PREMA Racing‘s Dennis Hauger won the final race of the FIA Formula 3 Championship weekend at a soaked Hungaroring, leading home team-mate Arthur Leclerc and Trident‘s Jack Doohan.
The race began behind the safety car due to the conditions, with all drivers on the full-wet tyre. The 30-strong field had a 20-lap sprint in the Feature Race in the trickiest conditions, and the Trident drivers of David Schumacher and Doohan battled early, with Doohan coming out on top and staying third.
Arthur Leclerc started from pole after setting the fastest time in Qualifying on Friday, while Championship leader Dennis Hauger completed the first row, and looked to consolidate his 45-point lead over the final PREMA Racing driver Olli Caldwell.
Victor Martins was the first victim of the wet conditions, starting 24th and taking out Oliver Rasmussen (HWA Racelab) in the second sector amid the spray, the MP Motorsport driver’s incident scrambling the safety car.
That meant Martins failed to score for the fifth race in a row, having started the day fifth in the Championship standings.
With that 45-point lead, Hauger knew he needn’t take unnecessary risks in the rain, but as the safety car came in, the weather began to visibly improve, presenting opportunities up and down the field for the final 17 laps of the weekend.
Caldwell looked up the inside of Frederik Vesti (ART Grand Prix) at Turn 5 after the restart, which opened the door for Race 1 winner Ayumu Iwasa (Hitech GP), but the Japanese driver couldn’t find a way through either.
The British PREMA man locked up and clipped the back of Vesti at Turn 1 on Lap 5, allowing Iwasa a simple overtake to go into eighth.
Hauger set the fastest lap in second place as he looked to take the lead from his team-mate and earn the highest points return on offer throughout the weekend, but Leclerc responded with the fastest first sector to date.
Further back, Caio Collet moved past his MP team-mate Tijmen van der Helm to go into 19th place.
Hauger closed up on Leclerc at the end of Lap 7, switching from side to side to try to find a way past his race-leading team-mate, but Leclerc was able to squeeze the Norwegian to the kerb on the exit of Turn 5 and hold position.
He pulled it off on the next lap with a stunning move around the outside of Turn 2, which he was able to finish off as Turn 3 put him on the inside.
He set the fastest lap on Lap 9 despite making the overtake, giving him a projected 27 points to Leclerc’s 18 from the highest points-paying race of the weekend.
Race 2 podium-finisher Enzo Fittipaldi and Collet were the biggest winners of the first half of the race, gaining seven and six positions respectively.
The three Tridents of Doohan, Schumacher and Clement Novalak ran line astern from third to fifth, with Alex Smolyar having a look at the French driver at Turn 1 on Lap 11.
Leclerc came back and bested Hauger’s fastest lap by eight tenths, looking to reverse his fortunes from earlier in the race, the racing line now looking almost dry.
Hauger then went a couple of tenths quicker again, as the teams on the pit wall pondered when the crossover point might come.
Fittipaldi went past his Charouz Racing System team-mate Logan Sargeant to go tenth, as Doohan set a 1:50.402, thousandths quicker than Hauger who still held a 1.6s lead.
Race 2 winner Matteo Nannini blinked first to box for slicks, but his stop was agonisingly slow as he dropped towards the back with five laps remaining.
Fittipaldi wasn’t satisfied with tenth, and moved up past Iwasa at the penultimate corner to go ninth.
In the final action of the race, Ido Cohen was spun by Rafael Villagomez and collected by Hungarian driver Laszlo Toth in the latest nasty-looking incident in a tragic and sobering weekend for motorsport.
Thankfully, the Halo did its job and both drivers were able to get out of the car unaided.
The race ended behind the safety car, with Dennis Hauger taking his third win of the season to surely put one hand on the Championship.
Leclerc took his second podium and Doohan his fourth, taking the Australian driver second in the standings as Caldwell moved up to third.
2021 Hungaroring Race 3 Results:
|1||1||Dennis Hauger||PREMA Racing||20 laps|
|2||2||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA Racing||+1.3s|
|6||8||Alex Smolyar||ART Grand Prix||+3.4s|
|7||7||Frederik Vesti||ART Grand Prix||+3.6s|
|8||3||Olli Caldwell||PREMA Racing||+4.9s|
|9||30||Enzo Fittipaldi||Charouz Racing System||+5.2s|
|10||29||Logan Sargeant||Charouz Racing System||+5.4s|
|11||21||Lorenzo Colombo||Campos Racing||+5.9s|
|12||11||Ayumu Iwasa||Hitech GP||+6.2s|
|13||24||Jake Hughes||Carlin Buzz Racing||+8.0s|
|14||9||Juan Manuel Correa||ART Grand Prix||+8.2s|
|15||10||Jak Crawford||Hitech GP||+8.4s|
|16||18||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||+9.2s|
|17||26||Calan Williams||Jenzer Motorsport||+10.0s|
|18||27||Johnathan Hoggard||Jenzer Motorsport||+16.1s|
|19||19||Tijmen van der Helm||MP Motorsport||+18.7s|
|20||31||Reshad de Gerus||Charouz Racing System||+27.0s|
|21||15||Oliver Rasmussen||HWA Racelab||+27.6s|
|22||28||Filip Ugran||Jenzer Motorsport||+28.1s|
|23||16||Rafael Villagomez||HWA Racelab||+28.4s|
|24||12||Roman Stanek||Hitech GP||+29.0s|
|25||22||Amaury Cordeel||Campos Racing||+52.7s|
|26||14||Matteo Nannini||HWA Racelab||+53.2s|
|27||17||Victor Martins||MP Motorsport||+58.1s|
|28||20||Laszlo Toth||Campos Racing||DNF (damage)|
|29||23||Ido Cohen||Carlin Buzz Racing||DNF (damage)|
|30||25||Jonny Edgar||Carlin Buzz Racing||DNF (damage)|