Lets Talk About The Formula 3 British Grand Prix 2020

Post race, Jess and I sat down to look back on the key features of the fourth 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

They would head into silverstone with the same hunger in their stomachs.

Alice

Regarding my predictions from the weekend, I personally feel as if I didn’t do too badly. I believed that we’d see every Prema driver on the podium which we saw Piastri and Sargeant take second and third in the feature race and Vesti just miss out after taking fifth in the feature and fourth in the race. However, I was slightly off regarding pole position as I went for the wrong Prema driver as it was Sargeant who finished on top. Although I had a pretty good run in regarding Prema, my predictions for Hauger and Viscaal ran short. Both drivers had a blinder of a weekend in Hungary and I had believed that they would head into Silverstone with the same hunger in their stomach. Alas, this was not meant to be as Viscaal DNF’d during the feature and came 16th in the sprint while Hauger came 16th in the feature and finished 17th in the sprint. From there, my precautions seemed to rise.

I believed that we could see both Beckmann and Pourchaire on the podium this weekend. Pourchaire didn’t have the weekend he wanted however, Beckmann proved himself once more in the sprint race. He crossed the line in a second but due to Smolyar’s penalty, he was pronounced as the winner of the British GP Sprint Race. Smolyar was also a driver who I said we should look out for this weekend. If it wasn’t for his penalty, he would have taken the race win after starting on reverse pole.

Looking at points for the teams this weekend, no team had an incredible weekend with only one driver from each team, bar Prema, taking home points. Trident managed to bag the few extra points after Smolyar’s demotion, putting them only 126 points behind the team leader.

To no shock or surprise, one of the Prema Drivers took the pole position.

Jess

To no shock or surprise, one of the Prema drivers took the pole position: Sargeant. Prema, like always, drove to perfection besides from the few issues. Piastri had a good start to his weekend with a 2nd place for it to be ruined in the next by a DRS flap that was unable to be closed. I’ve put all faith into Sargeant to take the championship lead and this weekend, he got a good haul of points with 27, compared to 18 with Piastri (the championship leader). This puts him 17 points behind his fellow teammate and rival. For Vesti, he had more of a successful weekend after double DNF’s last week out. A 5th and a 4th gives him 18 points to now sit him 7th.

I said one of the ART drivers for pole position, but they weren’t up there in terms of qualifying. They weren’t bad in the races either, but in terms of where I tried placed them, it was almost there. Smolyar took one of the wins to then be penalised because of excessive weaving, but he did manage to control that race decently aside from the illegality of breaking the tow.

Beckmann was also another one that I put on my list of drivers to win that weekend. Because of Smolyar’s penalty post-race, it handed him the win, putting him in 4th behind Pourchaire, who had a less eventful weekend. For Verschoor, he was fighting within the mid-pack, which in itself, is crazily competitive with a lot of drivers fighting for points and positions. He stayed in 11th for both races, but knowing how competitive that midfield is, I’m sure he’ll be back better than ever for the next set of races.

All three Prema drivers helped the Italian team bag 63 points, now putting them 126 points ahead of Trident. I made a bold claim to say that ART will take the lead against Trident, and I was almost there. If Smolyar still had the win and Fernandez wasn’t given a stop and go, I’m sure they would of had the points to take 2nd from the Italian team, however as we all know, this didn’t happen. Hitech had their shot of glory in the first race with Lawson winning, but it didn’t go as good in the second, however they took 4th from MP Motorsport.

Audience

When we went back to look at the audiences predictions, we found that most people made the same mistake as I did. The majority voted for Piastri while only 16.7% voted for the man on pole himself, Logan Sargeant. With that being said, the majority voted for Piastri once more to take the win but it was actually Hitech’s Liam Lawson which 16.7% of people guessed correctly. We then moved on to look at the runner up which was taken by Piastri however, not a single member of the audience guessed that he would find himself there. Vesti took the majority but was unable to make it to the podium this weekend.

More people believed that Pourchaire would place third for a second time, taking 66.7% of the votes however, we found America’s Logan Sargeant finishing third which nobody predicted although he did take 16.7% of the votes for who people thought would take fastest lap. It was in fact the British-French driver, Clement Novalak who took fastest lap which remained as unpredictable. Sargeant went on to take fastest lap during the sprint race.

Fewtrell was surprising this weekend.

As we head into the sprint race, we first looked at the winner. Due to the post race penalty, we will take into consideration both podiums as an overall. With that being said, Beckmann took 16.7% of the votes for first place. Sargeant was on top for who people thought would finish as runner up although it was Novalak in the end who took the trophy. Nobody predicted that Novalak, nor Beckmann who stood on the podium in second, would take runner up. However, for third, Peroni took 16.7% of the votes. Once Smolyar was penalised, it was Alexander Peroni who moved up to the podium. As we looked at the fastest lap, Piastri was on top but as mentioned before, it was his team mate Sargeant who took the point. Sargeant received 16.7% of the votes for fastest lap in the sprint race.

