CEO Bruno Michel looks back at a eventful third round of the 2022 season and picks out his key topics from Barcelona.
Michel talks about the four drivers leading the way in the title fight, a hometown hero, maiden podiums and points and looks ahead to Round 4.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR
Since the start of the season, four men have been regularly featured at the top of the pack, so it is not surprising that they currently lie from first to fourth in the Standings.
Victor Martins leads the way after claiming another Feature Race win. He is the only driver with 2 victories so far. To his own admission, he still needs to be more consistent if he wants to extend his points-advantage, as he knows the competition is fierce. Meanwhile, Roman Stanek has moved up to second in the Drivers’ Championship following a maiden pole position in Barcelona and P2 on Sunday. It really feels that 2022 is a redemption season for the young Czech racer who entered the new campaign with the hopes to prove to himself that he has what it takes to race at this level.
Seventeen-year-olds Jak Crawford and Isack Hadjar added another podium finish to their tally, making it a total of 3 so far – the same as Martins, whilst Stanek has two for now. Hadjar is the only rookie of the top 4, staying in touching distance of Martins, just 15 points behind.
We’ve covered one third of the season, with six more rounds still to come. The championship is very tight, so these four cannot afford any mistakes if they want to remain at the front.
LOCAL HERO DELIGHTS THE CROWD
A fifth driver added his name to the list of 2022 race winners last weekend in Barcelona, as local hero David Vidales claimed victory in the Sprint Race. He is the third rookie this season to take the top honours, following in the footsteps of Hadjar and Franco Colapinto. We now have 5 different race winners in six races so far. Vidales’ win was Campos Racing’s first in 2022 (and second in F3, overall), meaning that the Spanish outfit is the fifth team to claim victory this season.
It was nice to see Caio Collet collect his first podium of 2022, with third in the Sprint Race. He became the tenth driver to make an appearance on this year’s podium. He’s had a challenging start to his second F3 campaign, and this could mark the start to a charge to the top of the Standings.
Meanwhile, rookie Reece Ushijima scored his first F3 points on Saturday, thus becoming the 21st driver to take points this season.
It was also Juan Manuel Correa’s return behind the wheel of his ART Grand Prix car. On that occasion, he was able to fight for a podium finish. In the final laps, he lost positions to Caio Collet and Arthur Leclerc, but it is worth noting that Correa has scored in all races he entered this season – having missed Imola due to an injury.
Finally, PREMA Racing and ART Grand Prix have extended their lead on the rest of the grid. Can reigning Champions Trident close the gap in the coming rounds? We’ll find out in Silverstone, where we race next, on July 01-03!