Post race, Jess and I sat down to look back on the key features of the eighth 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
my prema prediction went terribly, terribly wrong
My Prema prediction went terribly, terribly wrong. I said that Piastri and Sargeant would each take a win but we saw Piastri take to the podium in third followed by a retirement and Sargeant with 26th and 24th following collisions. It was, in fact, the other Prema in Vesti who took a win for the team. I also said I could see Pourchaire up the front who took second in both races.
Lawson was pushing for second in the standings but after a rough weekend with a penalty, he sits at fourth with 6th and 7th. I said I’d love to see him on the podium this weekend which we did but the penalty soon demoted him shortly after the race.
As always, I held faith in Novalak but his only success was taking out the two championship leaders. He finished in 7th in the feature race but after spinning Sargeant, he took a 10 second penalty that demoted him to 13th. He retired from the sprint race after his collision with Piastri. Smolyar was another I said to look out for who finished 20th and fought his way up the grid to 4th in the sprint race, promoting himself to 3rd following Lawson’s penalisation.
art managed to produce a class of results
Indeed Sargeant and Piastri were pushing each other to the limits, but perhaps not to the limit they wanted. Per se the first race went well for Vesti as he won and also Piastri, who climbed all the way from 15th to 3rd. Unfortunately for Sargeant, contact with Novalak dropped him to the back of the grid and had a hampered second race. But the sprint race was not for Prema, with all drivers not being able to finish the race. Sargeant had managed to climb to 5th from 26th, but contact with Vesti near the end of the race ended it there with him. Piastri was collected in an incident involving many drivers to which he could do nothing about. Pourchaire has been on a run, claiming a double podium, which would of been a P2 and P3, but converted to double P2’s after Lawson’s penalty. He’s put himself now in championship contention with one round to go. As a rookie, it’s incredible what he’s shown, excelling in the ART car and fighting for podiums. Beckmann was also doing similarly well, finishing 4th in the first race and was fighting near the front for the second before attaining damage by Piastri.
Once again, ART managed to produce a class of results, maybe not for all three drivers, but in terms of Pourchaire and Smolyar, they managed to bring home a fair amount of points. Pourchaire had the double podiums, whilst Smolyar picked up his first after starting 20th because of an incident during the first race where he lost control of his car. Despite this, ART had 42 points this weekend, one of the best results out the whole season.
Prema most notably took the championship as it was impossible for the other teams to catch the consistent Italian team. Trident remain out ahead of ART though, but by only 13.5 points, reducing the amount it was last round. With only two races left of the championship, I’m hoping the French team can overtake the Italian for second, but either way, they’ve thoroughly impressed me.
When we went back to look at the audiences predictions, Sargeant was the man on top for pole position with 66.7% of the votes but it was Liam Lawson, which nobody predicted, who landed the pole position. With first place, 100% said Piastri who finished third and it was his teammate Vesti who won the race. In second place, Sargeant took 66.7% of the votes while Smolyar took the remaining 33.3% but it was Smolyar’s teammate, Pourchaire, who took the podium position. The last podium spot of third place was split between Hughes, Pourchaire and Lawson but it was championship leader Piastri who took the place. For fastest lap, Lawson, Piastri and Pourchaire were predicted but it was Peroni who went fastest.
hughes who stood proud on the podium
As we head into the sprint race, first place was an even split between Lawson, Pourchaire and Beckmann. It was, in fact, Jake Hughes who stood proud on the podium in first place. For second place, Lawson, Smolyar and Verschoor each took equal votes for the position but it was Pourchaire who was predicted for first that took the place. Lawson originally crossed the line in second but was penalised so lost the position so 33.3% was half correct. To finalise the podium, third place was split between Hughes who was the race winner, Pourchaire and Lawson. Technically, Pourchaire crossed the line in third but was promoted to second. Third was then awarded to Smolyar. Fastest lap was split between Lawson, Beckmann and Vesti but Novalak went quickest although he didn’t finish in the points to be awarded the lap.
When we looked at the most surprising driver this weekend, we saw Zendeli, Caldwell and Chovet. Now, I can single handily say that every single one of these drivers surprised me this weekend. Although Zendeli’s results weren’t his best with 7th and 4th, he pulled out a beautiful race. He was smart and managed to miss the four car collision, he fought hard and he showed how incredible of a driver he is. I’ve always been aware that he is a top tier driver but his fight this weekend shocked me. Caldwell, although he retired in his first race, managed to battle his way to 9th. His results may not be the best results but like Zendeli, his fight surprised me. I’ve never seen Caldwell that aggressive in the car for position but I don’t doubt that he hasn’t always driven like that. He did an incredible job, held his own and pushed on. Chovet, I have spoken about so I won’t go too much in to depth, however in his second weekend he managed to finish sixth in the sprint after starting in 18th. Everyone is aware that the hitech car isn’t the best this year and Chovet worked with what he had, avoided collisions and took points in his second ever Formula 3 race.
