In a season that’s seen contrasting fortunes on either side of the Rodin Carlin garage, the British squad were pleased to end their trip to Spa-Francorchamps on a high for both their drivers. After charging to his maiden victory on Saturday, Enzo Fittipaldi leapt past his teammate Zane Maloney on the final lap of the Feature Race to secure back-to-back podiums.

Only the third time this year that both of their drivers have scored points in Sunday’s race, it also marks the first time the pair have finished inside the top four.

Reflecting on their strongest performance to date this season, Team Manager Benn Huntingford was satisfied that his team’s decision to stick with the slicks in the dry-to-wet Qualifying paid off, giving them a solid foundation to build up from and capitalise on when circumstances changed in-race.

“We had strong starting positions from Qualifying. A bit of a mixed Qualifying at the start of the weekend with all the weather and everything, but we managed to get a good result from it, which put us in a good position. Obviously, Zane maximised everything he could do and Enzo did a great job on Saturday, managed to be really quick. He felt in control the whole race and then right at the end in the last couple of laps, managed to get past Verschoor, which was really cool.

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“We knew heading into Sunday that we had good pace and then again, a bit mixed with the weather at the start. We weren’t really sure how it was going to go and how it was going to start. Once we got into the race and started getting through the pit stops, it was working out. We came out a little bit further down than what we were hoping for, then just managed to stay with the pack and stay close. When the penalties started coming in, we were in the right spot to get a result from it.”

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The duo’s race was dominated by a lengthy back-and-forth battle between them. Initially, Maloney had the advantage off the line having qualified in fourth to Fittipaldi’s eighth, but the first Safety Car restart saw the pair make contact, with the Bajan driver losing out to his teammate and ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins.

Following the pit stops, Maloney found his way back through on his fellow Red Bull junior, relegating the Brazilian to sixth, but kept a pace in the fight for the top three. Yet on the 25th and final lap, Fittipaldi repaid the favour, breezing past with the benefit of DRS into Les Combes, with him being promoted to the podium after Martins and PREMA Racing’s Oliver Bearman received five-second time penalties.

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Reflecting on the hard but fair racing between his drivers, Huntingford said that no team orders were in place to stop them battling.

“We always let them, it’s up to them. From our side, it was a bit of a racing incident, they were both pushing hard. Luckily, neither of them had any serious damage or had to retire.”

Despite the strong pace Rodin Carlin have previously shown around Spa-Francorchamps, Huntingford says he wasn’t sure what was on the cars, particularly given the unpredictable weather throughout the weekend.

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“It’s always difficult in Free Practice to get a real gauge of how things are going to be, especially because it was wet. It’s hard when the conditions are changing so much. There’s always a little bit of luck involved with the weather and being on the right tyres at the right time, which we managed to do throughout the weekend and ended up with the results to show.”

Crucially, their 38-point haul has allowed them to leapfrog DAMS to third in the Teams’ Championship on 176, in contrast to the French outfit’s two-point tally from the weekend. Continuing this upward momentum for both Fittipaldi and Maloney is a clear target for Rodin Carlin heading into the final three rounds, with Zandvoort and Monza quickly approaching after the summer break.

“There have certainly been points where we didn’t feel like we could get either of them or both of them in the same place at the same time. As they go through the year, they’re getting more experience and heading towards the end of the season, it seems like they both can be quick at the same time. We hope so! It’d be good to try and stay on good form and keep going well in the next few races.”