After engine issues lost him the FIA Formula 3 championship lead yesterday, Logan Sargeant returned to the top of the pile after a controlled win at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The American jumped up to second at the start as Liam Lawson dropped back from the front row and he then set his sights on taking the lead. Once DRS was enabled, Sargeant made a routine pass on Richard Verschoor down the Kemmel Straight and he went on to win fairly comfortably.
He had to keep an eye on his mirrors as his PREMA teammate Frederik Vesti, who had also passed Verschoor not long after Sargeant had, remained within striking distance but the Dane was unable to properly attack.
Vesti was still delighted with second which is his first podium since he won at the Styrian Grand Prix. Sargeant meanwhile retakes the championship lead after Oscar Piastri could only get up to fifth, which became sixth after a time penalty was applied.
Completing the podium was Lawson who recovered very well from a torrid start where he dropped back to sixth before fighting his way back through the field. The New Zealander needs more results like this and some misfortune for Sargeant and Piastri if he is to challenge for the title.
Just off the podium for the second time this weekend was Aleksandr Smolyar who finally showed his potential at the seven kilometre Spa-Francorchamps circuit with a pair of fourth places for ART.
He was followed home by Piastri and his ART teammate Théo Pourchaire. Piastri’s five second penalty then promoted the Frenchman to fifth after they had crossed the line.
Verschoor, despite starting from pole position, didn’t have the pace to stay with the top six and had to settle for seventh as he couldn’t get within the five seconds of Piastri to see him promoted higher.
Some way behind him though came a great battle for the minor points, led home by yesterday’s race winner Lirim Zendeli who did all he could from his tenth placed start.
His Trident teammate David Beckmann didn’t make the most of his race, losing two positions overall but he did hold off Sebastián Fernández who came home in tenth.
There was a brief virtual safety car after Pierre-Louis Chovet, who was making his first F3 start this weekend after replacing Max Fewtrell at Hitech GP, found the barriers at Les Combes.
|1||Logan Sargeant||PREMA||17 Laps|
|3||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||+8.736|
|7||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||+17.158|
|12||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||+31.429|
|13||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||+32.455|
|16||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||+41.046|
|17||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||+43.725|
|18||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||+45.888|
|27||Igor Fraga||Charouz||+1 Lap|
|28||Michael Belov||Charouz||DNF (Mechanical)|
|29||Pierre-Louis Chovet||Hitech GP||DNF (Crash)|
|30||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||DNF (Puncture)|