An unpredictable Formula 3 season took yet another dramatic twist at Spa-Francorchamps, as two new winners were crowned to kick off the title-deciding triple-header.
CEO Bruno Michel looks back at the action that unfolded, those that impressed the most and talks title fight, with any one of the contenders capable of grabbing the Championship.
SEVEN IN SEVEN
I don’t recall a season where we had seven different polesitters in seven rounds… Last weekend, it was Caio Collet’s turn to go quickest in Qualifying. The MP Motorsport driver has had a somewhat challenging campaign, but he was able to put a positive spin on his 2022 season with a maiden pole. It’s the second time in a row that MP has topped Qualifying. It will be interesting to see if a new driver will add his name to the list of polesitters weekend at Zandvoort.
TWO NEW RACE WINNERS
There have been 11 winners across 14 races, with Oliver Bearman and Zane Maloney claiming victories in Spa. Both are rookies, which means that five of the new faces in 2022 have been victorious so far this season. In an amazing turn of events, Maloney’s weekend went from bad, with a huge crash on Saturday, to a maiden Feature Race win on Sunday.
The only repeat winners up until now have been Isack Hadjar (with 3 victories) and Victor Martins (with 2 wins). It’s also important to note that seven teams out of ten have taken wins. 2022 has been very unpredictable, which is fantastic!
THE PLOT THICKENS
Isack Hadjar, Victor Martins, Arthur Leclerc and Jak Crawford entered Round 7 as the top 4 in the Standings, but they all failed to qualify well on Friday. The Monégasque driver had the best starting position in 20th, whilst co-leaders Hadjar and Martins were 23rd and 24th respectively. The American lined up last in both races. Leclerc and Hadjar still managed to grab a few points in the Sprint Race thanks to strong drives. Martins and Crawford left Belgium pointless. It was a great opportunity for Roman Stanek and Oliver Bearman to score big points and close the gap to their title rivals. They finished on the podium twice at Spa, with the Czech from Trident amassing 27 points and the Briton from PREMA Racing taking 25. Bearman has moved up to second in the Championship while Stanek goes fifth.
With only two rounds left, only 10 points cover the top five, and five points cover the top four. Even more astonishing, just two points cover the top three! Crawford, in sixth, is just 16 points behind leader Hadjar. It’s incredibly close, and we are up for a nail-biting fight for the title for the next two weeks.
TRIDENT’S LATE TITLE CHARGE
The 2021 F3 Champions enjoyed a strong weekend in Belgium. They placed two cars in the points in the Sprint Race, and they claimed a 1-2 in the Feature Race with Maloney and Stanek, whilst returnee Jonny Edgar scored in both races. Trident collected a huge points’ haul of 71 out of a maximum of 86, which is now the gap to leaders PREMA Racing. They have moved up from fifth to second in the Championship.
Meanwhile, ART Grand Prix’s title hopes were upset by a pointless weekend, which sees them drop to fourth, behind MP Motorsport. Hitech Grand Prix also had a difficult Round 7, taking only two points, courtesy of Hadjar. Just like for the Drivers’ Championship, it will be a tense battle to the finish line for the teams.