When we looked at the most surprising driver this weekend, we found that Fewtrell was surprising this weekend. After having a rough few weekends, it was good to see him place in fourth for qualifying. Although he ran into some complications this weekend with a collision and DNF, his qualifying pace truly came out of no where and hopefully Hitech can carry that through to this weekend and the luck will be on his side. Ben Barnicoat was also a surprising driver. He was brought in last minute and although his end results saw him outside of the points, he did an incredible job at slotting in and trying to push the best out of his car. Fewtrell was a name that the audience mentioned as their surprising driver. We also saw Sargeant, Fraga, Fittipaldi and Fernandez. Sargeant did a great job and managed to put himself onto the podium once again. Fraga’s weekend wasn’t spectacular for him after retiring in lap 5 of his second week. Fittipaldi’s weekend wasn’t his greatest and fell fairly average for him while Fernandez managed to place himself seventh in the feature race to take some points and placing himself fourth in the starting grid for the sprint race. His second race didn’t go to plan as he took a 10 second stop and go penalty for overtaking past the safety car line during the formation lap. Fernandez had troubles getting a start and managed to hold himself back but needed to be in his grid place when the ace started or he would start further back. He wiggled his way up the grid but didn’t make it in time, thus receiving a penalty.

When it came down to teams, everybody voted for Prema in terms of teams with the most points and they still remain a healthy 126 points ahead of Trident who sit in second place.

Not (the) British GP.

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 Not British GP. The buzz around the British Grand Prix is what makes the weekend memorable. With that being said, it’s the one race weekend that the British drivers want to do their best. There were many moments to pin point in the feature race but they all came down to the collision involving Caldwell, Fewtrell and Dunner. Fewtrell was on for one of his better results and after complications and then being involved into the collision which took out another British driver, it felt as if the British GP was very much Not the British GP. Jess’ three words were Hitech Back Up. Hitech haven’t had a crazily amazing season this year as people thought, just a lot of points finishes and a win. Lawson’s win had a sort of refresh in the team, telling people that they still had the speed. The drivers are undeniably quick, but that car isn’t delivering like it should be doing.

The audiences three words mainly revolved around the accident also. We saw Heartbreak for Fewtrell and Crash Boom Bang which really did summarise the weekend up. We also had someone find the race quite boring which is understandable due to the amount of safety cars and how long they progressed for.

The Return of the Rookies and their podiums.

Going into the sprint race, my three word race review was The French Returns. Clement Novalak was one of the most talked about rookies during the first weekend of the season in Austria. He managed to place himself in 10th during his feature race and was the first driver on reverse pole of the year. From there, he took his maiden Formula 3 podium in third place. However, from that moment on, people spoke less and less. Novalak found himself barely scraping the points. This weekend, we saw a change. He was always one to be putting himself into a battle and found himself starting third on the reverse grid. He managed to hold his position to cross the line in third and was rewarded second after the penalisation of Smolyar. He had a few unlucky weekends and it was great to see him back on the podium. Jess’ three words became Rookies Back (on) Podium. This meshes with mine quite well. Prior to Smolyar losing his win, there were two rookies on the podium: Alexander Smolyar and Clement Novalak. Novalak has been going on and upwards, taking his second podium of the season as a rookie driver. Smolyar finally had a somewhat redemption when he was taken out in round 3 feature race to win, but had to unfortunately take a penalty to demote him off the podium.

Although our three words were reasonably positive, the audiences reflected on the penalisation of Alexander Smolyar. Similar to last weekend, we had Naughty boy Smolyar and we also had Smolyar illegal weaving. His penalisation and the reasonings for were one of the most talked about situations of the weekend and the three words reviews really did prove that point.

This weekends highlights found the name of Olli Caldwell to be most popular. The crash itself was terrifying to watch and was a situation where it could have been much worse than it was. It held one of them feelings where your heart sank to your stomach. The audience found that their highlight was all three drivers involved walked away without injury. In situations like that, your only wish is that the driver will step out of the car and walk away uninjured. People also found the battle up the top between the leaders for first was their race highlight.

The Charouz car isn’t as good as many people hoped.

Jess and I shared similar race weekend highlights. In the words of Jess, regarding the feature race, “like my Formula 2 highlight, he’s maybe not the best person in terms of points or results, but Roman Stanek has been one of my highlights this weekend. The Charouz car isn’t as good as many people hoped, still not taking a single point this season, but for me, I found him to be someone who stood out for me. He’s not had a very lucky season, a lot of the times near the back of the grid, but he had a joint personal best of 17th after averaging around 21st in the entire season. Plus, as a rookie, he’s always learning and it’s nice to see him doing well in terms of positions.”

Following on with the sprint race: “Barnicoat was only dropped into the Formula 3 machinery two or three days prior the event. The last time he even used Formula 3 machinery was 2016 and that was using the 2012 cars. Those cars are vastly different to what they are now, so to see him be able to pick up the car quickly to even finish ahead of a fair few drivers in 12th was a nice sight to see. Perhaps it’s not a stunning result in terms of points or wins, but considering the fact he had a few days to prepare for such a different car to the GT’s, he did astonishingly well.”

The ups and downs of the Prema Drivers.

Overall, this weekend has been one of tears, surprises and unpredictability. We saw Beckmann take his second sprint race win of 2020, a rookie’s podium return, the ups and downs of the Prema drivers and a collision too many.

Next weekend will be the return of the British Grand Prix as we celebrate 70 years at Silverstone. Tomorrow, you will be able to catch our predictions from the weekend due to the return of Formula E consuming our Friday schedule.

I am your host, Alice, and this is Jess, and we are Chasing the Stars. Thank you for tuning in. *Queue Jess’ laughter.

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