With the dust settled at the end of another enthralling FIA Formula 3 race weekend, at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, we take a look at four talking points from Round 2.
ITALIANS ON TOP
After their stranglehold of the Championship last season, it is little surprise to see PREMA enjoying a successful start to the season, but they are already under much more pressure in 2020 than they were at the same stage of last season. That is partly down to the success of their Italian counterparts, Trident.
Team manager Giacomo Ricci and his team recruited smartly in the off-season, taking on exciting rookie Olli Caldwell, as well as the experience of Lirim Zendeli and Devlin DeFrancesco. Even when a late withdrawal by DeFrancesco threatened to derail their preparations, they reacted by bringing in David Beckmann – and he’s been their strongest performer so far.
All three drivers made the top ten in both races last weekend and the team currently sit second in the standings behind PREMA – a more than solid start.
Lawson took his first F3 win in the second race of Round 1, and were it not for a collision with Jake Hughes at the end of Race 2 in Round 2, he’d more than likely have a second victory under his belt as well.
But it hasn’t gone unnoticed that both episodes were in the second races of a round, which earn fewer points. Lawson seems to have struggled in qualifying so far this season, and is yet to start from higher than 10th. He will need to get a grip on his pace around one lap if he is to challenge for the title.
The Hitech racer has already shown that if he starts towards the front, then he is hard to beat.
ONE WIN A PIECE
The battle between rookie duo Oscar Piastri and Frederik Vesti was highlighted as a key one ahead of the season, and it has certainly played out that way so far. The Aussie took the bragging rights in Round 1 with his first win, but in Round 2, it was Vesti’s time to shine.
Starting from pole, he looked in little danger of handing over the lead despite very wet conditions, but he’ll be disappointed to have only picked up half points as a result of there being more than 25% of the race still to run when it was ended early due to the rain.
A RECORD BROKEN
Théo Pourchaire just had to be mentioned, didn’t he? The young Frenchman looks like a serious talent. At just 16-years-old, he became F3’s youngest winner on Sunday and was good value for it.
The Frenchman did benefit from the collision between leaders Lawson and Hughes, but he made his own luck, earning the win with a patient and calculated drive that put him in a position to take advantage.
Pourchaire also led at the start of the race after a stunning getaway off the line, lunging from third to first ahead of Hughes and Lawson, before the duo got back ahead of him.