Podium at the home round for Team Signature: With a third-place finish at Dijon-Prenois Mika Mäki celebrated the ninth podium position in the Formula 3 Euro Series for Volkswagen Motorsport in 2009.
At the series’ ninth event of the season the Finn driving for the squad from Bourges, which is located only 250 kilometres from Dijon-Prenois, advanced after having started from fourth place on the grid. Mäki clinched third place with an overtaking manoeuvre against Valtteri Bottas (Dallara-Mercedes). However, on the way to this exploit the 21-year-old also benefited from a mistake of his team-mate Jean Karl Vernay. After a safety car period during the flying re-start of the race, the Frenchman attacked too early to grab the lead. In the process, he overtook just before crossing the start-finish line and received a drive-through penalty that caused him to lose a lot of ground.
Since the return of the automobile manufacturer from Wolfsburg as an engine supplier to Formula 3 Mika Mäki’s third place marked the 22nd podium position “powered by Volkswagen”. In the second full season Volkswagen scored a total of 60 point finishes at 37 races.
Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director:
“By finishing in third place Mika Mäki showed today how strong Volkswagen Power can be. He cleverly clinched third place and acted prudently when the race was re-started. Unfortunately, Jean Karl Vernay made a mistake in the same situation; otherwise we might have even scored victory today. After a fair to middling race weekend at Barcelona we again demonstrated our potential with grid positions two and four and Mika Mäki’s third place in the race.”
#3 – Mika Mäki (FIN) – Volkswagen Dallara F308 – Team Signature
Qualifying: 4th place – race 1: 3rd place
“That was an extremely interesting Formula 3 race. There was a certain amount of commotion during the re-start but I was able to use my advantage into turn one and overtake Valtteri Bottas. After that, thanks to Volkswagen Power I consistently managed fending off Andrea Caldarelli’s attacks and thus defended third place. Having celebrated another podium position is a very gratifying feeling. Who knows what will be possible tomorrow in the second race. Starting from position six on the grid offers really good potential, if you manage a good start.”
- Volkswagen Motorsport