Formula 3: 5 takeaways from the Italian Grand Prix

Formula 3 Championship - Round 9:Monza - Feature Race
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The Italian Grand Prix hosted the final race of the 2022 Formula 3 calendar. With a history of chaos erupting, this year was no exception.

The penultimate round at Zandvoort saw the championship reach a boiling point. Seven drivers found themselves in contention for the title heading into the final round. Here are the five most intriguing points from the Formula 3 weekend.

1 – Victor Martins is the 2022 Formula 3 drivers champion!

Victor Martins left the Dutch Grand Prix with a five-point lead over Isack Hadjar. However, a disastrous spin for Hadjar saw him qualify P16 for both races. Martins qualified P8 and P4 for the Sprint and Feature races respectively.

In the Sprint Race, Martins made contact with Arthur Leclerc which pushed Martins out of the points. The Feature Race saw Victor make his way up to P1 before falling to third. A red flag put the race on halt before it was announced that it would not be resumed.

Although Martins was given a five-second penalty for track limits, it wouldn’t matter. Martins was still able to take the championship over rookie Zane Maloney by five points.

2 – PREMA are the 2022 Formula 3 team champions!

After narrowly missing out on the 2021 championship by seven points, PREMA were hungry to return to winning ways and prove to the reigning championships Trident that their title was a fluke. Entering the 2022 season with two new drivers, Jak Crawford and rookie Oliver Bearman, the Italian giants proved their strength as they entered the weekend with a forty-six-point lead.

Although it was difficult for Trident to catch up throughout the weekend, they tried their best but to no avail. Prema and Bearman were unstoppable and had retaken the title.

3  – The FIA still needs work

On Lap 17 of 22 of the Feature Race, a safety car was deployed following a collision between Brad Benavides and Kush Maini. The collision resulted in the barrier being destroyed and a red flag being waved – meaning the session has been paused.

After a long waiting period, the FIA announced that the race will not be resumed and that the results will be calculated from the lap before the safety car was deployed. Meaning that Martins was announced as champion. The decision to stop the race was due to the time needed to complete the race, the interviews, and the podium with F1 and F2 races following in the day’s busy schedule. It was heartbreak for championship contenders Zane Maloney and Oliver Bearman – both of whom were running in P1 and P2 respectively.

If the race were to finish, Martins could have lost more positions, giving both Maloney & Bearman the chance to win the title. Perhaps time to rethink the race weekend schedule, at least for the final round with a championship on the line.

4 – Zane Maloney is one to watch for the future

In January 2022, Trident announced the signing of FREC driver Zane Maloney. After a decent point-scoring first half of the season, Maloney improved drastically after the summer break, taking three back-to-back Feature Race wins across the triple header. With each win awarding him twenty-five points he put himself in contention for the championship. Despite that winning streak, he finished the season as the 2022 vice F3 champion. It’s no doubt that Maloney is one to watch for the future.

5 – The 2023 Formula 3 season will be highly anticipated

With the 2022 season ending on such an intense note, it’s no doubt that 2023 will be highly anticipated. With new venues such as Melbourne, new drivers, and title favorites potentially returning for next year, there is plenty to keep fans talking in the offseason. And while the campaign may be over, the series heads to Magny-Cours and Jerez for F3 testing later this month.

Featured Image Credit: Alex Pantling – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images