place on the 13-14 October at Hockenheim in Germany.