Sixteen year-old sensation Theo Pourchaire seized a dominant victory at the Hungaroring ahead of PREMA pair Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant in a race packed full of drama.
After the excitement of yesterday’s wet and wild qualifying session, today’s race at the Hungaroring promised much – and it certainly didn’t disappoint!
From the very start of the race, drivers found themselves encountering difficulty on track. Overnight a maintenance truck had broken down and as a result, oil had been deposited on the circuit proving a real test of skill for the young drivers as they made their way round to the first corner.
The first corner proved chaotic as several drivers collided, with the Jenzer Motorsport of Calan Williams and the PREMA of Frederik Vesti forced to retire after tangling on track. Pole sitter Alex Smolyar also found himself toppling down the order after Logan Sargeant lost control of his PREMA and collided with Smolyar’s front wing. Neither driver was forced to retire or faced a penalty for the opening lap incident. This is the second time this year that ART have had a pole sitter eliminated from contention on the opening lap of the race.
As a result of the dramatic opening lap, the safety car was deployed whilst Marshals cleared the abandoned cars of Williams and Vesti. When the safety car ended a few laps later, Pourchaire was leading the race with Sargeant (recovered from his first lap incident), fighting with New Zealand driver Liam Lawson for P3.
The safety car returned once again on lap 7 after the Hitech of Lawson set aflame, leaving a considerable trail of oil in turns 1 and 2. As a result, the Stewards were forced to temporarily suspend racing action whilst Marshals attempted to clear the oil.
After the Restart
Around half and hour later, the race restarted. Brazilian driver Enzo Fittipaldi performed brilliantly on the restart, moving up the order into P7. Fittipaldi was on track for his best result until he received a drive through penalty from the Stewards for leaving the fast lane during the race suspension. Hughes, Caldwell and Stanek also found themselves penalised for a variety of infractions.
From lap 13 onwards, Pourchaire proved dominant on track establishing a significant gap to Piastri in P2. Pourchaire’s teammate Sebastian Fernandez struggled in the latter half of the race, falling victim to attacks by Verschoor and Viscaal who moved up the order and past the ART. Other drivers who made significant progress up the grid were David Beckmann who moved through the pack and into P10 and Clement Novalak who made up 17 places to finish in P9.
In the final laps of the race, Viscaal managed to squeeze past his teammate Verschoor and into P4, giving Viscaal his best Formula 3 finish this season. However, for Theo Pourchaire it was a second race win a row with over a 10 second gap to the PREMA pair of Piastri and Sargeant in P2 and P3.
16 year-old Pourchaire now moves up to third in the Championship.
Here are the results of the top 10 drivers;
1. T. Pourchaire ART Grand Prix
2. O. Piastri PREMA
3. L. Sargeant PREMA
4. B. Viscaal MP Motorsport
5. R. Verschoor MP Motorsport
6. S. Fernandez ART Grand Prix
7. A. Peroni Campos Racing
8. D. Haugher Hitech Grand Prix
9. C. Novalak Carlin Buzz Racing
10. D. Beckmann Trident
PREMA driver Logan Sargeant handed five-second time penalty post race. Stewards determined that Sargeant gained an advantage by leaving the track to overtake Lawson at turn 5. As a result, Sargeant falls to P6 in the race result and loses second place in the Championship to Pourchaire.
Viscaal inherits Sargeant’s podium, granting Viscaal his first ever podium finish.
Featured Image Credit: fiaformula3.com