Post race, Jess and I sat down to look back on the key features of the third Formula 3 Feature and Sprint of 2020. Together; we discussed the downfall of our predictions, our race highlights and summarised the race as a whole.
Race Weekend Predictions
Hitech truly are pick and choosing who gets the good car each round.
The most I can come away with in terms of my results is that Hitech really are pick and choosing who gets the good car each round. Although Max failed to see the points this weekend, he was doing an incredible job up until his steering dying out. He managed to find himself behind every collision possible, including the oil from Lawson’s car, and didn’t once get entangled in it all. I truly believe, if it wasn’t for his steering, we would have seen some seriously good points this weekend as he was battling his way through the field. I also had a lot of faith in Beckmann and Zendeli. Beckmann actually ended up winning the sprint race after Viscaal got penalised, along with a tenth place. Zendeli, on the other hand, didn’t have a great week. He was caught in a collison during the first race and spent his sprint race climbing the field but managed no points. I also believed in the Prema trio once more which found Piastri taking runner up in both races while Sargeant sat just outside of the points with sixth and fourth. Sadly, Vesti found himself out of both races.
The rookies that I put on a pedestal were Novalak and Pourchaire. Pourchaire was the man of the hour as he went on to win his second ever Formula 2 race as he stood on the podium for the feature race. Novalak, on the other hand, had some car troubles this weekend. He found himself starting second on reverse grid after taking ninth in the feature race however, his car failures found him falling down the grid to twelfth. My proudest prediction was the fastest laps. I thought I’d take a gamble this weekend and pick two drivers, Piastri and Hughes, and it worked in my favour. Hughes took fastest lap in the feature race, although it was given to Pourchaire due to Hughes not placing in the top ten and Piastri took fastest lap in the sprint race. Regarding teams, I believed that Trident could take the most points ahead of Prema however, that didn’t happen.
Too many double dnf’s this weekend.
As Sargeant is my champion this year, I thought that I could see him as one of my winners however, he fell just short of a podium as he took sixth and fourth. He managed to hit Smolyar into turn one which ended up ruining both drivers race. I also thought that either of the other two Prema drivers would be on the podium where we found Piastri taking runner up twice and Vesti not finishing either race. Aside from the Prema trio, I had faith in the Trident trio where we found Beckmann taking the points for the team. He finished tenth and first while Zendeli didn’t finish and took sixteenth while Caldwell took twenty first and eighteenth. Looking away from the front teams, I said we should keep an eye on Hughes and Verschoor. Verschoor managed to take fourth and fifth after tousling with his teammate while Hughes ended up in twenty fourth and nineteenth.
As for my favourite driver on the grid, I placed a lot of faith into Pourchaire, especially after last weekend when he took his first win. He did carry the momentum as he went on to win his first feature race and became the first back to back driver of the 2020 season. He also went on to take sixth in the sprint race so brought home a bunch of points for himself. My other rookie was Novalak. Although his results don’t credit him for the race he put out, I still believe he has a lot of potential. He had car problems this weekend that didn’t favour him.
With teams, I knew that Prema would still remain on top. Even with Vesti’s double DNF, they still managed to rack up a bunch of points and stay ahead. I also believed in Trident and had hope in Hitech which neither team really delivered. Beckmann become the only point scorer for Trident while Hitech saw a double DNF from Lawson due to engine and gearbox issues, Fewtrell just outside of the points with him placing eleventh in both races due to steering problems and Dennis Hauger bringing home the only points with his first podium in the sprint race where he placed third and eighth in the feature race.
Our predictions weren’t awful this weekend, however, they definitely weren’t the best we’ve seen. With that being said, the audience’s predictions were also up in the air. The Hungarian Grand Prix shocked a lot of people, especially with Russian rookie Alexander Smolyar placing himself on pole position. Nobody predicted that with most people believing it would be Fernandez or Sargeant. With that being said, only 12.5% of people predicted that French rookie Theo Pourchaire would win the feature race. The majority felt it would be either Sargeant or Piastri but after a collision in corner one, we found Sargeant to be driving with some damage and Piastri managing to push his way to second, which 37.5% of people predicted.
More people believed that Pourchaire would place third with him taking 25% of the votes however, no one believed it would be Bent Viscaal on the podium. Although, the 12.5% who said Sargeant would take third would have been correct, the American found himself with a penalty that dropped him to sixth. Hughes was the man who managed to take fastest lap however, he was never awarded it due to him finishing outside of the top ten so Pourchaire was awarded the lap, which, 12.% said. Oscar Piastri took the most votes with 62.5% however, we saw him take fastest lap in the sprint race where nobody predicted him to go fastest.
The Hungarian Grand Prix shocked a lot of people.
Regarding the sprint race, we saw the biggest divide possible. David Beckmann was the man on top however, nobody placed him as their prediction. Runner up, Oscar Piastri, took 12.5% of the votes for first place yet his name remained unmentioned when it came to second place. Beckmann was voted by 12.5% for third place however, it was Hitech’s Dennis Hauger that we saw take the podium. His teammate, Max Fewtrell, took the most votes regarding third place with 37.5%.
