Post race, Jess and I sat down to look back on the key features of the sixth 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
we can hope for better
This weekend I had a lot of faith in Zendeli to do well after last weekend but he found himself leaving with no points to add to the championship. I also held faith for Beckmann who’s weekend wasn’t his best but he walked away with points and gradually began to close the gap with Lawson. Sadly, it wasn’t the weekend I had hoped for with both drivers but after a weekend off, we can hope for better.
I also said that I could see Sargeant on the podium again and he went on to finish third in the feature race. With Prema, I held a lot of faith with one of them taking pole position which Sargeant went on to take. I wanted to see more of Vesti but sadly, he DNF’d and took twenty-first. I stated that Piastri was the man on top but the spotlight has switched to Sargeant which remains true however, only a point stands between both drivers.
The other three names I mentioned were Pourchaire, Novalak and Hughes including fastest laps for Pourchaire and Hughes. Pourchaire’s weekend wasn’t his best but it also wasn’t his worst with him taking home some points. Novalak’s weekend could have gone better during the Sunday but the French driver took fourth in the feature race on the Saturday. Hughes was the man of the hour on Saturday. He took his first win of the season and fastest lap to round off his perfect day in motorsport. With points, I said Prema would take the most and they did.
his perfect day in motorsport
With faith in Sargeant since before the season began, I said he’ll be the man to take a win or a podium. He had an advantage for taking pole position and so did what I mentioned, though lost out to the win from Hughes and Lawson to drop to third. Regardless, he managed to the finish 5th in the second, taking home 25 points from the weekend. For his teammates, Piastri managed to secure 6th to put him in a spot to challenge for the lead in the second race, in which the Australian pulls one hell of a drive to win the race ahead of Peroni behind. This sits him now in second in the standings, once again one point behind Sargeant. Frederik Vesti had a really unlucky weekend, qualifying 14th to have battery issues in the first race and then start at the back to finish 21st in the second. For the Trident drivers of Beckmann and Zendeli, it was maybe not as fruitful as usual, but Beckmann provided a fight in the feature race for 5th. Overall they brought back 12 points, to put them 19 points ahead of ART.
I mentioned Hughes and he managed to deliver a masterclass of a race in the feature to bring home his first win and second podium of the season. This promoted him to 7th in the standings, behind Vesti who had a less fortunate weekend. Pourchaire got the best result out of the ART drivers, qualifying up in 8th to battle for 6th against Piastri, but could only make 7th. Theo got battled for 6th against Liam Lawson, however with his defence, he kept the position from the Kiwi to take the position to the end.
Prema are absolutely unstoppable this year once again, now extending their gap from 149 points to 181 points. Meanwhile, it has been another week where I tried to predict ART to overtake Trident for third and it still, unfortunately, hasn’t happened. For Smolyar, it was an all-around average weekend, not getting in the points for any of the races after qualifying 12th, moving up to 11th in the feature and then back to 12th in the sprint race. Similarly, Fernandez didn’t get a good start in the first race, which compromised his second to 15th. As described above, Pourchaire got the best weekend out of the three to bring home all 11 points for the French team.
When we went back to look at the audiences predictions, 60% voted that Sargeant would find himself on pole position and he did exactly that. 40% also went on to vote for the American as their race winner but nobody predicted that it would be Jake Hughes on the top spot of the podium. For runner up, Sargeant remained the most predicted man on the grid but it was Lawson that took the position which 20% guessed correctly. For third place, Pourchaire, Beckmann, Vesti and Lawson each took 20% but it was the last 20% that predicted Sargeant that guessed correctly. Regarding fastest lap, the 20% that guessed Hughes predicted right.
the most unpredictable podium of formula 3
As we head into the sprint race, Pourchaire was the highest voted for race winner with 80% but it was Piastri who remained unpredictable that took to the podium. Piastri did manage to take 20% for runner up but it was Peroni who placed second, just as unpredictable as first. And, the most unpredictable podium of Formula 3, Matteo Nannini found himself in third place. Pourchaire and the MP Motorsport boys took the predictions for fastest lap but it was race winner, Piastri, that took the points.