When it came down to teams, Prema took 66.7% while Trident took 33.3% of the votes. Ultimately, even with their lack of drivers finishing in the second race, Prema took home a lot of points and secured the teams championship.
I don’t doubt that he hasn’t always driven like that
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 was FIA Penalty Masterclass. The feature race this weekend was a confusing one to say the least. Drivers upon drivers were awarded with penalties from the minute they finished qualifying. We headed into the race with a different grid than we’d originally believed. But, it didn’t stop there, as throughout the race we saw penalty after penalty handed out. However, Vesti managed to miss out on a penalty which caused an uproar.
Jess’ three words were Vesti is Back. It seemed a bit odd for Prema to have not taken as many wins as they did last year. For Vesti, it was his first full race win after winning it in the rain during Styria, which encountered a red flag. She believes that Prema had lost their dominant form, but it was lovely to see him win a full race for the first time, especially when Prema took the championship.
The audiences three words were revolving around the chaos of the race. You really didn’t know where to look with the race, with no predictability on any sort of results. It through the championship in the air and left everyone on the edge of their seats.
vesti is back
Going into the sprint race, my three word race review was Where is Prema. When Prema left the feature race, it had been announced that the team had officially won the teams championship but as they left the sprint race, not a single driver crossed the line. All three Prema drivers DNF’d from the sprint race which is very peculiar for the Italian team. It definitely switched up the order big time to not see one of the red cars in the top ten.
Jess’ three words became ART Double Podium. Not many teams had been able to get more than one car on the podium, so when ART managed to finish 2nd and 4th, it was enthralling but sad to not finish with both on the podium. With the post-race penalties shenanigans, Lawson was given a penalty, which promoted Smolyar to 3rd, giving him his first Formula 3 podium whilst joined by Pourchaire. She believes it couldn’t have happened to a better driver nor a better team.
Similarly, the audiences three words were to do with Prema’s lack of drivers finishing the race. It really did fall as a shock to most that the team who’d just been announced as the teams champions managed to take no points in the following race.
This weekends highlights from the audience were mixed across a few different events, with the main one being Prema’s ability to go from below the top seven to two drivers on the podium. It was a true Prema masterclass in that first race and rustled the standings. We also saw the fight for P3 in the sprint race get mentioned. Hughes dominated with Lawson trailing behind quickly but next down the order, we saw a lot of swapped cars. It was true uncertainty on who would take to the podium but it was Pourchaire who crossed the line in third.
My race weekend highlight was the midseason rookies. Belov, who replaced Schumacher in the Charouz after he moved to Carlin, took his first point during the feature race. He had a rough first weekend but after penalties, he was moved to 10th place. Not only did that mean he took a point but he also started on provisional pole for the sprint race. Sadly, Belov got involved in a collision during the sprint race so couldn’t pull out the laps he wanted to but to see such an improvement during his second weekend is incredible. He worked hard for that position. Chovet is another midseason rookie who I’m impressed with this weekend. He joined Hitech after Fewtrell departed from the team and had a rough first weekend. He finished 18th in the feature race and managed to battle his way through the grid during the sprint race to finish 6th and take 5 points for himself. With this being his second weekend, it was great to see him appear more confident in his car and be able to fight for points.
Jess’ highlight was Michael Belov finishing in 10th in his third race, starting on reverse grid pole for the following race It’s not easy to go against 29 other competitive drivers in a brand new car that you’ve never driven before, so for Belov to take his first points and start in the first position slot was an incredible sight. It was hard for Jess to decide what her race highlight was, because there were a whole range of things, but she ended up settling on Roman Stanek getting his first points after losing it by a penalty in the feature race. It was definitely well deserved, like Fraga’s a few rounds ago. He only came into the sport new and not done testing, so it was a whole new experience for the Czech driver, but he’s managed to start picking it up and nearly finished twice in the points that weekend.
a whole new experience for the czech driver
Overall, this weekend has been one to remember in both the positives and the negatives. The championship still remains undecided with the potential being in the hands of Piastri, Sargeant, Pourchaire, Lawson, Beckmann and Vesti. If Pourchaire can take a pole and win during the feature race with both Prema’s dropping out of the points, the just turned 17 year old rookie from France will be leading the championship. Who do you think will be the FIA Formula 3 2020 Champion?
Next weekend will be the finale of the Formula 3 Grand Prix 2020. The battle is still very close and we’ll finally find out who will be crowned the FIA F3 2020 Champion. Join us next week as we review the final races of 2020. Keep an eye on our social media if you want to have your say about how the race weekend has panned out.