Roundup of the penultimate round of 2022 F3 season as the title fight continued in Zandvoort, Netherlands.
Hitech GP’s Isack Hadjar entered this round with a slender lead over PREMA’s Oliver Bearman and ART GP’s Victor Martins, whilst Arthur Leclerc headed up the chasing pack as the top eight drivers in the championship looked to seize the initiative heading into the season finale.
A weekend of twists and turns though saw the title lead change hands as seven drivers emerged from this round as definite mathematical contenders going into the season finale.
Now, here is a full roundup of the eighth round of the 2022 F3 season.
Charouz’s Laszlo Toth, Francesco Pizzi plus the returning David Schumacher – who replaced Christian Mansell – were first out on track on medium tyres which everyone ran this weekend.
Many drivers however only ran one installation lap and pitted again, due to sandy track conditions across the circuit due to its location near Strand/Duinen bij Bloemendaal aan Zee beach.
Schumacher proceeded to set the first benchmark time of 1m 29.898 but found 0.619 seconds on his next flier, only for Pizzi to post 1m 28.014 to go top in the 11th minute before many drivers returned to a now rubbered in track.
Once everyone had completed their opening fliers, Martins sat top with 1m 26.105 from Gregoire Saucy although the latter was displaced by Franco Colapinto and Bearman come the halfway mark of the session.
The Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed in the 27th minute after Carlin’s Brad Benavides crashed out of Turn 8 into Turn 9, but was withdrawn three minutes later.
Once green-flag conditions resumed, times quickly tumbled as Martins finished top with 1m 25.688 ahead of Caio Collet, Alexander Smolyar, Jak Crawford and Colapinto at the checkered flag.
A second VSC however was deployed with three minutes left after Reece Ushijima became the second driver to stop at Turn 9, having ran wide at Turn 8, which prevented further improvements.
|1||Victor Martins||ART GP||1m 25.688|
|2||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||+ 0.392|
|3||Alexander Smolyar||MP Motorsport||+ 0.477|
|4||Jak Crawford||PREMA||+ 0.502|
|5||Franco Colapinto||VAR||+ 0.604|
|6||Roman Stanek||Trident||+ 0.618|
|7||Jonny Edgar||Trident||+ 0.779|
|8||Oliver Bearman||PREMA||+ 0.799|
|9||Gregoire Saucy||ART GP||+ 0.834|
|10||William Alatalo||Jenzer||+ 0.866|
|11||Zane Maloney||Trident||+ 0.899|
|12||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||+ 0.988|
|13||Ido Cohen||Jenzer||+ 1.032|
|14||Kaylen Frederick||Hitech GP||+ 1.101|
|15||Rafael Villagomez||VAR||+ 1.237|
|16||Enzo Trulli||Carlin||+ 1.370|
|17||Sebastian Montoya||Campos||+ 1.431|
|18||Brad Benavides||Carlin||+ 1.520|
|19||David Vidales||Campos||+ 1.533|
|20||Kush Maini||MP Motorsport||+ 1.596|
|21||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA||+ 1.662|
|22||Juan Manuel Correa||ART GP||+ 1.663|
|23||Pepe Marti||Campos||+ 1.673|
|24||David Schumacher||Charouz||+ 1.688|
|25||Francesco Pizzi||Charouz||+ 1.714|
|26||Zak O’Sullivan||Carlin||+ 1.925|
|27||Reece Ushijima||VAR||+ 2.109|
|28||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer||+ 2.728|
|29||Laszlo Toth||Charouz||+ 3.132|
|30||Nazim Azman||Hitech GP||+ 4.292|
Hitech GP’s Kaylen Frederick, Hadjar and Nazim Azman were first out on track for Qualifying with Frederick setting the first benchmark time of 1m 26.695 to beat, although that time was swiftly bettered by several drivers as Martins posted 1m 25.152 to head Colapinto and Zane Maloney.
Nobody could improve on their second flying laps on their first set of medium tyres, whilst Pizzi and Schumacher tried to run in the first gap but were caught up in traffic when on their flying laps.
Upon completion of the second round of flying laps, Maloney set the pace with 1m 24.386 ahead of Martins and Roman Stanek.
Crawford meanwhile left it late to snatch third on the grid shortly before the red flag was waved with 44s left to prematurely end the session as Maloney clung onto pole position ahead of Martins.
Crawford, Stanek, Colapinto, Hadjar, F3 debutant – Sebastian Montoya, Jonny Edgar, Collet, Zak O’Sullivan, Saucy and Juan Manuel Correa rounded out the top 12, with Manuel Correa inheriting reverse-pole for the Sprint Race.
