Jack Doohan won the final FIA Formula 3 race of the year to clinch the team’s championship for Trident – ending the long rule by PREMA in that particular championship. As usual, there was a dramatic and exciting battle right to the end the Australian coming out on top of an intense battle with teammate Clément Novalak, who would end up in third behind Frederik Vesti.
Having already been named title-winner, Hauger was taken out by Oliver Rasmussen and had to stop for repairs, but the Norwegian made his way back out and still managed to take home with him the fastest lap of the race.
Desperate to keep PREMA’s run going in the championship Olli Caldwell and Arthur Leclerc battled to tenth and seventh but it would not be enough to take a third title in succession for the Italian team.
In the closing stages, Vesti found a way past Novalak who’s tyres had taken a battering after his race-long battle with team-mate Doohan. Logan Sargeant – finishing off a strong weekend would finish fourth having started in eleventh place in turn securing Charouz Racing System’s highest placing in the series and Jak Crawford secured his best feature race result with a top five.
Doohan and Novalak remained one and two heading into the first corner of the season’s final race. With Hauger stuck in ninth, and Leclerc and Caldwell both out of the points, it was looking great for Trident who had provisionally jumped PREMA in the Teams’ title race.
Vesti briefly lost a couple of places off the start to Juan Manuel Correa – who has had a storming finish to the championship and Lorenzo Colombo dropping down to sixth, but recaptured them both when the Campos driver made a mistake resulting in the Italian tumbling down the order.
This sparked an epic six-way fight between Correa in sixth and Alex Smolyar in 12th. Hauger was in amongst it and attempted to force his way through the traffic , but he was tagged by Rasmussen and sent spinning across the track to the dismay of those at PREMA still hoping for a team’s title.
The HWA RACELAB made his way back to 15th but was later handed a ten second penalty for causing the collision between himself and the championship winner, as Hauger headed for the pits for repairs and returned at the back of the field. Meanwhile, Sargeant was making excellent progress already up to fifth, ahead of Crawford, Leclerc, Correa, Ayumu Iwasa and Alex Smolyar.
There was a nervy atmosphere on the Trident pit wall as Doohan and Novalak began to brawl for first. Novalak attempted a brave move at the first turn, going side-by-side with his teammate, but the Frenchman locked up and missed the corner, entertaining for the fans watching but undoubtedly those on the pit wall watching through their hands.
Vesti made his way passed Johnathan Hoggard for the final podium spot and was watching keenly while the front two continued to tussle, as team orders came from the pit wall to avoid a collision.
Despite this, in the adrenaline-fueled atmosphere of a racing car with emotions running high the two drivers continued to battle and switch positions but Doohan still remained ahead despite ceding position to his French team-mate numerous times before regaining it.
All the while, Vesti was in prime position to take the win if anything went wrong and with Novalak’s tyres worn the Dane could smell blood and eventually found a way past at turn thirteen taking second place in the process.
Logan Sargeant and Crawford nabbed fourth and fifth from Hoggard in the final laps. The Jenzer Motorsport driver was followed by Leclerc, Martins and Iwasa. Caldwell completed a sterling recovery drive to grab the final points scoring position.