Formula 3 CEO Bruno Michel looks back at the third round of the 2020 season and picks out his key topics from Round 3 in Budapest. He picks out his standout drivers from the start of the season, discusses the difficult weather conditions, and looks at the title battle.
I wanted to open this column with a special mention to Bent Viscaal. The Dutchman collected his first podium with third place on Saturday after Logan Sargeant was handed a post-race time penalty. But on Sunday, Viscaal proved that he’s quite special in wet conditions. I think the majority of the people watching that race were cheering for him, myself included. Two time penalties along the way and a late Safety Car ruined his efforts, but his race craft was thrilling to watch!
Two drivers deserve all the praise in Round 3, starting with Théo Pourchaire. A week ago, I stressed that his first win at the Red Bull Ring was a pleasant surprise, but last Saturday, at the Hungaroring, he was on a class of his own. At only 16-years-old, in his rookie year, he crossed the finish line with a 11.9s gap to his closest rival, on a track he had never driven on before. His performance speaks volume of his potential.
Oscar Piastri also deserves a mention: the Championship leader is the first driver this year to take two podium finishes on the same race weekend. In the previous round, he struggled a bit more for pace, but he was back at the front at the Hungaroring. If he keeps the momentum, he may be hard to beat.
A third of the F3 season has gone. As expected, PREMA Racing have been fighting at the front on a regular basis and they have scored big points in every round. Still, three teams are also regularly at the top of the field, starting with Trident who enjoyed their first win of the year on Sunday. ART Grand Prix are back on top with Pourchaire and definitely have the pace – a fact proven by two pole positions - to rival with PREMA. I would like to add MP Motorsport to the list: the Dutch squad’s solid work means that they are always in the mix, fighting for points. In the Drivers’ Championship, I am happy to see that 18 drivers have already scored points.
A DELAYED QUALIFYING SESSION
Needless to say that so far, we’ve not been very lucky weather-wise. Once again, last week, the rain came out to play. Usually, we welcome a wet track, but for the races only. On Friday, at the Hungaroring, we almost had to cancel the qualifying session. Thankfully, we were able to reschedule the session for later that day, just before the dark. I much prefer seeing the drivers battle it out for pole rather than having the Free Practice results determine the Race 1 starting grid!