PREMA’s Bearman meanwhile qualified 14th after the red flag cruelly denied him a potential top-six grid slot just metres from the start/finish line at the end of his last flying lap, although he started the Sprint Race from 13th due to a grid penalty for Kush Maini.
|1||Zane Maloney||Trident||1m 24.386|
|2||Victor Martins||ART GP||+ 0.289|
|3||Jak Crawford||PREMA||+ 0.436|
|4||Roman Stanek||Trident||+ 0.445|
|5||Franco Colapinto||VAR||+ 0.469|
|6||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||+ 0.643|
|7||Sebastian Montoya||Campos||+ 0.652|
|8||Jonny Edgar||Trident||+ 0.661|
|9||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||+ 0.786|
|10||Zak O’Sullivan||Carlin||+ 0.825|
|11||Gregoire Saucy||ART GP||+ 0.979|
|12||Juan Manuel Correa||ART GP||+ 0.990|
|13||Kush Maini||MP Motorsport||+ 1.124|
|14||Oliver Bearman||Oliver Bearman||+ 1.169|
|15||Brad Benavides||Carlin||+ 1.209|
|16||Alexander Smolyar||MP Motorsport||+ 1.232|
|17||Pepe Marti||Campos||+ 1.242|
|18||Kaylen Frederick||Hitech GP||+ 1.251|
|19||Rafael Villagomez||VAR||+ 1.282|
|20||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA||+ 1.298|
|21||Francesco Pizzi||Charouz||+ 1.376|
|22||William Alatalo||Jenzer||+ 1.414|
|23||Reece Ushijima||VAR||+ 1.440|
|24||Enzo Trulli||Carlin||+ 1.862|
|25||Ido Cohen||Jenzer||+ 1.865|
|26||David Vidales||Campos||+ 2.107|
|27||David Schumacher||Charouz||+ 2.245|
|28||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer||+ 2.249|
|29||Nazim Azman||Campos||+ 2.780|
|30||Laszlo Toth||Charouz||+ 4.267|
At lights out, Manuel Correa retained his lead as Collet blasted his way from fourth on the grid up to second round the outside of Turn One, ahead of O’Sullivan as Edgar further demoted Saucy from second to fifth.
Further down the order, Hadjar sat sixth ahead of French compatriot and title rival, Martins in seventh, whilst Bearman recovered to tenth and Leclerc improved from 20th to 17th at the start.
Up front, Collet relentlessly pressured Manuel Correa throughout the opening laps as his persistance paid off with an inside move at Turn 3 on Lap Five to gain the lead, as the top nine eventually held position to the checkered flag.
Leclerc meanwhile was on a steady charge as he found himself 16th by the start of Lap Six before passing Pizzi and Frederick to move up to 14th by the end of Lap 13.
Bearman meanwhile lost 10th and the final points-paying position to Stanek on Lap 16 after he ran wide out of Turn 4 on the kerb, as the Brit ultimately finished 11th to dent his title hopes.
Just further behind Bearman, Leclerc followed Colapinto through as the pair demoted Alexander Smolyar to 14th position on Lap 20, although the Monegasque eventually beat Colapinto for 12th at the checkered flag.
Up front, Collet comfortably cruised to his second win of the season by 4.057s from Manuel Correa – who made the podium for the first time since his return to F3 in 2021, whilst O’Sullivan picked up his second podium of the season to move up to tenth in the championship.
In the driver standings, Hadjar extended his title lead to three points ahead of Martins who leapfrogged Bearman to second in the standings, with the Brit six points behind in third place ahead of Leclerc and Stanek who round out the top five split by 14 points.
|1||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||21||30m 55.183|
|2||Juan Manuel Correa||ART GP||21||+ 4.057|
|3||Zak O’Sullivan||Carlin||21||+ 4.935|
|4||Jonny Edgar||Trident||21||+ 5.888|
|5||Gregoire Saucy||ART GP||21||+ 6.628|
|6||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||21||+ 7.593|
|7||Victor Martins||ART GP||21||+ 8.184|
|8||Sebastian Montoya||Campos||21||+ 9.903|
|9||Jak Crawford||PREMA||21||+ 10.559|
|10||Roman Stanek||Trident||21||+ 11.028|
|11||Oliver Bearman||PREMA||21||+ 12.399|
|12||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA||21||+ 15.688|
|13||Franco Colapinto||VAR||21||+ 17.290|
|14||Alexander Smolyar||MP Motorsport||21||+ 17.941|
|15||Kaylen Frederick||Hitech GP||21||+ 19.994|
|16||Francesco Pizzi||Charouz||21||+ 20.638|
|17||Zane Maloney||Trident||21||+ 21.116|
|18||Kush Maini||MP Motorsport||21||+ 23.870|
|19||Pepe Marti||Campos||21||+ 23.930|
|20||David Schumacher||Charouz||21||+ 24.193|
|21||David Vidales||Campos||21||+ 24.583|
|22||Reece Ushijima||VAR||21||+ 27.177|
|23||Enzo Trulli||Carlin||21||+ 30.780|
|24||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer||21||+ 31.218|
|25||Nazim Azman||Hitech GP||21||+ 34.656|
|26||Brad Benavides||Carlin||21||+ 44.181|
|27||Laszlo Toth||Charouz||21||+ 63.611|
|28||Rafael Villagomez||VAR||21||+ 65.548|
|29||Ido Cohen||Jenzer||20||+ 1 Lap|
|30||William Alatalo||Jenzer||20||+ 1 Lap|
At lights out, Maloney got jumped on the inside line by Martins who seized the lead as Maloney fought off Crawford for second as Colapinto leapfrogged Stanek to go fourth, whilst Bearman dropped from 14th to 17th after getting squeezed in the opening corner but recovered to 16th.
