CEO Bruno Michel looks back at an eventful third round of the 2021 season and picks out his key topics from Spielberg.
Michel discusses the enthralling racing action, the dominance of Dennis Hauger and the two new winners that came out of Round 3.
I think that Round 3 in Austria will be remembered as one of the most entertaining events of the season. We had three amazing races, with so many changes for the lead in two of them that it was hard to keep track! It was so much fun to watch, and the drivers showed maturity and great skill at this level. As a matter of fact, we’ve seen a lot of clean racing since the start of the season proving the quality of the entire grid.
Dennis Hauger’s Austrian weekend was quite impressive: he added a pole position, three podiums and a fastest lap to his name. We could see how disappointed he was with P2 on Sunday after having started ahead of the rest of the field. This proves just how hungry and determined he is in this championship title fight. He scored 49 points out of 65 on offer. He has extended his championship lead to 41 points over his closest rival. He only failed to score once this season. He is definitely the man to beat so far.
DRIVERS ON A HIGH
David Schumacher became our sixth different race winner, in Race 2. It was a maiden win for the German, and amazingly enough, his first points this season! The Trident racer has had a series of bad luck since the opening round and you could see just how much this first victory meant to him, his team, and his father.
Meanwhile, Austria also marked a strong weekend for title contender Frederik Vesti. The Dane claimed a first win of 2021 in style, in Race 3, following a P2 in Race 2. He’s moved up to second in the standings with a total of 41 points scored. It feels as though Vesti’s season has kicked off, and I’m curious to see if he can keep the momentum in Budapest.
I also wanted to highlight Olli Caldwell’s weekend. The Briton pocketed two more podiums and a total of 29 points. He clearly bounced back from a disappointing weekend in Le Castellet to keep close to his teammate Hauger and to Vesti in the Drivers’ Championship.
AS IT STANDS…
Hauger’s points advantage is a bit more comfortable ahead of Round 4, but the title fight remains tight: 33 points cover P2 to P7, and even more interestingly, eight points cover P2 to P5, from Vesti to Victor Martins.
A total of 21 drivers have scored in the first three rounds, including nine rookies. The latter had a bit of a tougher time in Austria, but I expect them to fight back at the front in Round 4, as they did earlier this season.
In the Teams’ Championship, PREMA Racing were quite dominant at the Red Bull Ring, taking 85 points, a pole position, a win, five podiums and two fastest laps. Still, ART Grand Prix were able to score 54 points, including a win and two podiums. They closed the gap to Trident and are now just one point behind the Italian squad, who have lost ground over PREMA. The reigning champions have extended their lead by 71 points, breaking the 200 points’ barrier. MP Motorsport, in fourth, are 100 points behind the leaders.
The rest of the teams’ Austrian weekend did not help them close in on the top four. Let’s see what everyone will achieve in Hungary, before the summer break.