Roundup of the 2022 F3 season finale as Victor Martins was crowned champion in a seven-way tussle in Monza, Italy.
Martins headed a seven-way title scrap as F3 rolled into Monza for the finale weekend, yet a series of twists and turns throughout the weekend saw six drivers still in with a shot at the title come the final race which ultimately delivered a crazy climax befitting of the series’ entertainment this season.
In the end, it would be Alpine F1 junior, Martins who clung on to secure the championship in tense fashion, as the vice-champion and third-placed championship finishers were finalised following further changes of position across the weekend.
Now, here’s a full roundup of the ninth and final round of 2022 F3 season.
MP Motorsport’s Caio Collet, Alexander Smolyar and Kush Maini led the field out onto a wet track following torrential overnight rainfall, with Collet plus title leader – Victor Martins both amongst several cars to go down the escape road at Turn 1.
Martins soon set the initial benchmark time of 1m 51.455 as drivers adapted to the tricky conditions which saw Rafael Villagomez and Isack Hadjar both spin in the opening 12 minutes.
Martins lowered his benchmark time in the 13th minute to 1m 50.658 but his time was soon bettered by his ART GP teammates, Juan Manuel Correa and Gregoire Saucy before the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed in the 17th minute after Jenzer’s Federico Malvestiti stopped at the pit exit.
Once the VSC was withdrawn, Maloney went fastest from Kalyen Frederick in the 21st minute with 1m 50.275, which was quickly displaced by Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan who posted 1m 49.587 two minutes later to lead at the halfway mark of the session.
Drivers soon switched to the carryover medium slick tyres as the track dried sufficiently with Smolyar posting 1m 49.446 to go top in the 37th minute, as the Russian then found 0.633 seconds on his next flier to lower the fastest lap.
Saucy briefly went fastest in the 41st minute but PREMA’s Oliver Bearman posted 1m 47.228 to go fastest and the Brit proceeded to further find 2.355s by the checkered flag, as he finished top ahead of Hadjar and Arthur Leclerc.
|1||Oliver Bearman||PREMA||1m 44.873|
|2||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||+ 0.048|
|3||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA||+ 0.244|
|4||Jonny Edgar||Trident||+ 0.250|
|5||David Vidales||Campos||+ 0.253|
|6||Gregoire Saucy||ART GP||+ 0.255|
|7||Victor Martins||ART GP||+ 0.404|
|8||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||+ 0.599|
|9||Zak O’Sullivan||Carlin||+ 0.601|
|10||Jak Crawford||PREMA||+ 0.677|
|11||Franco Colapinto||VAR||+ 0.856|
|12||Brad Benavides||Carlin||+ 0.920|
|13||Pepe Marti||Campos||+ 0.995|
|14||Roman Stanek||Trident||+ 1.054|
|15||Reece Ushijima||VAR||+ 1.121|
|16||Kush Maini||MP Motorsport||+ 1.424|
|17||Ido Cohen||Jenzer||+ 1.517|
|18||Enzo Trulli||Carlin||+ 1.680|
|19||Kaylen Frederick||Hitech GP||+ 1.796|
|20||Zane Maloney||Trident||+ 1.812|
|21||Rafael Villagomez||VAR||+ 2.313|
|22||Alexander Smolyar||MP Motorsport||+ 2.986|
|23||Juan Manuel Correa||ART GP||+ 3.038|
|24||Francesco Pizzi||Charouz||+ 3.098|
|25||Hunter Yeany||Campos||+ 3.950|
|26||William Alatalo||Jenzer||+ 4.489|
|27||Nazim Azman||Hitech GP||+ 4.669|
|28||Laszlo Toth||Charouz||+ 7.613|
|29||Alessandro Famularo||Charouz||+ 8.409|
|30||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer||+ 8.628|
Jenzer’s Ido Cohen, Malvestiti and William Alatalo were first out on a now-dry track but it was ART GP’s Saucy who set the initial benchmark time of 1m 43.086 on the soft tyre, although Trident’s Roman Stanek set the pace at end of the opening flying laps from Jonny Edgar and Hadjar.
