MP Motorsport driver Bent Viscaal has seized his maiden victory at the Silverstone circuit after an incredible last lap showdown with Trident’s Lirim Zendeli.
Over the years, Formula 3 has provided a series of unforgettable races and today’s race proved no exception with action seen everywhere on the grid.
Ben Barnicoat started on reverse grid pole with Zendeli and Viscaal starting in P2 and P3. As the lights went out, it was a horrible start for Barnicoat who quickly came under attack from Zendeli and Viscaal who moved past the Carlin Buzz Racing driver after the first corner. Shortly after, Barnicoat was pursued by Pourchaire and Beckmann, both eager to score another podium.
However, there was temporary relief for Barnicoat as the safety car was deployed following an opening lap collision between Lukas Dunner and Calan Williams. As a result of the collision, drivers also reported oil on track around turn 3 which led to a longer safety car period than expected.
The safety car eventually returned to the pits at the end of lap 5 with all drivers making a clean restart. However, as the race resumed, championship contenders Piastri and Lawson made contact with both drivers lucky to escape without any damage to their cars. Championship leader Logan Sargeant also struggled around lap 10 as he lost places and moved further down the order. Eventually, Sargeant was forced to retire after suffering contact with Cameron Das. This therefore provided Oscar Piastri with an opportunity to make up lost ground in the Championship fight.
Second Half of the race
As the race reached half distance, French driver Theo Pourchaire managed to pass David Beckmann allowing him to then chase after Barnicoat who occupied the last podium position. However, in the end, Barnicoat was forced to retire from the race due to mechanical issues with his Carlin Buzz Racing car, handing P3 to Pourchaire.
Barnicoat’s retirement resulted in the deployment of the virtual safety car, temporarily neutralising proceedings. Afterwards, battle resumed between Pourchaire, Beckmann and Lawson for P3 with all drivers between P3 and P9 clustered together providing an entertaining battle for points.
The PREMA pair of Vesti and Piastri found themselves together on the circuit whilst Beckmann ahead found little grip and ended up off the circuit, providing an opportunity for Liam Lawson. The New Zealand driver then attempted a late breaking maneuver to catch Pourchaire but proved unsuccessful in passing the Frenchman, forcing the driver to wait until the final lap of the race to try and take P3.
Meanwhile, ahead of the pack, frontrunners Zendeli and Viscaal were both setting consecutive fastest laps, distancing themselves from the battles behind. All battles came to a head on the final lap of the race when Jake Hughes’ failed move on Beckmann allowed Piastri to creep through and secure P6.
The final showdown between Viscaal and Zendeli was resolved when Viscaal made an audacious move past Zendeli into copse to take the lead. Zendeli then launched a last corner attack which resulted in a drag race to the checkered flag with Viscaal winning out in the end. Pourchaire also managed to hang on to take P3 despite challenges from Beckmann and Lawson.
Results of the top 10;
1. B. Viscaal MP Motorsport
2. L. Zendeli Trident
3. T. Pourchaire ART Grand Prix
4. D. Beckmann Trident
5. L. Lawson Hitech Grand Prix
6. O. Piastri PREMA Racing
7. J. Hughes HWA Racelab
8. F. Vesti PREMA Racing
9. C. Novalak Carlin Buzz Racing
10. E. Fittipaldi HWA Racelab
Featured Image Credit: fiaformula3.com