FIA Formula 3: 2021 Season Review

Feature Image Credit: FIA F3 Instagram

The FIA Formula 3 2021 season ended dramatically with Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan fighting over the championship title. Trident secured their first constructor title, beating PREMA Racing with an insane four-point gap.

The Italian team has quite a history in winning the constructor championship for as long as the FIA Formula 3 began in 2019. Robert Shwartzman was the first driver to take the title from the team to prove PREMA Racing’s domination, as Oscar Piastri did the same in the following year.

Moving on to the season review, Jack Doohan could’ve broken the tie that PREMA Racing has over the past three years with his Trident, but the season finale says otherwise, keeping him as the runner up to Hauger’s victory.

Here’s the recap of the top five best teams from the standings in the 2021 season:

1. Trident

Featured Image Credit: Trident Instagram

From what we’ve seen this season, Trident has been progressively better since 2019, always finishing second in the championship behind PREMA Racing. But this time, Trident has its first taste of leading the standings with 381 points from the two poles and 13 podiums between the pack, including three wins, and will prove to be a tough act to follow.

Despite missing out on the title to the newly crowned champion Dennis Hauger, Jack Doohan was the highlight of their season, almost taking the crown home with the track playing almost entirely to his weaknesses at the time. The Australian driver gave a powerful performance throughout the season. Even though he didn’t come out as the champion, he has come a long way to the top. Doohan is set for 2022, graduating to the FIA Formula 2 championship with his new teammate Marino Sato in Virtuosi Racing.

Clement Novalak completed the year for Trident in third from the standings, proudly having 147 points with four podiums. The Frenchman helped the team’s title by finishing second in the season finale, beating Charouz Racing’s Logan Sargeant in fourth. Compared to his 2020 results in the 28th from the standings, Novalak made a massive headway to show up in the top 3.

In his second season, David Schumacher showed star quality, pulling out a stellar job in winning out his maiden victory in Spielberg with two podiums, making him one of the most competitive drivers on the grid.

2. PREMA Racing

Featured Image Credit: Dennis Hauger Instagram

The Italian team is one of the most successful teams in the series, becoming the champions’ home. The legacy continued as Dennis Hauger took the most out of the 2021 season with the title. Hauger is undefeatable, which came out easy for him to top almost every session, including nine podiums and four remarkable wins.

Hauger sealed the crown in the opening race of the season finale as Doohan struggled in 15th due to a tough start, making the Red Bull Junior driver the third F3 winner who took the title with PREMA after Robert Shwartzman and Oscar Piastri.

Arthur Leclerc had a promising campaign nailing two victories and three podiums following his brother’s footsteps. Moving out from Formula Regional as the vice-champion, Leclerc puts no expectation as he’s still trying to fit into the car, which he stated was very different to Formula Regional.

However, The Monegasque managed to round out the top ten in the championship standings, behind Olli Caldwell in eighth with 14 points differences.

3. ART Grand Prix

Featured Image Credit: ART Grand Prix Instagram

ART Grand Prix managed to stay in third consistently for the past two years. This season, Alexander Smolyar and Frederik Vesti managed to secure three wins and nine podiums combined, adding 256 points to the championship standings.

The French team could win the title bid, but a few issues occurred to lose the pace to both Trident and PREMA. Confidence isn’t the only thing the team needs, as they need to be more precise.

Team principal Sébastien Phillip mentioned the incidents in Le Castellet, where Frederik Vesti could not catch Hauger and went to sixth. Race 2 didn’t do the Dane any better. Vesti dropped to 30th and finished in 13th with the hope of getting the reverse grid pole.

He got promoted that day to seventh due to several drivers getting penalties, but Vesti claimed it was very tough for him, and he had to reset himself mentally.

Smolyar got his time to shine in his second season in F2, completing the season in sixth after taking his maiden win in Barcelona and a triumph in France with four podiums added to him.

Welcoming back Juan Manuel Correa back to the team after 18 months of waiting to return to the wheels, there are hardly any points earned, but his return is entirely positive. Qualifying inside the top 5 was the Americans’ best result this season.

Compared to the 2019 and 2020 campaigns, they still finished with more points. They aim to prevent mechanical issues from losing their potentials in the fourth season of the FIA Formula 2.

4. MP Motorsport

Featured Image Credit: MP Motorsport Instagram

MP Motorsport had a fair season with rookies potential, having three former Formula Renault drivers on their team. Victor Martins was the highest driver from the Dutch team to finish inside the top five as a rookie, becoming one of the most competitive contenders. 

Martins always finds a way to go quickest from the overall. The first two races in Paul Ricard was his first scene to prove that he’s suitable for the series, taking the second and third place trophy in the Le Castellet thriller.

His road to glory didn’t stop there as Martins continued to show his greatness by taking the top rookie spot after finishing fifth in the standings.

On the other hand, Caio Collet was having a tough season with the lack of penalties and bad luck he got in between the 20 races. Collet was left wanting more as he missed out on many opportunities to appear on the podium. It was always there, but it’s not close enough for the Brazilian driver. Two podiums are the only things that he earned from his rookie season. Moreover, Tjimen Van Der Helm was 17 places away from Collet, not having enough luck like both of his teammates.

5. Charouz Racing System

Featured Image Credit: Logan Sargeant Instagram

Performing better than ever, Charouz Racing System pulled out a brave move to finish fifth with 102 points from Sargeant’s consistency. Taking the American driver back after a successful season that he had in 2020 as the third runner up was a good decision for Charouz. 

The team scored 107 more points than the 2019 and 2020 campaigns, where they finished in eighth and tenth from the standings. Even though Sargeant was described as sceptical at first about achieving big things with the team, he became a part of the progress.

The win in Race 1 of the season finale was Charouz’s maiden win in the series, which they claimed was very relieving.

What’s Next?

The FIA Formula 3 will be back for its 2022 season, which takes place in Sakhir, Bahrain, on 18th March.

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