FIA Formula 3 Austria weekend roundup

FIA Formula 3 Austria weekend roundup

After a thrilling weekend in Silverstone, the FIA Formula 3 continued to complete their fifth round of the season with no pause in the iconic Red Bull Ring circuit.

The hills came alive with the sound of the Formula 3 machinery as track limits became the biggest challenge for the 30-strong grid. Regardless, PREMA Racing’s Jak Crawford conquered the hectic Sprint Race to take his maiden F3 win by taking the lead from the reversed polesitter Caio Collet in a stressful final five laps.

Fellow Red Bull Juniors Isack Hadjar proved that experience isn’t the only thing that matters. In the Feature Race, he claimed the third victory of his rookie campaign ahead of Championship leader Victor Martins on a wet track condition. Despite the pressure from Martins and a few errors due to restart, he managed to hold on to the lead from pole position for the first time.

Championship view:

The battle between the two championship contenders started to heat up with Isack Hadjar breathing down Victor Martins’ neck with only one point behind the Frenchman, as 98 points play 97. Arthur Leclerc dropped to third, only six points shy from Hadjar, as Trident’s Roman Stanek climbed back to fourth, ahead of Jak Crawford in fifth with 70 points.

Oliver Bearman made sure that PREMA Racing holds the lead in the Teams’ Championship standings, as he currently sits in sixth with 59 points, ahead of rookie Franco Colapinto in seventh. The drivers below him are separated by three points each. Caio Collet sits eighth with 39 points, ahead of his MP Motorsport teammate Alexander Smolyar with Zak O’Sullivan rounding out the top 10.

Latest updates:

Following the heavy contact with Hitech’s Nazim Azman in the Sprint Race, Campos Racing’s Hunter Yeany had to withdraw from Sunday’s Feature Race. The American suffered from a broken wrist that needed further medical examination, as surgery was expected for his recovery. 

Yeany managed to put a stellar effort in finishing the race in 22nd place, ahead of Charouz’s Laszlo Toth. The injury was soon discovered after the race, as he responded to the decision on his Instagram.

“Unfortunately, I broke my wrist during the race. I finished the race, but the X-rays confirmed what I already knew. I’ll head home to get it fixed, and I’ll be back as soon as possible.” Stated Yeany.

Further down, we’ve gathered every action from each session in Spielberg.

Free Practice:

PREMA Racing’s Arthur Leclerc leads the session opener, setting the fastest time overall with a 1:20.171, just a tenth down quicker than MP Motorsport’s Alexander Smolyar in a slippery Spielberg session.

The overnight shower left the track in an unbearable wet condition, and a handful of drivers took turns taking the lead during the session. Still, nobody could unseat the Monegasque driver from the top of the leaderboard as he stormed off into the lead in the final minutes of Free Practice.

After missing out on the round in Silverstone, Smolyar finished second on his return, only 0.133s shy of Leclerc’s time, as Trident’s Jonny Edgar put on a remarkable performance for third ahead of fellow Red Bull Juniors Isack Hadjar in fourth.

ART Grand Prix’s Gregoire Saucy made it to fifth in his best Formula 3 Free Practice result so far, as Roman Stanek ended sixth fastest in the second Trident car. Oliver Bearman completed the session in seventh for PREMA, beating the Championship leader Victor Martins in eighth fastest for ART. 

Martins was supposed to be first, but he had his best lap time deleted due to exceeding track limits, as it became the biggest challenge for drivers from the weekend. Moreover, Franco Colapinto placed his Van Amersfoort Racing in ninth, as Hitech’s Kaylen Frederick rounded the top 10.

Qualifying: 

Later on Friday Afternoon, Isack Hadjar claimed his first-ever Formula 3 pole position, going two-tenths quicker than main title rival Victors Martins. The shortened Qualifying session helped him to set the fastest time from the weekend with an unrivaled 1:19.759.

Before Hadjar took over, Martins was leading the session, but no one could beat his 1:19.980s benchmark, as Oliver Bearman was the closest driver to unseat the Frenchman. With just three minutes left, Hadjar went 0.014s faster than his compatriot for his provisional pole.

Martins ended up placing his ART Grand Prix second. Oliver Bearman completed the session in third ahead of his PREMA Racing teammate Arthur Leclerc in fourth, with Hitech’s Kaylen Frederick rounding out the top five.

All the Trident drivers impressively concluded the session inside the top eighth, as Roman Stanek finished sixth, ahead of Jonny Edgar in seventh, and Zane Maloney in eighth fastest. VAR’s Franco Colapinto consistently stayed in ninth, as Jak Crawford ensured PREMA started from inside the top 10.

Sprint Race:

Jak Crawford took his first-ever FIA Formula 3 race victory in a hectic Sprint Race around the Red Bull Ring circuit. The PREMA Racing driver was clinical in taking the race’s lead from the reversed polesitter Caio Collet, who finished second.

As the sun slowly peaked through the clouds, Collet retained the lead from the first corner, as Franco Colapinto and Jak Crawford were dueling for third, just before the first safety car was out, shortly after Juan Manuel Correa took the lead from Collet on lap one.

The MP Motorsport tried to fight back, but the race was soon neutralized when Rafael Villagomez stopped on track. However, it didn’t last long for Correa, as his ART fell down the order, handing Collet back the race’s lead.

Later in the race, Crawford dived down the inside of Colapinto for second. Eventually, he swooped outside Collet to take the lead with just five laps to go, as the situation became hectic for the drivers behind him.

Even though Collet didn’t get the first-place trophy he wanted, it was his best result of the year, as he remained second for MP Motorsport. Colapinto stepped up on the third-place podium for Van Amersfoort Racing for the second time of the season.

Arthur Leclerc repeated his teammate’s effort to take fourth from Jonny Edgar, as Oliver Bearman almost made it to the top three, but then he had to concede in the battle with Victor Martins in fighting for eighth.

Roman Stanek completed the race in fifth when his Trident teammate Jonny Edgar opened the door for Hitech Grand Prix’s Kaylen Frederick to claim sixth. Edgar only finished seventh, as Championship leader Victor Martins was eighth for ART Grand Prix.

Lastly, Alexander Smolyar finished ninth in the second MP Motorsport car as last Sprint Race’s winner Isack Hadjar rounded out the top 10 for Hitech.

Feature Race:

Isack Hadjar conquered the biggest challenge from the weekend aside from the track limits as he stormed to the third victory of his rookie campaign with standing water everywhere around the Spielberg circuit.

Starting from pole position for the first time, the Frenchman was determined to prove that experience wasn’t all that mattered when he held off an attack from Championship leader Victor Martins to convert the position into a victory, despite an error that almost allowed the ART driver to take over.

Behind them, Oliver Bearman converted third on the grid to the podium’s final step ahead of his PREMA Racing teammate Arthur Leclerc, where he held off from Hitech’s Kaylen Frederick. Zane Maloney gained three to finish fifth, as his teammate Roman Stanek made it two Tridents in the top six.

After consistently staying inside the top 10 with a podium under his name, Franco Colapinto added more points to his tally in seventh, ahead of a charging Alexander Smolyar, who made up eight places from 16th to finish inside the points-paying position for MP Motorsport.

Ido Cohen and William Alatalo made the Jenzer Motorsport team happy by finishing in the top 10 and earning the team’s third and fourth points this season, as this was also Cohen’s first points in the Championship.

What’s Next?

The FIA Formula 3 will resume the competition in Hungaroring for the sixth round of the 2022 season starting from July 29-31.

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FIA F3 AustriaFIA Formula 3 Austria weekend roundup