Round 5 of the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship gets under way this weekend at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

WHEN TO WATCH All times local (GMT +2)

Friday Free Practice: 10:05 Qualifying: 13:55 Press conference: 16:05 Saturday Race 1: 10:35 Press conference: 11:40 Race 2: 17:55 Press conference: 19:00 Sunday Race 3: 10:40 Press conference: 11:45


The stage is set for a spectacular resumption of the Championship battle in the Ardennes Forest this weekend as the second half of the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship, and the only double-header of the season, gets underway at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

Hauger demonstrated masterful consistency in the first four rounds of the season, but there’s no doubting that the Red Bull Junior still has a fight on his hands. It was the young Norwegian’s PREMA Racing teammate Arthur Leclerc who snatched pole in Friday’s Qualifying session last time out in Budapest, denying the Championship leader of a third pole, by just 0.089s.

Race 1 saw Hitech Grand Prix’s Ayumu Iwasa claim his Formula 3 maiden win after Lorenzo Colombo, who finished first on track, was handed a post-race time penalty. The Japanese rookie, who started 3rd on the grid, finished ahead of PREMA’s Olli Caldwell and Charouz Racing System’s Logan Sargeant who took his first podium finish of the season.

Nannini got his first win in Race 2 at Budapest
Nannini got his first win in Race 2 at Budapest

It was HWA RACELAB’s Matteo Nannini who took the victory in Race 2, overcoming Charouz’ Enzo Fittipaldi, to collect his first F3 win. The Italian racer got a strong launch off the line and from there never looked in doubt, eventually crossing the line 2.519s ahead of Brazilian. The pair were joined on the podium by Hitech’s Roman Stanek, who collected his maiden podium at this level.

Sunday’s Race 3 saw near-torrential rainfall over the Hungaroring, but once again, the weather failed to halt the unrelenting consistency of Hauger. The Norwegian showed masterful form in the wet, beating his pole-sitting teammate Leclerc to victory and collecting a seventh podium in just 12 races. Jack Doohan led a trio of Tridents across the line, securing third and adding enough points to his tally to move up into second place in the Championship.

Carlin Buzz Racing’s Kaylen Frederick tested positive for COVID-19 during mandatory pre-event PCR testing ahead of Round 5. In accordance with COVID-19 protocols the American driver will continue to isolate, and therefore will not compete at Spa-Francorchamps.

Meanwhile, two drivers make their Formula 3 debuts with Charouz Racing System in Spa. Reigning Formula 4 United States Champion Hunter Yeany replaces Enzo Fittipaldi in car #30, and Zdenek Chovanec takes over from Reshad de Gerus in car #31.

READ MORE: Reviewing how Hitech’s inexperienced trio have fared this season with insight from team boss Oliver Oakes


Dennis Hauger (152 points) will be gearing up to defend his 63-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship as the second half of the season gets underway. Jack Doohan (89) moves up one position following his podium in Budapest, narrowly leading Olli Caldwell (86) by just three points. Frederik Vesti (80) sits six points back in fourth, ahead of Alexander Smolyar (73) in fifth.

Hauger leads the standings by 63 points
Hauger leads the standings by 63 points

PREMA Racing (287) continue their dominant form in the Teams’ Championship after another three podiums at the Hungaroring. Second-placed Trident (194) are 88 points back and lead ART Grand Prix (162) by 32 points. MP Motorsport (107) remain in fourth and Hitech Grand Prix (64) round out the top five.

READ MORE: Tóth confident he’s back to his best after Le Castellet absence


“The biggest challenge at Spa is that it's so long, so to put a lap together is like putting almost two laps together at other tracks and you need to get a lot of corners right. There are very long straights which make the exits out of some corners absolutely crucial. It's a track that's all about rhythm, and it's also up and down a bit, so it's fun to drive but to put the perfect lap together is a big challenge.

“I think the key to Qualifying is to put all the laps you do together and make them all count, because it's a track where very easily you can get a red flag with minutes to go and if you didn't put the first push lap together you might not get a second push lap. You just need to make every lap count and try to stay in the pace as the lap progresses throughout Qualifying.

“It is one of the tracks with the most overtaking opportunities in the season. Of course, you have Turn 1 where you have a bit of a DRS zone before the corner. But I would say the biggest overtaking zone is arriving to Turn 5, after Eau Rouge at the end of the Kemmel Straight, arriving at the last chicane. It's a circuit where it's easy to overtake but it's also very easy to be overtaken, especially now I'm seeing the dynamic of the Championship in the races I can already predict there's going to be a lot of action.

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“I think there are two JMs going to Spa: there's going to be the 2021 Formula 3 season JM that's going to be focused and treat it like any other race. For sure, I want to continue with my progression of the season, score points, get a podium and I'd love to win a race. Then there is the personal JM whose life has been marked by what happened in Spa two years ago. It will always be special for me because of what happened, because of Anthoine losing his life there… It's always going to be emotional. There is also that angle which I will have to deal with.

"I will try to not let it distract me too much but it's a reality, and I am also happy to go there and race again after so long. It's going to be an opportunity for me to face my fears and show everyone that I can drive there without any issues and hopefully have some good races.”

READ MORE: Correa ‘learned a lot’ from fighting with the Championship contenders at Le Castellet


“The P Zero Yellow medium tyre is nominated for Spa, where the tyres are subjected to a range of different forces around a lap that features high-speed corners, significant elevation changes and heavy braking zones. It is a circuit that usually produces exciting racing in Formula 3 as you also have to be prepared for rain and we will have the Cinturato wet-weather tyres on standby as always, capable of dealing with a wide variety of wet conditions.”

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• The Formula 3 race lap at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is 2:05.125 set by Jehan Daruvala with PREMA Racing in 2019. • At 7.004 KM long Spa-Francorchamps is the longest circuit on the 2021 Formula 3 calendar, 1.162 KM longer than the next longest track, Circuit Paul Ricard. • Just two members of the current grid have previously stood on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps. Charouz Racing System’s Logan Sargeant claimed victory ahead of ART Grand Prix’s Frederik Vesti in Race 2 at the circuit last year.
• The first four rounds of the season have already produced nine different races winners. In both the 2020 and 2019 seasons, there were also nine race different winners. • Frederik Vesti now holds the record for the total number of career points scored in Formula 3, with a total of 226.5 points. The Dane has surpassed the previous record of 212 set by 2019 Champion Robert Shwartzman. • PREMA’s Dennis Hauger currently has eight career podiums. He only needs two more to equal the all-time Formula 3 podium record, also held by Robert Shwartzman. • After three rounds, 16 drivers from eight different teams have stood on the podium. • Dennis Hauger has scored points in ten consecutive races. The record for races finished in the points is held by David Beckmann, who scored in 15 consecutive races in 2020.