FIA Formula 3 CEO Bruno Michel looks back over another weekend of excellent racing and picks out his key topics from Round 1 in Spielberg. He discusses the early favourites, the new rules which were implemented for the first time in Austria and praises the reliability of the cars after such a long break from racing.

RETURN TO RACING

I am extremely pleased that we were able to return to racing after such an extended break. Everybody had missed seeing the cars out on track. But of course, our number one priority was to ensure that it would be absolutely safe to do so. We put in place extensive safety measures in order to protect everyone in the paddock, and I was pleased to see everyone following the new rules to the finest of detail.

Obviously, it is a shame to not have the fans with us for the time being, but hopefully we can welcome them back in the not so distant future.

PREMA ON TOP AGAIN

PREMA ON TOP AGAIN

PREMA were in a league of their own at times last year, and going by their performances in Round 1 this season, once again they look to be the team to beat, taking the very first win of the season. Their competitors have all gone up a gear though and this was proven by the fact that we had five different teams on the podium across the two races, as well as eight of them earning points already.

It does not look like PREMA’s road to a potential second title will be as smooth as it was last year and the likes of Trident, Hitech, Campos and MP Motorsport showed that they have more than enough to fight for the title themselves. It promises to be an exciting season.

ROOKIES DELIVER

Oscar Piastri was quite impressive on his first ever Formula 3 weekend. The Renault Academy driver was not held back by his lack of experience and looks like he has what it takes to fight for the title.

Clément Novalak also grabbed my attention by scoring a top three finish so early into the season, which just happened to be the first podium in F3 for Carlin. The British team appear to have gotten over their struggles from 2019. Fellow rookie Frederik Vesti was also right up there, and I think he will also be one to watch.

NEW RULES

The level of competition was so high in 2019 that we made the decision to change the rules for the new season. With 30 very talented drivers on the grid, we wanted to ensure that they all had something to fight for, and thus we opted to increase the reverse grid to the top 10 drivers from Race 1, as well as offering points for the top 10 in R2.

Already, we saw almost half of the grid scoring points in the first racing weekend. I believe that this better rewards the talents and efforts of the teams and their drivers.

IMPRESSIVE RELIABILITY

It is no secret that F2 suffered a few reliability issues in Round 1, which we are all working hard to fix. On the flip side, F3 suffered no such trouble.

We saw almost impeccable reliability on the 30-car grid, despite such an extended period without racing. This was very good and it allowed us to showcase great racing.