The penultimate round of the 2022 FIA Formula 3 season at Zandvoort has set up a seven-way title decider at Monza this weekend. Following the Championship-altering events at the Dutch circuit, Victor Martins heads into the final round of the season leading the way, but will he be Champion come Sunday?
CEO Bruno Michel dives into the title fight as well as the other talking points after Zandvoort, including the Teams’ Championship.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
Make sure you tune in for Sunday’s Feature Race at Monza because that is the day we will know who will be crowned the 2022 FIA Formula 3 Champion! There are still seven drivers who are mathematically in contention, from Victor Martins in first all the way down to Jak Crawford, seventh in the Standings. The Frenchman from ART Grand Prix reclaimed the top spot following a strong and clean weekend at Zandvoort last time out. His confidence must have been boosted ahead of the crucial round in Italy this week.
Isack Hadjar managed to score 25 points, sixteen more than his tally from Budapest and Spa combined, but he’s lost the lead in Championship to Martins. Five points cover the top two, who will be both under immense pressure at Monza and cannot afford any mistakes.
A bit further down the order, Roman Stanek moved up to third in the Championship, albeit as an underdog, but his speed and skills displayed throughout the season make him a worthy title contender. Meanwhile, Oliver Bearman’s challenging weekend at Zandvoort dropped him to fourth. The rookie said earlier that entering this season, his goal was to learn, not to win, but the title is still within his reach. The job will be even harder for Zane Maloney, Arthur Leclerc and Jak Crawford, who will need a perfect weekend – or close to one – in order to keep their title hopes alive.
I cannot wait for Sunday!
MALONEY DOES THE DOUBLE
Up until Spa, we never had a repeat pole sitter. In Zandvoort, Zane Maloney became the first driver to claim two pole positions in 2022. The talented Bajan went on to take back-to-back Feature Race wins, after his victory in Spa just a week prior. Having scored a total of 54 points in the past two rounds, Maloney throws his hat in the ring, and is making a late title charge. He remains realistic regarding his chances, but unlike those ahead of him in the Standings, he may be under less pressure and could benefit from this.
AN EMOTIONAL RETURN TO THE PODIUM
We were so happy to see Juan Manuel Correa back on a podium last Saturday, finishing second in the Sprint Race. Ever since his incredible return to racing, everyone has been rooting for him to perform, and to be rewarded with some silverware. Of course, he dedicated his podium to Anthoine, who remains in our thoughts, always.
WILL PREMA RACING RECLAIM THE CROWN?
There is a lot at stake for PREMA Racing, Trident, ART Grand Prix and MP Motorsport this weekend at Monza. First, PREMA looked to be on its way to seal a return at the top of the Standings before the final round. However, it had a less than ideal results at Rounds 7 and 8. Reigning Champions Trident came back really strong from the summer break, scoring a grand total of 121 points in Spa and Zandvoort. Now 47 points adrift of PREMA, with 89 points on offer left in 2022, PREMA is of course in a better position. But, having all three of its drivers still in the run for the title, they will have a lot of pressure in its camp. Trident has two of its own still in the run for the Driver’s crown, and will also focus hard on retaining its position on top.
ART is now out of contention for the Teams’ title, but the team will pushing to help Victor Martins to glory whilst it will also be determined to finish in the top three, keeping MP Motorsport at bay. The Dutch squad is only five points behind the French team… All in all, this battle for the top three should keep us all on the edge of our seats!