With the dust settled after another enthralling FIA Formula 3 race weekend at the Hungaroring in Budapest, we take a look at the talking points from Round 3.
THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF A RACE WEEKEND
Moving to a team from his homeland of the Netherlands was supposed to be the making of Bent Viscaal in F3, but up until Round 3 it seemed to be far from the fairy-tale he envisaged. However, in the wet conditions around the Hungaroring, something clicked.
Viscaal hadn’t qualified higher than 13th ahead of the third round, but broke into points’ paying territory with a P9 finish in the Friday afternoon session. The question remained whether he could maintain position, or climb even higher during the race. His answer was emphatic.
Tyre management was key as the Dutchman finished in fourth, before being promoted to third after a time-penalty for Logan Sargeant dropped the American to sixth. This handed Viscaal his first podium in F3, and plenty of confidence to boot.
His Race 2 drive was something else. Viscaal looked like a man possessed, revelling in the wet to find grip in places on the track where others just couldn’t. Frustratingly for him, he was on the other end of a time-penalty for causing a collision with Igor Fraga. This only seemed to inspire him though, as he set about getting to the front of the grid and building up a five second buffer over P2, which would have seen him hold on to the race win.
Except, he was handed another five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage during an overtake of Sargeant.. The Dutchman’s lead was still big enough to remain on course for a podium, but a late safety car ultimately denied him, bunching up the grid and pushing him back to P17 once the penalties had been applied.
Carry on with this type of form though, and he’ll appear on the top step sooner rather than later.
POURCHAIRE LOOKS LIKE THE REAL DEAL
The young Frenchman makes the talking points for the second round in a row, and for good reason. At just 16-years-old, he became the first double winner of the season – a quite remarkable feat.
Théo Pourchaire is the type to do his talking out on track, and showed the world just why he is so highly rated within junior motorsport.
For the second race in a row, he was handed first when the race leaders collided in front of him, but it was a much more challenging feat this time. When leading in Round 2, Pourchaire enjoyed a safety car escort to the finish line with just three laps to go. In Hungary, he had to get through more than 20 laps, with Championship leader Oscar Piastri behind him.
Pourchaire rarely looked troubled, and showed the type of nerves required to thrive in F3.
TRIDENT ADD A RACE WIN TO THEIR TITLE CHALLENGE
Trident were highlighted as a key force in the Championship at the end of Round 2, although the Italian side were lacking a race win to really assert their title bid.
They duly obliged in Round 3 with David Beckmann continuing his resurgence with the Italian outfit, following a tough year at ART Grand Prix. The German racer has been a man reborn back at Trident, with whom he previously raced in GP3 back in 2018.
His win may have come in unusual circumstances, as Viscaal was demoted from first, but this doesn’t take away from the fact it was well-deserved. Alongside Théo Pourchaire at ART Grand Prix, Beckmann currently looks like the best placed driver outside of PREMA to fight for the Championship.
PIASTRI BACK ON TRACK – ALTHOUGH, HE NEVER REALLY LEFT IT
Oscar Piastri may have only been in Formula 3 for a short space of time, but such were the early standards he set, that his Round 2 results looked a little disappointing.
Fourth and fifth place finishes were still hugely respectful, and very much aided his Championship challenge, but without a podium to show for his efforts, he would have been disappointed.
The Aussie was straight back on the podium in Round 3, not once, but twice. He scored two second place finishes to increase his margin at the top of the drivers’ standings.
Consistency is key in F3, and it’s this type of form which wins you Championships. Ask Robert Shwartzman, he knows.