Lets Talk About The Formula 3 Belgium Grand Prix 2020

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

I’m expecting this isn’t the last we’ll see of him this season

Alice

I normally put a lot of faith into Zendeli as he is one of my favourite drivers but the one week that I don’t, he goes on to win the feature race. I predicted that Sargeant and Piastri taking podiums and wins this weekend with Piastri pushing ahead but both missed the podium during the feature race but it was Sargeant that won the sprint which kept him ahead of his team mate.

I also said that Hitech will be wanting to prove themselves after losing Fewtrell and that Lawson would continue to push for podiums. Lawson went on to take third in the sprint race. Regarding the remainder of the team, Hauger had a much better weekend than most of his previous, finishing above 20th in both races. Chovet, on his debut, didn’t deliver as most had hoped for. I would have loved to see him do better but sadly, a retirement cut his race short.

As always, the two rookies I always want to see do the best were Novalak and Pourchaire. Novalak didn’t have his best weekend after getting caught in an incident in the feature race that caused him to DNF but he managed to move his way up to 15th in the sprint race. For Pourchaire, he fought his way to second during the feature race and fifth in the sprint race. He did an incredible job once again this weekend and I’m expecting this isn’t the last we’ll see of him this season.

I’ve Tried for Weeks but I still believe in them all

Jess

I mentioned all three Prema drivers to take a win or podium. Sargeant ended up having an engine issue for the feature, dropping him to 8th from 4th. All three didn’t end up in the fight for the win for the feature, but in the sprint race, we had Sargeant leading and Vesti continuously pushing him. Piastri had an all around average weekend with a 5th and 6th. For Zendeli, he finally got the well deserved win in the feature race, beating Pourchaire to it. Peroni’s weekend was tragic, finishing 14th and 21st, which I thought was very unfortunate for a driver who is pushing that Campos car.

Similarly, Nannini had a really unfortunate weekend going from 13th to drop to 26th. In terms of the ART drivers, Theo got a podium and then ended up 5th after a mega drive, whilst Smolyar almost took 3rd, but ended up 4th for the first race and second race. Fernandez almost got the reverse grid pole, finishing 11th, but missed out and ended up 10th in the second.

Prema still lead by almost 200 points now. ART had a better weekend than previous times, though, still remained behind the Italian team in second. I’ve tried for weeks but I still believe in them all, especially after this weekend when they almost had at least 2 podiums.

Audience

When we went back to look at the audiences predictions, the audience believed that it would be Piastri on pole with a few believing it would be Lawson or Sargeant but it was German driver Lirim Zendeli that took the position. The pole reflected to the race with most predicting Piastri would win it but it was pole sitter Zendeli who took the win. From there, for second place, Sargeant was the most predicted driver with Piasrti, Lawson and Beckmann each taking a percentage but it was the man most popular for the sprint race that finished second; Theo Pourchaire. For the third position, Lawson took 60% of the votes while Sargeant finished off the final 40% but it was David Beckmann who took the final position. With regards to fastest lap, people predicted Pourchaire, Piastri and Lawson but it was Pourchaire.

Zendeli was underrated

As we head into the sprint race, Pourchaire was the highest voted for race winner with 60% while Smolyar and Sargeant took the remaining and it was the 20% that said Sargeant that was correct. With runner up, Lawson was most popular alongside Novalak, Beckmann and Pourchaire but it was Vesti who took the position after a close battle. For third, Lawson took to the podium which 20% guessed correctly.

When we looked at the most surprising driver this weekend, Peroni, Estner, Chovet, Smolyar and Beckmann were the names in question. Peroni’s weekend was reasonably lacklustre but it wasn’t unusual. He has his highs and lows and this weekend was a low for the Australian driver. Estner had his debut this weekend along with Chovet. Estner managed 27th and 20th while Chovet took 22nd and a retirement. As it was their debut, it wasn’t shocking that they weren’t fighting for points as they were getting to grips with the car. Smolyar was a surprise this weekend for me. He is known to be good driver and we’ve seen him battle for podiums before but this weekend, he got his closest podium finish yet. In both the feature and the sprint race, he took 4th and that came as a surprise. There is no denying his talent but luck is very rarely on his side so to see him do this well was a shock. For Beckmann, seeing him on the podium doesn’t come as a shock to me personally. He is very talented and has been battling with the big dogs for a long while.

