Raikkonen Robertson driver Carlos Huertas took two podium finishes in yesterday’s British F3 event at the new Portimao circuit in Portugal. The F3 rookie who is also the youngest driver in the field, made up a number of places in race one to move up to fifth place on track. While the visiting Jules Bianchi and Esteban Gutierrez finished ahead of Huertas on track, the two Invitation Class drivers were not counted in the British F3 Championship Class standings, leaving Huertas to take his place on the third step of the podium in the post race celebrations. The young Columbian went one better in the second race to collect the trophy for second place.

Starting race one yesterday from seventh on the grid, Huertas made a competitive start and had held onto his position at the end of lap two, while team mate Daisuke Nakajima was 10th. The order changed on lap three, when an incident between Valterri Bottas and Sam Bird mixed up the field. As the field tried to avoid the accident in the unfolding melee, Nakajima came across the accident unsighted and collected the stranded car of Bottas, putting Raikkonen Robert’s Japanese driver out of the race.

Following a short safety car period, racing got underway again at the start of lap seven with Huertas now fifth. The young racer did well to fend off the attentions of sixth place man Max Chilton to hold onto his place and cross the line fifth, and take his first podium finish as the third British F3 driver.

At the start of race two Huertas wasted no time in making up a position, demonstrating front running pace in the process. The 18 year-old racer made up two further places as championship leaders Daniel Ricciardo and Renger van der Zander slipped down the order. At the chequered flag, Huertas was fourth on the road but second of the British F3 drivers, earning him a huge 15 points to add to his championship standings. Team mate Nakajima meanwhile was the eighth British F3 driver to cross the line.

Speaking about his weekend, Huertas said, “I am really pleased to have made it on to the podium, and to do it twice in the same weekend is just fantastic. In the first race I was lucky to avoid the accident between Bottas and Bird which happened just in front of me. The second race was also pretty eventful but I just kept my head down and kept pushing. Portimao is a very interesting circuit to drive and the team did a great job to give me such a good car here this weekend.”

Team Principal Anthony Hieatt was pleased with his young rookie’s performance adding, “Carlos has done a great job. Headapted very well to a circuit which was new to him and out raced many more experienced drivers this weekend. I thin these will be the first of many podiums for him in F3.”