- 17-year-old crowned youngest-ever Spanish Formula 3 champion.
- Devlin’s victory ensured Carlin finished second in the teams’ standings.
Devlin DeFrancesco closed out an impressive debut campaign with a dominant display in the Euroformula Open finale at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, scoring a maiden series victory and securing third in the standings.
It’s been an outstanding breakthrough season in Europe for the Italian-Canadian, who also became the youngest Spanish F3 Championship-winner in history, after picking up three wins and five podiums out of six races.
A test session on Thursday allowed Devlin extra time to settle into the 4.655 km circuit, which the Carlin driver took full advantage of – going quickest of all.
“We were really strong on Thursday,” said Devlin. “We focused on the final sector at the beginning of the day, that’s where I perhaps struggled in testing earlier this year here, but I quickly got it hooked up nicely. I felt really comfortable in the car and it made me confident ahead of the weekend.”
After concentrating on race setup in Friday’s practice, Devlin was locked in a tense top-three battle in qualifying, just missing out on a front row start by less than five hundredths of a second.
“I was quite disappointed with third in qualifying,” Devlin continued. “I spent all of Friday trying different settings in the car for the race, knowing that Saturday would be important.
“I felt I got the most out of the car, but we just missed out. The guys in front seemed to have a bit more on the straights, but I knew we’d be good on tyres.”
The first race got underway and Devlin made a storming start to slip into second place before Turn 1. The 2016 F4 British Championship race-winner then put pressure on the leader, who made a mistake and went off on lap six.
Devlin remained unchallenged for the remainder of the race to take an emphatic maiden victory and locked-in his position at the top of the Spanish F3 standings.
“I was happy with the start and knew I could close the gap to first,” the Toronto-born star said. “We were much quicker in the middle sector, then there was some spilt oil on the circuit at Turn 4 and [Felipe] Drugovic went off whilst the safety car was out.
“I made an unbelievable restart and just managed the gap behind. We’ve really been up against it all year. I’ve felt like the team deserved this and I’m just so grateful for my engineers and everyone who’s helped me.”
Lining up in sixth for Sunday’s final after struggling with a rear anti-roll bar issue in qualifying, Devlin made another strong start to move into fifth, exactly where he needed to be for third in the championship.
The youngster kept a cool head under pressure to hold his position and cement third place in the Drivers’ Championship.
“I was quite stressed ahead of that final race!” Devlin said. “I got a good start again though and when I realised all I needed to do was bring the car home in this position, that’s exactly what I did.
“Overall, I think it was a great year. My engineers Steve [Colbert], Matt [Gaze] and Simon [Brown] have done an incredible job, so I’d like to thank them so much for their help. Now onto Macau!”
Next for Devlin will be the prestigious Macau GP – FIA F3 World Cup (17-19 November), in which he’ll be driving a Carlin-run FIA European Formula 3-spec car.