With the F3 championship coming to a close next weekend, the penultimate Dutch Grand Prix saw drivers pushing themselves to the limit.
An eventful Belgian Grand Prix left F3 with the top four in the championship being separated by five points. This weekend was crucial as they looked to give themselves an advantage heading into the finale in Monza. Here are the five most intriguing points from this weekend.
1 – Victor Martins redeems himself from Spa
After a disastrous Belgian Grand Prix that saw him score no points throughout the weekend, Martins desperately sought redemption as he found himself slipping to third in the championship – albeit by two points. Redemption was exactly what he got as the ART driver qualified P2 for the Feature Race and P11 for the Sprint.
After scoring a P7 finish for the Sprint, Martins overtook Zane Maloney for the lead but was re-passed on lap 16. However, a decent points finish sees Martins score 22 points taking the lead in the championship by four over Isack Hadjar.
2 – Arthur Leclerc’s race pace can’t save him
After qualifying P20 for the second race in a row, Arthur Leclerc desperately needed points if he was to keep himself in contention. However, Zandvoort is not an easy track to overtake on and although Leclerc managed a few overtakes it wasn’t enough to get himself in the Top 10.
Now sitting twenty-five points behind Martins and dropping down to sixth in the standings, Leclerc must hope for a miracle if he wants to win the title.
3 – Trident continues to sneak up on PREMA
With Trident driver Zane Maloney taking back-to-back Feature Race victories in Spa and Zandvoort, the team currently sits just forty points behind Italian-based PREMA. With the Trident drivers capitalizing on the mistakes of the PREMA drivers this weekend their two drivers now sit third and fifth in the standings.
As they enter the final round in Monza, PREMA is hoping to rediscover their qualifying pace and keep Trident at bay.
4 – Rookie Zane Maloney shines
Following a successful 2021 Formula Regional European Championship campaign where he finished fourth in the standings, Zane Maloney stepped up to Formula 3 racing for Trident. After a rejuvenating three weeks over the summer break, Maloney has quickly made his mark in the campaign. He won the Sprint Race at the Belgian Grand Prix, followed by a Pole and a win in the Feature Race at the Dutch Grand Prix.
That’s seen him quickly climb up to fifth in the championship, five points behind Ollie Bearman on 106 points. It’s safe to say Maloney is one to look out for in the future as he continues to hone his skills.
MALONEY GOES BACK-TO-BACK‼️
It's a second successive Feature Race win for Zane Maloney! 👏
— Formula 3 (@FIAFormula3) September 4, 2022
5 – The F3 finale at Monza is one to watch
With seven drivers still mathematically in contention for the title, and Hadjar and Martins separated by five points, it’s all to play for as we enter the final race in Monza next weekend. Nicknamed ‘The Temple of Speed’ Monza is a track known for its high speeds and precision and is seen by many to be the ultimate test for a driver. Who walks away with the F3 Championship, in what may be for several drivers their final race at this level?
Drivers Championship standings
- Victor Martins – 126 points
- Isack Hadjar – 121 points
- Roman Stanek – 109 points
- Oliver Bearman – 106 points
- Zane Maloney – 102 points
Team Championship standings
- PREMA – 297 points
- Trident – 250 points
- ART Grand Prix – 190 points
- MP Motorsport – 185 points
- Hitech Grand Prix – 148 points
This time next week, one of these drivers will be crowned the FIA Formula 3 2022 championship. Expect a thrilling finish to a very entertaining season.