Bent Viscaal’s Saturday was already turning out to be a pretty good one, with the MP Motorsport driver scoring his first points of 2020, and his highest ever position in F3, finishing fourth in Race 1, but it has since gotten even better.
The Dutchman has been promoted onto the podium for the first time, after a time-penalty for Logan Sargeant dropped the American to sixth.
The result closes the chapter on a difficult run of form for Viscaal, who looked much more at home around the Hungaroring, than he did at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.
Viscaal hadn’t qualified higher than 13th ahead of Round 3, but enjoyed a better time of things in Budapest, scoring P9 on the starting grid. This, along with some astute tyre management, proved key, he has said.
“The last few races in Spielberg were a little bit frustrating,” he admitted. “Because of the qualifying positions, we were not really able to fight for points or top positions, but this time around, we were much more competitive in Qualifying.”
“I think that we showed that we had good race pace today. It was a bit difficult to overtake and I think everybody’s left front tyre went off. We were one of the few who managed to keep it alive, so in the end I could get P4, after a bit of a charge.”
His assault towards the front was made more difficult by the presence of his teammate Richard Verschoor directly in front of him. Any move he made had the potential to ruin two points’ finishes for the Dutch team, putting pressure onto Viscaal to get it right.
Thankfully, the move turned out to be a pretty simple one, explained the Dutchman. “It was clear that I had a pace advantage, as Richard had destroyed his tyres early on.
“This meant that I didn’t really have to risk a lot to overtake him, because the pace difference was so big. Of course, Richard defended because it was the last lap, but fortunately I could go around the outside of Turn 2, which worked.”
Viscaal will start Race 2 from eighth place and the aim is pretty simple: more of the same.
“It depends on the weather,” he laughed. “In general, we had very good pace in the wet and at the moment, it looks like it will be wet, so we will prepare for that. We know we are competitive in the dry as well though.”