Edgar’s time however was soon deleted for exceeding track limits but he regained second at end of second round of flying laps behind Stanek but ahead of Zane Maloney, Leclerc, Hadjar and Bearman.
Bearman though found further time as he climbed to second on his third flier, whilst Hadjar ran deep and scraped the gravel at Curva Alboreto, which sent him bouncing into the barriers.
The red flag consequently came out and once the session resumed nine minutes later, a game of cat and mouse ensured, as some deliberately drove through the pit lane to create space for their flying lap only for everyone else to copy on repeat.
Eventually everyone attempted a flying lap in the final minutes from which Smolyar claimed his second pole position in three rounds ahead of Maloney by just 0.047s ahead of his title rivals, Stanek, Martins, Leclerc and Bearman who rounded out the top six.
Jenzer’s Alatalo was a shock seventh ahead of Jak Crawford, Manuel Correa, Edgar, Pepe Marti and Collet, although Manuel Correa received a 10 place grid penalty for the Sprint due to failing to slow under yellow flags for Campos’ Hunter Yeany at Turn 1 at end of session.
His penalty consequently meant that he started the Sprint Race from 14th on the grid, whilst Franco Colapinto inherited pole position ahead of Collet.
|1||Alexander Smolyar||MP Motorsport||1m 37.559|
|2||Zane Maloney||Trident||+ 0.047|
|3||Roman Stanek||Trident||+ 0.191|
|4||Victor Martins||ART GP||+ 0.215|
|5||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA||+ 0.386|
|6||Oliver Bearman||PREMA||+ 0.401|
|7||William Alatalo||Jenzer||+ 0.464|
|8||Jak Crawford||PREMA||+ 0.472|
|9||Juan Manuel Correa||ART GP||+ 0.476|
|10||Jonny Edgar||Trident||+ 0.550|
|11||Pepe Marti||Campos||+ 0.623|
|12||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||+ 0.665|
|13||Franco Colapinto||VAR||+ 0.724|
|14||Kaylen Frederick||Hitech GP||+ 0.885|
|15||Gregoire Saucy||ART GP||+ 0.929|
|16||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||+ 0.939|
|17||Zak O’Sullivan||Carlin||+ 0.941|
|18||David Vidales||Campos||+ 1.114|
|19||Rafael Villagomez||VAR||+ 1.123|
|20||Francesco Pizzi||Charouz||+ 1.255|
|21||Brad Benavides||Carlin||+ 1.307|
|22||Reece Ushijima||VAR||+ 1.356|
|23||Hunter Yeany||Campos||+ 1.546|
|24||Ido Cohen||Jenzer||+ 1.563|
|25||Enzo Trulli||Carlin||+ 1.603|
|26||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer||+ 2.089|
|27||Nazim Azman||Hitech GP||+ 2.241|
|28||Kush Maini||MP Motorsport||+ 2.449|
|29||Laszlo Toth||Charouz||+ 2.758|
|30||Alessandro Famularo||Charouz||+ 3.301|
At lights out, Colapinto fought off Collet and Edgar whilst Leclerc punted title rival, Martins off at Curva Grande but the Frenchman rejoined the race having avoided the barriers.
Bearman was the highest-placed driver of the seven title contenders in seventh at end of the opening lap as the next lap saw further drama, as Stanek passed Frederick for tenth but was repassed moments later with the American then spinning Smolyar at Variante della Roggia.
Leclerc meanwhile slipped out of the top ten following his first-lap tangle with Martins which enabled Bearman to make moves to boost his title prospects, as the Brit passed his PREMA teammate – Crawford for sixth on Lap 3.
The Safety Car however was deployed on Lap 4 after O’Sullivan spun out at Variante del Rettifilo and stayed out for five laps.
