FIA Formula 3 and Monza is a match made in heaven as Sunday morning in Italy saw the young starts of the future produce yet another race you would never tire of watching. It was won by Jake Hughes who took his second win of the season but that is only the tip of the iceberg.
If you weren’t awake before, you will be now as both title contenders Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant failed to finish, bringing other drivers into the conversation with just two races to go this season.
Piastri was first to fall as he was involved in a four-car pile up at turn one on lap ten. He was spun by Clément Novalak who was also the culprit who took Sargeant out of the previous day’s race, seemingly evening up the score. Novalak also had to retire as did David Schumacher while Michael Belov was able to re-join the race after an excursion through the gravel.
Sargeant himself had driven an outstanding race until then as he challenged his teammate Frederik Vesti for what was third place from twenty-sixth on the grid. But as he finally made it past, he tried to squeeze Vesti into the braking zone of Ascari and his rear tyre made contact with Vesti’s front wing. They both made it back to the pits, but not any further meaning all three PREMA’s failed to see the chequered flag just a day after wrapping up the teams’ title.
Their downfall though will be of great encouragement to the two drivers who followed Hughes home. Liam Lawson eventually broke clear of the mayhem to finish second and edge closer to the top two. He is still some way away from the championship lead but he did overtake Théo Pourchaire into third in the standings, as the Frenchman recovered from a trip through the gravel to finish on the final podium place.
They were all behind Enzo Fittipaldi at the start of the race as he and Lirim Zendeli battled for the lead but the Brazilian had slight contact with Zendeli, puncturing his tyre and leaving him almost a lap down by the finish.
Just off the podium was Pourchaire’s ART teammate Aleksandr Smolyar who picked his moments to pass to perfection to be one of the only cars not involved in drama throughout the race.
Zendeli’s pace dropped off towards the end but he still finished fifth as he was a full three seconds clear of Alex Peroni who was one of many to benefit from the chaos ahead of him to finish in sixth.
There was also first Formula 3 points for Pierre-Louis Chovet, who followed the Australian home in seventh, and for Roman Stanek in eighth.
Olli Caldwell came from twenty-ninth on the grid to earn two points for ninth as Richard Verschoor passed his MP Motorsport teammate Bent Viscaal for the final point in tenth.
All that means that going into the final round at Mugello, Piastri leads Sargeant by eight points with Lawson and Pourchaire requiring almost a perfect weekend and another pointless round for the PREMA’s to stand a chance of glory. Next week can’t come soon enough, FIA Formula 3 is awesome!
|1||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||22 Laps|
|2||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||+1.841|
|7||Pierre-Louis Chovet||Hitech GP||+8.660|
|10||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||+15.117|
|11||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||+15.856|
|16||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||+25.176|
|20||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||+85.853|
|21||Matteo Nannini||Jenzer||+1 Lap|
|22||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||+1 Lap|
|23||Alessio Deledda||Campos||+1 Lap|
|24||Frederik Vesti||PREMA||DNF (Contact)|
|25||Logan Sargeant||PREMA||DNF (Contact)|
|26||Clément Novalak||Carlin||DNF (Contact)|
|27||Oscar Piastri||PREMA||DNF (Contact)|
|28||David Schumacher||Carlin||DNF (Contact)|
|29||David Beckmann||Trident||DNF (Puncture)|
|30||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||DNF (Contact)|