F3: Key Takeaways from France

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on reddit
Reddit

Formula 3 returned to France after a long break and boy oh boy was it worth the wait. Le Castellet is known to Formula 1 fans as not always being the most exciting race on the calendar. But apparently, Formula 3 didn’t get that memo – which was great for all of us F3 fans. So without further ado, here are the key takeaways from France this weekend…

Sublime Smolyar

The first Sprint Race of the weekend provided us with one of the best Formula 3 races to have ever graced our presence. From the very start right up until the last corner on the final lap, there was action all over the place. There was never an outright leader of the race as the lead of the race kept changing every few laps or so and in spectacular style.
 

Calan Williams kept hold of the lead at the start but Logan Sargeant soon overtook him on lap seven with the top five cars separated by only two seconds. Ayumu Iwasa, Aleksandr Smolyar and then Victor Martins all led the race at some stage over the next 13 laps.

On the all-important final lap, it was Smolyar who snatched the lead back from Martins and in doing so, he claimed his second win of the season. It was awesome close racing between all of the drivers, and Smolyar timed things to perfection at the end. 7th and 8th place in the final two races of the weekend were also decent results for him.

Magnificent Martins

Victor Martins Alpine Academy
Image: Groupe Renault

The home favourite who impressed so many in the opening round of the season in Barcelona did so again this weekend. Martins pushed hard during Race 1 and was rewarded handsomely for his efforts. Martins finished the race that he started in tenth with a fantastic second place.

Later on, when Race 2 came around, Martins once again showed that he’s going to be one of the strongest rookies and a good title contender this year. He made his way up through the field to finish in a solid third place.

Two podiums in the first two races. Not half bad. Not half bad at all. A fourth-place finish in Race 3 was another consistent result that will prove crucial in the Frenchman’s hunt for the Driver’s Title.

Leclerc on the Charge

Image: PREMA

After a disastrous qualifying that saw Charles’ younger brother retire, many thought that it would be another weekend to forget for the young Monegasque. But come Saturday, Arthur turned things around in spectacular style.

Starting plum last in 30th place for Race 1, he expertly carved his way up through the field over the course of the 20 lap race to finish a remarkable 12th place. And, whilst no points are given for 12th, it does give you reverse grid pole for Race 2.

Leclerc then managed to dominate that second race. Arthur managed to convert pole into not only an F3 points and podium finish but his first win. Never say never in Formula 3.

Whilst Race 3 didn’t yield any more points for Leclerc, he put in another impressive drive in the wet as he made his way from 30th on the grid all the way up to 13th. Imagine what he could have done had qualifying not been a disaster for him.

Consistency from Novalak

The French driver, Clement Novalak, finished the first race of the weekend in 5th place after a lot of tussling and overtaking on track. He then finished in 6th for Race 2, for another nice haul of points. 5th place in Sunday’s race was brilliant for Clement. Like Smolyar, Martins and Dennis Hauger, it keeps him nicely nestled into the fight for the championship.

Other worthy mentions

Image: PREMA Media Centre

Hitech rookie, Ayumu Iwasa, drove superbly in Race 1, making some superb overtakes throughout the race, and judging things almost perfectly throughout. Despite the time penalty he got for gaining an advantage off the track, Iwasa should still be happy with his weekend. The newcomer showed that just because you’re a rookie, it doesn’t mean you can’t get into the thick of it.

Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan also had excellent weekends in France with both drivers on the podium for the Feature Race on Sunday. The Aussie driver won the race after a close battle in the wet with Hauger. Both drivers also finished inside the top ten in both of Saturday’s races, calmly collecting more valuable points for their championship campaigns.

 

Finally, a shout out goes to Reshad de Gerus who made the bold move to switch from the wet tyre compound to slicks in Sunday’s Race 3. Despite the fact that he came out of the pits at the back of the pack with a lot of track to cover before he could even think about overtaking, he still managed to not only do this but to make his way up to 19th place by the end of the race.
 

Oh, and he also set several fastest laps as the track dried, coming in around five seconds quicker than the likes of Hauger and Doohan on the wet tyres. Impressive stuff from the Frenchman in his home race.

 

What did you think of Formula 3 in France this weekend? Let me know in the comments below.

SHARE

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on reddit
Reddit

WRITTEN BY

YOU MIGHT LIKE

ADVERTISEMENT