Racing resumed on Lap 9 as Colapinto tactically bunched the field up on the restart before he legged it down the start-finish straight out of Curva Alboreto as he again fended off Collet.
Pepe Marti who ran third on the restart momentarily claimed the lead after he cut the opening chicane but gave the positions back to Colapinto and Collet, which enabled Edgar to follow through with Bearman following suit two laps later.
Bearman briefly lost fourth to Crawford at Variante del Rettifilo on Lap 12 but quickly recovered his position at Variante della Roggia, from which he charged up towards the front trio of Colapinto, Collet and Edgar.
Edgar meanwhile lined up an inside move on Collet into Variante del Rettifilo on Lap 15, only for Bearman to sweep around the outside to take the pair for second as Edgar slotted into third ahead of Collet.
Maloney one lap later cleared Crawford for fifth to end the American’s title chances whilst Leclerc cleared Stanek and Marti for eighth.
Up front, Collet cleared Edgar for third on the penultimate lap whilst Bearman reeled in Colapinto but couldn’t produce a last-lap pass, as Colapinto clung on for his second Sprint victory of the season ahead of Bearman and Collet.
Maloney finished fourth ahead of Edgar following a last lap pass whilst Saucy further demoted Crawford to seventh as Leclerc, Marti and Martins rounded out the top ten finishers.
In the driver standings, Martins now leads Hadjar by six points as Bearman closed his deficit to 13 points in third, whilst Maloney, Stanek and Leclerc must all win the Feature Race and hope the top three all realistically don’t score points if they’re to snatch the title.
Martins simply needs to finish ahead at least six points clear of Hadjar in the Feature Race to secure the title, whilst Hadjar must finish the Feature Race at least seventh with the point for fastest lap and Martins to not finish in top ten if he is to claim the title.
Bearman meanwhile need to finish on the podium and hope that Martins fails to finish in the top ten plus Hadjar finishes seventh or lower, if he is to realistically snatch the title on a weekend in which Great Britain is in national mourning following Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
|1||Franco Colapinto||VAR||18||34m 09.813|
|2||Oliver Bearman||PREMA||18||+ 0.432|
|3||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||18||+ 2.109|
|4||Zane Maloney||Trident||18||+ 3.404|
|5||Jonny Edgar||Trident||18||+ 4.121|
|6||Gregoire Saucy||ART GP||18||+ 4.279|
|7||Jak Crawford||PREMA||18||+ 4.614|
|8||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA||18||+ 6.061|
|9||Pepe Marti||Campos||18||+ 6.547|
|10||Victor Martins||ART GP||18||+ 6.878|
|11||Kush Maini||MP Motorsport||18||+ 7.755|
|12||Roman Stanek||Trident||18||+ 7.983|
|13||Juan Manuel Correa||ART GP||18||+ 8.157|
|14||William Alatalo||Jenzer||18||+ 9.252|
|15||Ido Cohen||Jenzer||18||+ 12.316|
|16||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer||18||+ 12.998|
|17||Francesco Pizzi||Charouz||18||+ 13.468|
|18||Brad Benavides||Carlin||18||+ 13.750|
|19||Reece Ushijima||VAR||18||+ 15.953|
|20||Enzo Trulli||Carlin||18||+ 17.476|
|21||Nazim Azman||Hitech GP||18||+ 18.710|
|22||Laszlo Toth||Charouz||18||+ 22.362|
|23||Alessandro Famularo||Charouz||18||+ 30.912|
|24||Hunter Yeany||Campos||18||+ 50.936|
|25||Alexander Smolyar||MP Motorsport||18||+ 69.799|
|26||Rafael Villagomez||VAR||18||+ 70.263|
|27||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||18||+ 70.409|
|RET||Kaylen Frederick||Hitech GP||11||Damage|
At lights out, Smolyar initially retained his lead but Maloney seized the inside line into Variante del Rettifilo to gain the lead, whilst Stanek was passed for third by Martins who found himself on course for the title as the Safety Car was deployed after Vidales and Villagomez collided.
