As we returned from the summer break, the F3 Belgian Prix weekend saw all three of the championship leaders face difficulties.
We entered the weekend with two championship leaders tied on points. We leave the weekend with the top 4 in the championship separated by just five points. The weekend was filled with disappointment, surprise, and drama as we take a look at the five most important takeaways from the F3 weekend.
1 – Bearman puts himself in championship contention
Rookie PREMA driver Ollie Bearman managed to capitalize on the mistakes and disappointments made by his three rivals. He entered the weekend P4 in the championship on 80 points. With leader Isack Hadjar on 104 points, it seemed a feat for the Brit to have any chance of catching up to the Frenchman. However, sport is known for its unpredictability as Hadjar, Martins, and Leclerc qualified P23, P24, and P20 respectively. While Bearman qualified P4 and P8 for the Sprint and Feature Races.
Despite their best efforts, none of the other three could secure enough points to make an effort, with Martins failing to score any throughout the weekend. Bearman managed to win the Sprint Race and score P3 for the Feature Race. He now sits second in the championship, one point behind Hadjar.
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2 – Super-sub Oliver Goethe continues to make an impression
As Hunter Yeany continues to recover from an injury suffered in Austria Campos Racing retained Oliver Goethe to continue to step in for the Belgian Grand Prix. Despite suffering a crash during the Sprint Race, Geothe managed to finish fourth during the Feature Race – not bad for his fourth F3 race.
3 – Trident slightly narrows the battle to PREMA for P1 in the Team Championship.
With a P1 and P2 finish during the Feature Race, in the form of Zane Maloney and Roman Stanek, the gap between Trident and PREMA is down to 86 points. Although Trident may not have enough time to reclaim first, they are also a comfortable 29 points ahead of MP Motorsport. Meaning they appear to have secured P2 in the championship.
4 – Victor Martins fails to score a point throughout the weekend
Frenchman Victor Martins has been impressive this season – earning points every weekend so far. Spa will be a weekend he would be happy to forget with that streak coming to an end. After qualifying P24 for both races, Martins recovered well during the Sprint Race but his efforts were meaningless as he was found guilty of a jump start at the beginning of the race. He received a drive-through penalty resulting in a P21 finish. The Feature Race was even more disastrous as he collided with Kush Maini on Lap 1 and was forced to retire a lap later.
5- Leclerc’s overtaking ability saved him
As it is most weekends with the young Monegasque, Arthur Leclerc suffers a poor qualifying which is then redeemed by a high point finish due to an overtaking masterclass. However, unlike most weekends his rivals Hadjar and Martins are normally at the front of the grid as opposed to the back. Entering the weekend fifteen points adrift from both he now sits five points behind Hadjar, with fellow teammate Bearman now entering the mix. After climbing up from 20th on Sunday, he fell just short of the points.
Team Championship standings
- PREMA Racing – 286 points
- Trident – 200 points
- MP Motorsport – 167 points
- ART Grand Prix – 153 points
- Hitech Grand Prix – 133 points
With Zandvoort kicking off in just a few days, fans won’t have a long wait to see who will prevail in round six of the F3 championship.