When we looked at the most surprising driver this weekend, Pulcini and Smolyar took the most with Fewtrell close behind. Pulcini’s first weekend was one to forget with a 16th and 24th. I wasn’t expecting much due to it being his first weekend so the results didn’t fall as a surprise. Smolyar was also unsurprising as he only managed 11th and 12th. We’ve seen him do much better but we’ve also seen him do much worse so just outside of the points doesn’t fall as a surprise. To Fewtrell’s dismay, he also didn’t come as a surprise. The feature race found him outside of the points once more and the Renault Sports driver couldn’t prove his worth in the Sprint race after being taken out.
When it came down to teams, 100% predicted Prema would be on top and they were right to do so.
the renault sports driver couldn’t prove his worth
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 Double the Hughes. After taking second last weekend, people believed that Jake wouldn’t be as powerful this weekend but he proved everybody wrong and pushed himself to hold first place. The race held a few safety cars which stunted his performance but he managed to hold on and take his first win of the season.
Jess’ three words were Simply Just Unexciting. Like for every single-seater series in Barcelona this weekend, the tyre degradation was incredibly high. Like the Formula 2 sprint race, it meant there were gaps to every driver everywhere as they tried to save their tyres for the entire race since they don’t do mandatory pitstops. There were some battles at the front and the back, but a lot ended up backing out not to destroy the tyres to make them last. She felt it was perhaps an unfortunate weekend in terms of the racing aspect because drivers generally couldn’t race without risking the tyres.
The audiences three words were similar to mine with Finally Jake Hughes. It’s definitely been a long time coming and hopefully he’ll manage to afford the move to Formula 2 next year because this weekend proved how much he has in him to race for titles.
Simply just unexciting
Going into the sprint race, my three word race review was Piastri is Back. The Australian has struggled since his retirement following his second place trilogy but taking a win and placing himself back on the podium was a positive sight to see. He lost out on the championship but has managed to bring himself to be a point behind Sargeant. Hopefully we get to see more of this side of Piastri.
Jess’ three words became Just: Matteo Nannini. Matteo has been hovering around 20th all season until we arrived in Barcelona. He managed to make a step up and finish 10th in the feature race, allowing him to start in pole position for the reverse grid. This allowed him to finish third in the sprint race after being overtaken by Piastri and Peroni. She thinks it couldn’t have happened to a better driver who works hard with his team every day to provide a car capable of bringing it to the front.
Similarly, the audiences three words consisted of Piastri’s pace. He held speed the entirety of the time, working with his tyre degradation to the best of his ability.We also saw that people found that the race was boring which both Jess and I would agree on. Spain was a fairly uneventful weekend however, we did find a new face on the podium which will always highlight any negatives.
This weekends highlights from the audience for the feature race were Hughes taking his win, Oscar’s speed and power to reclaim a podium and Jenzer finally making it to the podium. Between myself and Jess, these were also highlights for us.
the struggling jenzer team taking a podium
Jess and I shared similar race weekend highlights. Jess’ highlight was more of a lowlight with Max Fewtrell. In her words, “Max Fewtrell can’t seem to have a break,” after constantly being outside the points once again and even retiring within the first four corners of the sprint race. She knows how well Fewtrell can drive and how talented he truly is, but he can never seem to have a weekend where it goes well.
Following on with the sprint race, her highlight was seeing Verschoor up to 4th for the sprint race in the words of “back where he belongs.” Coming off the back of Macau GP winner is no easy feat to keep up in Formula 3 since it’s such a competitive championship, so after a string of unlucky races of either low down in the points or not at all and then coming 4th definitely gives a refresh for him.
the longest weekend to grace the earth
Overall, Spain felt like the longest weekend to grace the Earth. We lacked excitement and enthusiasm this weekend but we managed to see a new winner, a new podium placer and a team finally breaking into the points.
Next weekend we will be having a weekend off for the first time in three weeks but don’t worry! We will continue to bring you a lot of content through out the next week. Keep an eye out for our Formula E Season Review tomorrow and join us next week as we prepare for another back to back weekend.