Racing resumed on Lap 5 as Maloney went early but Smolyar was alert and regained the lead with Martins following through at Variante del Rettifilo, which enabled him to get the lead into Variante della Roggia whilst Leclerc cleared Bearman for fifth.
Smolyar though locked up his front tyre on the restart which soon proved costly as he lost second to Maloney on Lap 8, who then challenged Martins into Variante della Roggia for lead but ran wide and conceded position back.
Maloney though was able to pass Martins one lap later to claim the lead as Smolyar got clipped by Leclerc and Stanek in a three-way sandwich at Variante del Rettifilo, which enabled Bearman to climb to fourth whilst Smolyar steadily fell down the order.
Bearman then passed Martins for second on Lap 12 but was squeezed wide at Variante del Rettifilo by Maloney as he passed for the lead on Lap 15, which prompted complaints from the Brit despite handing the lead back to Maloney.
The race however came to a dramatic climax as Maini spun out of the second Lesmo on Lap 16 and wiped out Benavides, which triggered another Safety Car but the race was red flagged one lap later due to barrier damage and not resumed.
Stewards however dished out multiple 5s time penalties for track infringements which triggered tension and confusion across the pit lane as to who had won the title, with Martins ultimately crowned champion – despite a 5s time penalty – by five points from Maloney as Bearman finished third.
Maloney though was declared winner of the Feature Race after 15 laps ahead of Bearman and Crawford as Martins dropped to fourth, whilst Alatalo slipped from fourth to seventh with his own penalty as Edgar kept eighth amidst his own penalty but Collet fell out of the points due to his penalty for track limits.
PREMA were crowned as the teams’ champions ahead of Trident and ART GP.
Post-race, MP Motorsport’s Kush Maini saw his 5s time penalty rescinded after stewards reviewed stewards and found he had exceeded track limits on three occasions instead of initially adjudged four occasions, which lifted him from 15th to 13th in the classification.
|1||Zane Maloney||Trident||15||28m 00.288|
|2||Oliver Bearman||PREMA||15||+ 0.587|
|3||Jak Crawford||PREMA||15||+ 5.024|
|4||Victor Martins||ART GP||15||+ 6.061|
|5||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA||15||+ 6.086|
|6||Roman Stanek||Trident||15||+ 6.420|
|7||William Alatalo||Jenzer||15||+ 9.628|
|8||Jonny Edgar||Trident||15||+ 12.080|
|9||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||15||+ 13.555|
|10||Reece Ushijima||VAR||15||+ 14.228|
|11||Zak O’Sullivan||Carlin||15||+ 14.696|
|12||Ido Cohen||Jenzer||15||+ 15.613|
|13||Kush Maini||MP Motorsport||15||+ 15.958|
|14||Brad Benavides||Carlin||15||+ 16.820|
|15||Franco Colapinto||VAR||15||+ 18.031|
|16||Francesco Pizzi||Charouz||15||+ 21.196|
|17||Hunter Yeany||Campos||15||+ 21.298|
|18||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer||15||+ 21.807|
|19||Laszlo Toth||Charouz||15||+ 23.790|
|20||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||15||+ 24.324|
|21||Nazim Azman||Hitech GP||15||+ 29.215|
|22||Enzo Trulli||Carlin||15||+ 30.145|
|23||Alessandro Famularo||Charouz||15||+ 43.109|
|24||Juan Manuel Correa||ART GP||15||+ 61.827|
|25||Kaylen Frederick||Hitech GP||15||+ 62.568|
|26||Pepe Marti||Campos||15||+ 93.017|
|27||Alexander Smolyar||MP Motorsport||14||+ 1 Lap|
|28||Gregoire Saucy||ART GP||14||+ 1 Lap|