When it came down to teams, 100% predicted Prema would be on top and they were right to do so.

My Favourite Formula 3 Podium

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 Favourite F3 Podium. My race review is very personal and obviously won’t be agreed with by most people but for me, this was my favourite podium this season. I have a handful of favourite drivers on the Formula 3 grid, three of them being Zendeli, Pourchaire and Beckmann. All three hold some immense talent and to see them all on the podium, especially with Zendeli winning, was incredible for me.

Jess’ three words were Zendeli was Dominant. He kept the lead at the start and managed to keep a distance to everyone behind to easily cruise to a win, which is definitely well deserved after losing it across the line to Viscaal back in Silverstone.

The audiences three words were revolving around Zendeli finally winning. I can see the enjoyment in this as it was one of my favourite moments of the season. Finally seeing him take the win after being so close on multiple occasions was a beautiful sight.

Prema 1-2 Again

Going into the sprint race, my three word race review was So close Vesti. Don’t get me wrong, I think Sargeant is a great driver with insane talent but I spent the whole race on the edge of my seat, hoping for a Vesti overtake. After Vesti’s win, his season had gone downhill and I was hoping for a redemption for him. Second place is a good amount of points to take nonetheless.

Jess’ three words became Prema 1-2 Again. The last time Prema had a 1-2 was in Austria first race and they’ve finally taken it again with Sargeant and Vesti. Considering they’re leading the standings by 200 points almost, it seemed weird for them not to be up there consistantly.

Similarly, the audiences three words consisted of the fight for P3. The final place on the podium was well battled through the entirety of the race between Lawson, Pourchaire and Smolyar but ultimately, it was Lawson who took the place on the podium. We saw a lot of close racing and it came down to the final corner to find out who would take the position.

This weekends highlights from the audience for the feature race were the same as the three words: Zendeli’s win. It’s always a bitter sweet feeling seeing somebody who deserves something, take it. We’d been holding out for so long for the win so for him to finally take it was a great day for everyone. For the sprint race, the battle for the podium was mentioned. Vesti and Sargeant battling for P1 and Lawson, Smolyar and Pourchaire battling for P3 were intense and kept everybody on the edge of their seats. Nobody could possibly guess the final podium until the cars crossed the line.

The unpredictability’s

My race weekend highlight was practically the same as the audience for the feature race. Zendeli winning, plus the remainder of the podium including fourth place, was such a sight to see. It was great to see a mix of faces up there as opposed to the same three we’re used to seeing.

Jess’ highlight for the feature race was Pourchaire being in second and Smolyar fighting for third with Beckmann. She supports the ART team a lot, so seeing them near the front was one of her highlights, especially since they’ve been very unlucky in the past few weekends.

Following on with the sprint race, my highlight was all of the unpredictability’s with Smolyar taking fourth once again and Caldwell battling up the top for as long as he could. Novalak was a highlight as he started 28th and finished 15th. Watching a rookie battle his way through the pack like that was something else. It was the same with Enzo Fittipaldi who started 26th and battled his way to 12th. Both drivers did an incredible job and it was great racing to watch.

For the sprint race, her highlight was Lukas Dunner, finishing in 13th, almost being one of his best results of the season. It’s not been easy for him, with a lot of his results being near 20th, but for once, he was up there in the midfield. She’s proud of where he’s going because Formula 3 is very competitive with 30 drivers.

Formula 3 is very competitive

Overall, it has been a mix of a weekend, with drivers pulling their best results whilst others had an unfortunate side. The championship itself is still all to play for with Sargeant and Piastri often switching, plus others coming into the mix, but with two rounds left to go, who knows who will win.

The next two weekends we will be heading to Italy for the Monza and Mugello Grand Prix’s to finish the Formula 3 2020 season. Keep an eye on our social medias if you want to have the opportunity to lets us know how you think these final race weekends will pan out.

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