It was a monstrous collision on the start/finish line at the start of Race 2 in the 2018 FIA European Formula 3 Championship between Carlin’s Ameya Vaidyanathan and Motopark’s Dan Ticktum at Norisring.
The British driver stalled on the grid while in fifth position as seventh placed Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala – right behind him – made a last-minute evasion at the start. However, 21st placed Vaidyanathan rammed straight onto the rear of the Red Bull junior’s stranded car.
Replays showed that the Indian had enough time to bail out or slow down but still went straight on, as Ticktim later revealed that he knew Vaidyanathan would crash into him after seeing him on his mirrors.
While Ticktum made it on time for Race 3 after his hospital visit as Motopark mechanics managed to repair his car on time for the race. The British driver then went on to win the race in a photo finish against his teammate Juri Vips – by a 0.057s margin.
Vaidyanathan, meanwhile, stayed back longer for further checks but was excluded from Race 2 and barred to compete in Race 3 by the FIA. When contacted by Formula Rapida, the Indian driver released a statement, which reads:
“The most important thing following yesterday’s incident is that everyone is OK. Having held a completely clean license in the last two seasons, I am obviously devastated at the consequences of my mistake yesterday, which took place in the high stress environment of a race start.
“I’ve apologised to Dan [Ticktum] for ruining his race and was happy to see both he and his team recover to take the win in race three.” Vaidyanathan is in his maiden European F3 season after spending two years racing in the Euroformula Open Series.
He started his racing career only in 2015 in the BRDC British F4 (now British F3). So far, there hasn’t been any major troubles reported with his driving, but he has been involved in a major crash already in 2016.
Racing for Carlin in the British F3 round at Oulton Park, he had a collision with a car and rolled over 2-3 times before coming to a halt. He subsequently missed the next couple of races. as his rival was excluded from the race and handed four penalty points.
Meanwhile, the stewards at the weekend has requested the FIA to assess Vaidyanathan’s capability to compete in the European F3 Championship following the incident. The governing body in their statement stated:
“The stewards request that the FIA review this incident and the driver standard of Ameya Vaidyanathan. The stewards request that the FIA consider whether the driver of Car 24 [Vaidyanathan] meets the standard of ability and awareness required to compete in this championship.
“The driver of Car 24 advised the stewards that he followed his normal start procedure. The driver of Car 24 was looking to his left where another car was trying to overtake him. The driver of Car 24 advised that he did indeed see the yellow flags being waved by the marshals.
“The driver of Car 24 did not alter his driving speed to respond to the yellow flags.” Both the driver and the team selected not to comment any further on the issue until it has been cleared with the FIA.