When we looked at the most surprising driver this weekend, Jess and I both agreed that Pourchaire was one of them. After his win last week, we thought it could have been a one of chance and that he’d sit lower in the table due to him being a rookie however, he surprised us both with his speed, tyre management and skill that took him to win his second Formula 2 race. We also believed that Hauger, Viscaal and Verschoor surprised us this weekend. They have been three names that have been overlooked this championship and all three proved that they deserved their seats. Fewtrell took the audience vote with 37.5% which I can agree with to an extent. Before his steering failure, his pace and ability came as a surprise as we’ve only ever seen Lawson’s Hitech do well. It was refreshing to see both Fewtrell and Hauger do well, even if the Brit’s race’s were ruined due to the car. We also saw Fraga and Ahmed’s names mentioned. Fraga took fifteenth and a DNF while Ahmed placed fourteenth and twenty first. I will admit, Ahmed shocked me as at one point, he was battling with the higher end of the midfield.
When it came down to teams, we saw the majority believed in Prema and they were right to do so. We went on to also see Hitech, Campos and ART as teams people believed could take the most points.
Smolyar Deserved Better.
Jess and I sat down to summarise each race in three words, highlighting the key moments of each race. For the feature race, my three word race review consisted of Smolyar deserved better. When Jess and I started preparing everything for this blog, I was the one who wrote up Alexander Smolyar’s driver profile and it taught me something; that this kid is insanely talented. I said to Jess that he was definitely going to be someone we should be looking out for this season and I was so excited for him when he found himself on pole position. It broke my heart when Sargeant crashed into him, especially when the Prema driver walked away with no consequences and left Smolyar out of the race. If it wasn’t for the incident, Smolyar would have found himself on the podium with Pourchaire. Talking of the other rookie, Jess’ three words, unsurprisingly, were back to back. The French rookie managed to go back to back in the space of a week which is an incredible achievement.
The audiences three words mainly revolved around the chaos the Hungarian Grand Prix brought. From the crash into turn one at the beginning to the oil from Liam Lawson’s car to the after race penalties, it was definitely an eventful weekend.
Crazy opening laps & Oil on the track.
Going into the sprint race, my three word race review was everyone under investigation. Jess’ fell similar with incident filled race. The sprint race, like the feature race, was filled with a lot of chaos. We saw an abundance of investigations going on in the field, the most memorable being Bent Viscaal. He was awarded two five second penalties, one for hitting Fraga while the other was for overtaking Sargeant off track, and spent the remainder of the race pushing away from the rest of the field so that he could keep a podium. He was around eight seconds ahead when a safety car was deployed, meaning Viscaal dropped rapidly. We also saw Doohan and Vesti, Hauger and Beckmann and the stranded car of Malvestiti.
A few people agreed with us, their three race reviews revolving around the very unlucky penalties, naughty boy Viscaal and Liam’s engine going boom. However, someone did summarise it as interesting, thrilling and wow. Although there were a lot of penalties, the grid was all over the place, a multitude of drivers unable to finish or their cars falling short of delivering, the race was interesting to say the least. We saw battles we could never imagine, new and old drivers on the podium and we really learnt a lot about how the FIA are choosing to penalise this year.
This weekends highlights found the French rookie’s name to be the most talked about. For a lot of people, their highlight was Pourchaire’s back to back win. Others found that Liam Lawson’s speed was their highlight or Fittipaldi’s overtaking. Some people spoke up about how Viscaal’s improvements was their weekend highlight while others found the starts of both races the most thrilling.
Pourchaire Back to Back, Lawson’s Pace, Fittipaldi’s Overtakes and Viscaal’s Improvements.
My personal race weekend highlights was seeing Alexander Smolyar on pole position, a new Hitech on the podium, Pourchaire’s second win and the constant battles throughout the entire weekend. We never once saw a boring race, we saw new names fighting for new places, people pushing for what they want and we watched names worthy of better fall drastically due to careless driving. It was exciting and this weekend alone proved that we need to see more of Formula 3.
Jess’ highlights followed suit with one of her’s being Smolyar. She found his pole position, after disappointing results, to be refreshing and exciting. Not only did he pull out all stops in qualifying to place himself on pole, he sent it up the grid in the sprint race to put himself as close to the top as possible. Alongside this, her highlights consisted of ART’s improvement this week compared to the first two rounds. They got off on a poor foot but each week they’ve gotten stronger and are truly beginning to collect the points they deserve.
This weekend alone proved that we need to see more of Formula 3.
Overall, this weekend has been one to remember. We witnessed some hard racing, beautiful overtakes and the youngest driver to win in Formula 3 went back to back which will forever go down in History. Before our eyes are the stars of tomorrow and they’re only going to keep getting better from here.
Next weekend will be our first weekend off since Formula 3 came back but don’t worry! There will still be lots of new content coming your way on Friday, Monday and Wednesday so keep an eye out!