South Korea once again played host to the international Formula Three season finale, as the three-kilometre Changwon circuit played host to the fifth running of the
Korea Super Prix - and provided Nelson Piquet Jr with a happy end to his Asian double-header.

Following last week's learning curve in Macau, the 18-year old Brazilian arrived in Korea keen to make amends and confident he could use the disappointing street race experience to his benefit.

"In Macau, it was a lack of experience," he said of the first race incident that effectively wrecked his chances of a good result, "I wanted to go fast straight away and shunted early on, but here I've kept off the wall and slowly built up my confidence."

With all rookies having only one hour to learn the circuit, Piquet was once again thrown in at the deep end against some seasoned F3 competitors who had already raced in Changwon on numerous occasions. Come qualifying, however, and the young Brazilian took a tremendous second on the grid for the Renault-powered Hitech team after topping the times in his group.

He lined up alongside impressive British newcomer Lewis Hamilton on the front row, while Hitech team-mate Richard Antinucci started third, just ahead of Menu Motorsport's Robert Doornbos. However, Piquet refused to get carried away with his performance.

"I've found it a difficult weekend so far," the Brazilian said, "I've been struggling to get used to the track as the corners are very tight and the chicane is risky. Yet, in qualifying, I cooled the tyres down and then, on my last lap, I took a risk at the chicane and made up all my time there. I don't know if I could have gone faster than Hamilton, though."

As in Macau, the Korean event was divided into two races, the result from race one counting as the grid position for race two from where the ultimate winner would be decided.

Piquet made a good start and attempted to pass poleman Hamilton going into the sharp left-hander, but the Manor Motorsport driver didn't leave any room and slowed the Brazilian up, allowing Antinucci to take the lead. Piquet, however, made it through into second place and, after a slight brush with his team-mate, held position until the end of the race while comfortably achieving the fastest lap of the race.

In the second part of the weekend, the Brazilian lost out to Doornbos shortly after the start, and the Dutchman would go on to prevent Hitech taking a hard-earned and impressive 1-2 to round out its debut F3 season.

Piquet was running third when an incident involving himself and new Japanese F3 champion James Courtney brought out the red flags. With the race result taking the running order from the previous lap, however, the Brazilian was able to take his place alongside Antinucci and Doornbos on the podium.

 

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