Formula 3 British R1 Grand Prix 2020

We’ve come back to racing with another triple header: two rounds in Silverstone, United Kingdom; and one in Barcelona de Catalunya, Spain. 4 drivers will be returning to Silverstone for their home race: Fewtrell, Caldwell, Hughes and Barnicoat. Enaam Ahmed was replaced by Ben Barnicoat.

This race summary is for the first round of Silverstone.

Qualifying

Like most Formula 3 qualifying sessions, Prema started on the provisional poles. Vesti took the inital pole lap, but with an improving weather, the circuit improved, providing an advantage compared to the start of the session. The top was battled by none other than his two teammates Piastri and Sargeant, but also Hitech racer, Liam Lawson. It continually went back and forth, where Lawson claimed the pole position at the time. The flag was called and Sargeant set the fastest lap in the session ahead of the Kiwi by 0.058 seconds. His teammate Piastri settled for third, whilst Fewtrell pipped a lap ahead of Vesti, pushing the Dane into 5th whilst the Briton took 4th.

After the qualifying session, Peroni went to the stewards about a deleted lap time for exceeding track limits. After revision, they realised this was incorrect and he was given his time back, putting him back to 6th.

The grid is as follows:
1. Logan Sargeant
2. Liam Lawson
3. Oscar Piastri
4. Max Fewtrell
5. Frederik Vesti
6. REINSTATED LAP Alex Peroni
7. Sebastián Fernández
8. Jake Hughes
9. Lirim Zendeli
10. Alexander Smolyar
11. Clément Novalak
12. David Beckmann
13. Théo Pourchaire
14. Bent Viscaal
15. Richard Verschoor
16. Calan Williams
17. Sophia Flörsch
18. Olli Caldwell
19. Dennis Hauger
20. Ben Barnicoat
21. Jack Doohan
22. Roman Staněk
23. PENALISED Lukas Dunner
24. Igor Fraga
25. Enzo Fittipaldi
26. Matteo Nannini
27. David Schumacher
28. Cameron Das
29. Federico Malvestiti
30. Alessio Deledda

Feature Race

For Formula 3, the start was well controlled. Sargeant stays ahead of his teammates and Lawson, keeping first, whilst they battled behind for positions. Fewtrell, starting fourth, also managed to achieve a good start to battle Piastri off the line. It didn’t last long for the Briton though as he went wide, losing positions and dropping to around 20th in the grid. For the other home driver Hughes, he was climbing up the order, battling near the front against the Prema’s. Vesti tried to overtake his teammate into turn 6, but had to settle behind the Australian. For Lawson, it was his redemption, taking the lead from the American into turn 15 and keeps it, taking the lead once more. Lower down the grid, Flörsch loses it and spins, though regains control not long after. Meanwhile, Russian driver Smolyar is climbing up the grid taking a position off Zendeli.

For Novalak, starting 11th, he was trying to go up the order from where he started. He was challenging Beckmann for a position and managed to take it from him. Nannini spun off track and caused a brief virtual safety car, before getting his car running again.

Lower down the grid, Verschoor takes 11th from Smolyar and then 10th on Zendeli. Smolyar does the same for 11th against the German. Clément Novalak goes for 7th from ART driver Fernández. Behind, Viscaal fights for 13th with Caldwell whilst Fewtrell claims 19th from Hauger.

Previous race winner Pourchaire was taking 14th from Dutchman Viscaal, whilst the championship leader Piastri went for 2nd against his American teammate Sargeant. To catch up to Lawson in first, he needed to reduce a one second gap. Hughes, who is racing at home, was fighting Australian driver Peroni. For newcomer Barnicoat, who was announced only a few days prior the event, he was making moves on Doohan for 16th.

Hauger was given a 5 second penalty for spinning German driver Sophia Flörsch. Meanwhile, further up the grid, Hughes was catching on Vesti in 4th, but stayed behind until the following lap. At the front, Piastri was now 0.5s behind Lawson. A lap later, and now he was racing side by side with the Kiwi. Despite going over the kerbs and having the front lift up briefly, he still kept his pedal to the floor, however it wasn’t enough and Lawson kept the position. The battle meant Sargeant was now starting to close in on the two front runners.

Barnicoat didn’t have his first race in the new Formula 3 so easily as he was being battled by Viscaal. A light tap by the Dutchman ends up making him lose control of his car, collecting Doohan on his right and into the old pitlane wall. This means the safety car is pulled out.

Four laps later, racing resumed. Verschoor and Smolyar took no time in the safety car advantage and was battling each other for 10th, whilst Pourchaire takes 12th from Caldwell. Later on the lap, Caldwell takes 14th. Being battled by Fewtrell, he tried to defend himself from the Briton, but was spun around. Dunner, with no time to react, hits the rear left of his car, exposing the entire back of the car including the gearbox.

Because of how car being heavily damaged, it took a while for the stewards to remove it off track, meaning the race was finished under safety car.

Post-race, Fewtrell was given a 3 place grid drop because of the incident that occurred on lap 16, meaning he drops to the back of the grid for the sprint race.

