F3: Franco Colapinto, the underrated rookie of the 2022 season

Formula 3 Championship - Round 9:Monza - Sprint Race
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With four rookies placed in the top ten of the 2022 Formula 3 standings, let’s take a look at Franco Colapinto’s season.

The 2022 Formula 3 season has been one to remember with an exceptional seven-way title battle that went down to the season finale. The incredible season featured a standout group of rookies, including four drivers placed in the top ten of the championship – Zane Maloney (P2), Oliver  Bearman (P3), Isack Hadjar (P4), and Franco Colapinto (P9). With the exceptional performances of Maloney, Bearman, and Hadjar, Colapinto has seemingly been overlooked when discussing the rookies this season, despite taking two wins and five podiums.

Who is Franco Colapinto?

Franco Alejandro Colapinto was born and raised in Argentina and began his karting career at the age of nine. In 2016 and 2018, he won the Argentinian Karting Championship. 2018 saw Colapinto make his single-seater debut and go on to win the 2019 F4 Spanish Championship. In January 2020, Colapinto raced in the Toyota Racing Series, finishing third in the championship with one win and seven podiums. He took home the rookie championship, a sign he was ready for the next step.

2022 Formula 3 season

In 2020 and 2021, Colapinto participated in Formula 3 post-season testing for MP Motorsport and newly formed Vans Amersfoort Racing respectively. In 2021, Vans Amersfoort Racing announced the signing of Colapinto for the 2022 season alongside Rafael Villagomez and Reece Ushijima.

Starting off strong, Colapinto secured pole at the opening round in Bahrain and won the Sprint Race at Imola the following round. Colapinto then went on to win a second Sprint Race at the second Italian Grand Prix in Monza on the last weekend of the season.

Along with those race wins, Colapinto finished P2 at the Hungarian Grand Prix and had two P3 finishes in the Austrian and the Dutch Grands Prix. Finishing an impressive 9th in the championship with seventy-six points.

Colapinto is expected to say in Formula 3 for another season with Vans Amersfoort Racing and will likely enter 2023 as one of the title contenders. Now with a year of experience in F3, can Colapinto push on for Feature Race wins?

Featured Image Credit: Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images