Isack Hadjar said he was satisfied with his ‘damage limitation’ job at Zandvoort. The Hitech Grand Prix driver finished the Feature Race in fifth to keep his 2022 Drivers’ Championship hopes alive heading to Monza.
While chief rival Victor Martins will carry a five-point advantage heading into the finale, Hadjar is confident after his Zandvoort showing that he and the team will have the speed to fight for victory, and with it, the Formula 3 crown.
“It was quite a tricky one, really long. We had a lot of pace the whole race so I was happy about that. It was the first time this weekend we looked like we had a good car. I’m happy with the progress we made and just took every opportunity to gain places, it was some good points. It was more like damage limitation so I’m happy with that.
“The only race left is Monza, so we’ll give it everything. We’re not thinking about the Championship, just doing our best in every session and if we have the pace we’ll be fighting for wins.”
Hadjar spent the majority of the Feature Race on the tail of Trident’s Roman Stanek, able to keep in touch with the Czech driver but unable to find a route through.
The top five were tightly bunched together throughout, running in a DRS train and creating a gap to those behind.
While the Frenchman was ultimately disappointed to not clear Stanek and secure more valuable points, carrying the momentum and crucially the speed from Zandvoort to Monza will be a positive for the team it can build on.
“Our race was quite good. I was on Stanek’s gearbox the whole race. The pace was fine, it was just impossible to overtake him. He always had a good run onto the main straight, it was tricky to manage but we were quick.”
Another positive for Hadjar was his ability to keep the Pirelli tyres in shape throughout the race distance.
On another day, the Hitech man believes that Martins could have fallen further back than his P2 result. Heading into the final round at a track in which overtaking is more straightforward than at Zandvoort, Hadjar leaves the Dutch circuit in good spirits and positive about his chances in the finale.
“It looked like the Safety Car just didn’t go our way, it looked like we had strong pace. Victor was struggling a lot with his tyres and Colapinto was putting a lot of pressure on him. I think he could’ve overtaken him. It’s a shame for the Championship but I’m still happy.”