The feature race results are:
1. Liam Lawson
2. Oscar Piastri
3. Logan Sargeant
4. Jake Hughes
5. Frederik Vesti
6. Alex Peroni
7. Sebastián Fernández
8. Clément Novalak
9. David Beckmann
10. Alexander Smolyar
11. Richard Verschoor
12. Théo Pourchaire
13. Lirim Zendeli
14. Calan Williams
15. Igor Fraga
16. Dennis Hauger
17. Roman Staněk
18. PENALISED Enzo Fittipaldi
19. Federico Malvestiti
20. Ben Barnicoat
21. Cameron Das
22. Sophia Flörsch
23. Alessio Deledda
24. PENALISED Matteo Nannini
25. David Schumacher
26. DNF Olli Caldwell
27. DNF Max Fewtrell
28. DNF Lukas Dunner
29. DNF Bent Viscaal
30. DNF Jack Doohan

Sprint Race

The sprint race grid is:
1. Alexander Smolyar
2. David Beckmann
3. Clément Novalak
4. Sebastián Fernández
5. Alex Peroni
6. Frederik Vesti
7. Jake Hughes
8. Logan Sargeant
9. Oscar Piastri
10. Liam Lawson
11. Richard Verschoor
12. Théo Pourchaire
13. Lirim Zendeli
14. Calan Williams
15. Igor Fraga
16. Dennis Hauger
17. Roman Staněk
18. Enzo Fittipaldi
19. Federico Malvestiti
20. Ben Barnicoat
21. Cameron Das
22. Sophia Flörsch
23. Alessio Deledda
24. Matteo Nannini
25. David Schumacher
26. Olli Caldwell
27. Lukas Dunner
28. Bent Viscaal
29. Jack Doohan
30. PENALISED Max Fewtrell

Smolyar starts on reverse grid pole. Fernández couldn’t get off the grid, but managed to after a while. This meant he had to reclaim positions to his grid spot, however drivers have a certain point on the track to where they can’t overtake. Sebastián didn’t end up overtaking everyone for his grid spot, meaning he was under investigation and later given a 10 second stop and go penalty.

He manages to get away from Beckmann, keeping first. Novalak sticks it in third still from the grid. The French born driver already started to try and take Beckmann but stayed behind. Behind, Piastri went side by side with Hughes but the Briton keeps ahead. Vesti and Sargeant also did the same behind, where the rookie Dane took the position from his American teammate. Lawson behind was also doing well, moving 3 places up from 10th.

Through into Luffield, Sargeant and Verschoor are fighting for track position. Sargeant has a minor slip into the gravel. Behind, Pourchaire takes 11th from Piastri. The Australian tries to retake it, but slides out into the gravel like his teammate, dropping to near the back of the grid. Doohan wasn’t having a good race with a puncture, dropping to the back of the grid in 30th. Fernández also was given a 10 second stop and go for overtaking past the safety car line during formation lap. He takes this penalty as soon as possible and drops near the bottom of the grid. Deledda also pits for a new front wing. Meanwhile at the front, Novalak was now 0.4 seconds behind the German in second.

Igor Fraga had an issue with his car and pulled to the side. Because of the awkward position it’s in, the safety car is brought out, meaning the gap between Smolyar and Beckmann reduced from over one second.

3 laps later on lap 8, the safety car goes in. Smolyar maintains his lead with 0.5 seconds to second place. Hughes tried to take a position from Lawson, but kept it from the Kiwi. Barnicoat, who replaced Ahmed, takes 14th from Williams. This is followed by Piastri doing the same a lap later. Caldwell tries to battle Nannini but goes wide and loses some positions.

Sargeant was fighting for the championship, already over 20 points behind his rookie teammate Piastri. With a championship aimed mindset, he took 8th from Verschoor. Hauger also takes 11th from Trident driver Zendeli. A few places behind, Barnicoat takes 13th from Malvestiti. Piastri unfortunately had to retire as his DRS flap was stuck open, which if he continued, it would of meant he had to later retire regardless plus a fine for the team.

The battle for the lead between Beckmann and Smolyar continued. Beckmann didn’t have the confidence to take the outside line and stayed behind. Because of this fight, Novalak started to reduce the gap to 0.4 seconds.

A charging Kiwi with redemption on his mind lunged for Vesti, but with more grip around the outside, he keeps the position from Lawson. Only two laps later, Sargeant does the same but on Lawson, taking 5th behind his Danish teammate. Lower down the grid, David Schumacher takes 16th from rookie Roman Staněk.

The race leader Smolyar continually broke the tow against Beckmann by weaving down the straights. Because of this, he was placed under investigation about the illegality of the continuous line changes. Away from the front, Pourchaire took 8th from Verschoor. For Hauger, he was running in 12th to lose positions to 17th due to an issue on the final two laps.

On lap 18, Smolyar was under investigation for his continuous line change when being attacked by Beckmann. The stewards deemed this unfair and penalised him to push him to 6th behind Logan Sargeant, giving the win to his German rival. Sophia Flörsch was also given a penalty for forcing Cameron Das off track when he was in front of her, so she was given a 5 second penalty, dropping her to 25th.

The sprint race results are:
1. David Beckmann
2. Clément Novalak
3. Alex Peroni
4. Frederik Vesti
5. Logan Sargeant
6. Alexander Smolyar
7. Liam Lawson
8. Théo Pourchaire
9. Richard Verschoor
10. Jake Hughes
11. Lirim Zendeli
12. Ben Barnicoat
13. Federico Malvestiti
14. Calan Williams
15. David Schumacher
16. Bent Viscaal
17. Dennis Hauger
18. Roman Staněk
19. Enzo Fittipaldi
20. Max Fewtrell
21. Sebastián Fernández
22. Lukas Dunner
23. Matteo Nannini
24. Cameron Das
25. Sophia Flörsch
26. Olli Caldwell
27. Jack Doohan
28. Alessio Deledda
29. DNF Oscar Piastri
30. DNF Igor Fraga

We’ll be back on Wednesday for a Race Review, with what we thought of our predictions, highlights, lowlights, underrated drivers and so on. Check on our social medias to see how you can be included in these posts!