F3: Reflections from Austria

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Formula 3 returned this weekend after a short break, having raced last time out in Le Castellet. From the very first race on Saturday, it was utter madness in F3 with some crazy but awesome racing throughout. Here’s everything you need to know about the whirlwind weekend.

Formula 3 or Snake?

Race 1 resembled a game of snake on Saturday. For the majority of the race, the top eight to ten cars were incredibly close to each other. Everyone vied for position and was in with a chance to win. The lead of the race swapped hands countless times as it switched between Matteo Nannini, Logan Sargeant and Clement Novalak before eventually going to championship leader Dennis Hauger with only a handful of laps to go

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There was incredibly close – and relatively contact-free for the most part – racing, which was brilliant to see. The junior drivers generally kept their cool and provided everyone with some excellent wheel to wheel racing.
If you ever want to convince new people to watch Formula 3, Austria Race 1 2021 would make a good reference point. This snake theme then continued throughout the weekend. And again, it was fantastic to watch with it capturing the unpredictable nature of Formula 3. 

Harmonious diving from Hauger

PREMA driver Dennis Hauger had another excellent weekend. As mentioned above, he won Race 1, but then managed to climb his way up into third place for Race 2 after the reverse grid put him some way down the order.

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Then, whilst he wasn’t able to convert his Race 3 pole position into a win, he drove maturely and claimed second place instead. Knowing that with his fighting for the championship it would be better to get some points than risk none by making a failed attempt for the win.
After three rounds of the 2021 F3 season, Hauger is the man to beat. Can anyone stop him?

Victory for Vesti

Danish driver Vesti needed a good weekend. The Mercedes junior driver hasn’t had a brilliant 2021 campaign so far. But as is always the case in F3, a good weekend can turn everything around.

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Seventh place in the first race gave him some solid points but it was the second place in Race 2 that really began to turn his weekend around. He was then able to steal first place away from championship leader, Hauger, in the final race, and kept him at bay throughout the remaining laps to claim his first win of the year.
The win now puts him up into championship contention, even if he is still some way off Hauger in first place.

Bad Weekend to be Martins, Leclerc and Novalak

Just as it can take one weekend to change things for the better, the reverse is also true. Both Clement Novalak and Arthur Leclerc had trouble in Race 1 that saw them finish outside the points.
Novalak’s fate was the same again in Race 2, whilst Leclerc drove as he did in France, making up a whopping 21 places over the course of the 24 lap race.

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But come Race 3, Victor Martins and Leclerc were battling hard, with the former squeezing the latter a bit too much ahead of Turn 4, resulting in Leclerc going off the track and crashing into poor Novalak, taking them both out of the race.
Martins was forced to go back into the pits, but contact a few laps later saw the Frenchman finish down in P25. After only getting 6 points in the first race and none at all in the second, it was a weekend to forget for the rookie championship hopeful.

Anything else?

David Schumacher inherited the reverse grid pole after a flurry of late penalties ahead of Race 2. With everyone battling behind him during the race, he was able to convert the reverse pole into his first win of the year, which was also the first time he scored points in F3.

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Jonathan Hoggard also got his first point of the year in the second race, which is a welcome step forward for him. Finally, Kaylen Frederick was taken out of Race 2 after an incident with Sargeant. He was then forced to sit out Race 3 due to a thumb related injury but looks set to return next time out in Hungary.
Featured Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd

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