Fredrik Vesti stole the lead from Dennis Hauger and drove a perfect race, preventing his championship rivals from getting the better of him.
Hauger, Red Bull Junior, has collected all the points he can this weekend after snatching pole on Friday, winning the first race, and finishing on the podium in P3 for race 2 and is currently the protagonist for the F3 championship. After Victor Martins’ ill-fated DNF in race 2, he also lost P2 in the championship fight allowing Jack Doohan to secure P2 and extend his margin by 6 points.
Hauger put together the fastest lap in Friday’s qualifying session giving him 4 points. His championship contenders, however, start at P7 [J. Doohan] and P10 [V. Martins].
Hauger starts the final race on the front row with Mercedes Junior, Vesti.
Alpine Junior, Caio Collet stalled his start and dropped down to P21 in the process. Hauger got a strong start but had Vesti on his tail at turn 3. Martins also had an exceptional start jumping 4 positions by the second lap. As lap 4 started, Vesti was 0.4s behind Hauger.
He could not manage to get out of the DRS train and lost the lead to Vesti in lap 5. Vesti got a great exit out of turn 3 and used the DRS to his advantage.
Lap 7, Hauger lost P2 to Smolyar and fell down to P3. Arthur Leclerc put on a marvelous move on Doohan at the fast left-hander in turn 5. Doohan was chasing down Martins and had his racing line compromised his exit out of Turn 4.
Lap 8, Leclerc was able to jump up to P6, getting past Jack Crawford at turn 4.
Lap 11, Smolyar attacked Vesti at P1 at turn 3. However, Hauger was right behind P2 and used the slipstream to steal P2 around the outside at turn 4. Rafael Villagomez and Van Der Helm made contact exiting turn 1, causing Villagomez to spin onto the grass.
Lap 14 saw a massive crash entering turn 4 bringing out the safety car. Martins capitalized on Leclerc’s lock-up at turn 3 and managed to get past him. Leclerc regaining his position heading into turn 4, however, both the drivers made contact, sending Leclerc into the grass, and moments later into the gravel collecting Novalak as an innocent victim of the crash. Martins was also compromised and ended up at the right at the back of the pack after a pitstop to check for damages.
Lap 18, the safety car ended, Vesti, race leader, got a great exit out of turn 10 and was able to pull away from Hauger and Smolyar.
By lap 19, Collet had made it back up to P12 after stalling the start.
Lap 22, the safety car was brought out again as Doohan and Crawford made contact causing Doohan to lose his rear right in a puncture.
Lap 24, safety car ended, Hauger and Caldwell battled it out into turn 4. Hauger managed to retain P2.
The race was won by Vesti, who drove a splendid race and managed to retain his position despite the DRS train that followed him. With Collet driving a proper recovery race making it back up to P7 after the worst start. Hauger had an extremely strong weekend, collecting 44 points and retaining his championship lead
Top 10 for the final race:
|Position||Driver||Team||Gap (To leader)|
|1.||F. Vesti||ART Grand Prix||–.–|
|2.||D. Hauger||Prema Racing||+1.124s|
|3.||O. Caldwell||Prema Racing||+1.741s|
|4.||A. Smolyar||ART Grand Prix||+2.258s|
|5.||M. Nannini||HWA Racelab||+4.147s|
|6.||A. Iwasa||Hitech Grand Prix||+5.163s|
|7.||C. Collet||MP Motorsport||+6.785s|
|8.||L. Sargeant||Charouz Racing System||+7.561s|
|9.||C. Williams||Jenzer Motorsport||+8.320s|
|10.||J. Edgar||Carlin Buzz Racing||+9.049s|