Leclerc meanwhile recovered to 17th from 20th on the grid by Lap Four as the Safety Car was deployed, following Brad Benavides’ rear-ending of Jenzer’s William Alatalo to eliminate both drivers,, with Benavides consequently awarded a three-place grid penalty for the Italian Sprint Race.
The race resumed on Lap 8 as Crawford locked up at Turn One to slip from third to ninth just behind Edgar who slipped from sixth to eighth at Turn 3.
Bearman meanwhile briefly lost 16th to Frederick on the restart but quickly regained the position and proceeded to steadily charge through to 13th by the end of Lap 17.
Up front, Maloney kept Martins within a second throughout until he got the switchback from outside to inside of Turn 1 on Lap 12, which enabled him to repass the Frenchman to claim the lead he lost at the start.
Crawford meanwhile passed Montoya on Lap 14 for seventh before David Vidales retired at Turn 1 on Lap 17, although the Safety Car was deployed on the following lap after Saucy lost his front nosecone following contact with O’Sullivan.
On the second restart on Lap 21, Bearman made a double overtake on Smolyar and Saucy through Turns 7 and 8 but the Safety Car was again deployed one lap later, following a spin for Rafael Villagomez for which Manuel Correa received a 10s post-race time penalty.
Bearman however had battled his way past O’Sullivan to tenth through Turn 9 albeit with contact just before the Safety Car came out, with stewards post-race adjudging O’Sullivan at fault for their contact which dropped the Brit from 12th to 23rd in the classification with a 10s penalty.
The race eventually resumed on Lap 25 for a two-lap shootout as Maloney fought off Martins for a second Feature Race victory, as Colapinto, Stanek, Hadjar, Crawford, Collet. Montoya, Edgar and Bearman rounded out the top ten.
Bearman however received a 20s time penalty post-race in lieu of a drive-through penalty, due to not maintaining the required distance during the second Safety Car restart.
In the driver standings, Martins replaced Hadjar as the championship leader with a five-point lead going into the final round of the season, with Stanek, Bearman, Maloney, Leclerc and Crawford all mathematically also still in contention.
|1||Zane Maloney||Trident||26||44m 04.515|
|2||Victor Martins||ART GP||26||+ 1.091|
|3||France Colapinto||VAR||26||+ 1.417|
|4||Roman Stanek||Trident||26||+ 2.188|
|5||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||26||+ 2.750|
|6||Jak Crawford||PREMA||26||+ 2.978|
|7||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||26||+ 4.378|
|8||Sebastian Montoya||Campos||26||+ 5.275|
|9||Jonny Edgar||Trident||26||+ 5.568|
|10||Alexander Smolyar||MP Motorsport||26||+ 9.368|
|11||Kush Maini||MP Motorsport||26||+ 10.822|
|12||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA||26||+ 11.222|
|13||Kaylen Frederick||Hitech GP||26||+ 12.218|
|14||Pepe Marti||Campos||26||+ 12.930|
|15||David Schumacher||Charouz||26||+ 13.624|
|16||Ido Cohen||Jenzer||26||+ 14.797|
|17||Enzo Trulli||Carlin||26||+ 15.456|
|18||Francesco Pizzi||Charouz||26||+ 15.607|
|19||Reece Ushijima||VAR||26||+ 16.075|
|20||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer||26||+ 16.456|
|21||Nazim Azman||Hitech GP||26||+ 17.013|
|22||Laszlo Toth||Charouz||26||+ 17.529|
|23||Zak O’Sullivan||Carlin||26||+ 20.128|
|24||Juan Manuel Correa||ART GP||26||+ 24.299|
|25||Oliver Bearman||PREMA||26||+ 28.495|
|26||Gregoire Saucy||ART GP||26||Damage|