After a months break, FIA Formula 3 returns for round four in Budapest. Up until now, F3 has been the most consistent series with every weekend providing exhilarating action. Can anyone stop Dennis Hauger as we reach the halfway stage? Here’s what to look out for at the Hungaroring.
Can anyone catch Hauger?
Dennis Hauger was my favourite for the championship in 2021, so it’s no surprise to see him top the standings. The only surprise is how much he is leading it by.
His challengers will be hoping to have a stellar weekend and hope some luck comes their way as they look to eat into the 41-point lead he currently holds. The trio of Frederik Vesti, Jack Doohan and Olli Caldwell are the biggest threat to the Norwegian driver currently. And all have wins to their names this season.
One word that we cherish here at GP Grandstand is consistency. Hauger has displayed this in abundance with five podium finishes in a row, and has shown no signs of slowing down.
I predict another solid weekend for the 18-year-old on a track he goes well at. Despite not having the best of years in 2020, he did pick up a season-best finish of third at the Hungaroring last season. Expect to see Hauger on the podium at least once this weekend.
Jake Hughes returns!
Jake Hughes returns to F3 this weekend to replace the injured Kaylen Frederick. The American is still removing from a thumb injury he picked up in Austria. Frederick required surgery after the incident and is aiming to make a full recovery in time for Spa.
Hughes has an impressive F3 resume in his two-season stint in the series. The Brit drove for HWA in 2019 and 2020 picking up three wins for the team, finishing 7th overall on both occasions.
The 27-year-old will bring some much-needed experience to Carlin who have struggled to muster up many points so far in 2021. Hughes is no stranger to the British squad having raced for them at the 2016 Macau Grand Prix.
What about Leclerc?
Being the younger brother of a two-times Grand Prix winner can’t be easy, but it’s safe to say Arthur is not really living up to the billing in the 2021 title race. He does have a win to his name this year but that was one of only two points finishes for the Monegasque.
All of that adds up to a rather underwhelming 12th in the championship and when you’re driving a Prema, that simply isn’t good enough.
It’s not all been Arthurs fault as has had some bad luck along the way. When things have gone wrong he has looked racy when trying to make his way through the field.
A rather messy Austria that left him stranded in the turn 4 gravel trap summed up his season, with one too many incidents spoiling what could have been a solid weekend.
Arthur just needs to keep his head down and aim for consistency. Three middle of the road points finishes and keeping out of trouble will mark a solid weekend for the Ferrari academy driver.