- Photo Credit: Campos Media Centre

F3: Key Takeaways from Spain

Here's all the important information you need to know about last weekend's racing in Barcelona.

Formula 3 finally got underway for the first time in 2021 this past weekend. The season began in Barcelona with three solid races that gave the fans a good idea of what to expect moving forwards. Now that the racing is over, here are the key takeaways from Spain that you need to know...

Smolyar Succeeds in Spain

"I had quite a comfortable lead at the beginning, but then had to fight off the pace of Novalak."

Alex Smolyar

The first victory of the year went to the Russian driver who drives for ART this year. After some initial battles early on in the race with Edgar and Collet, Smolyar took the lead and managed the race from there. Struggling towards the end of the race with his worn tyres, Smolyar was saved by a late safety car. This was brought out due to an unusual incident involving Rasmussen riding the kerbs coming out of the final corner and ending his race beached in the gravel.

Still, the victory was well deserved and probably exactly what Smolyar was hoping he could do.

Correa Returns to Formula 3

Following the tragic accident in Spa back in 2019, Juan Manuel Correa returned to racing for the first time this weekend. Correa plans to use Formula 3 to get back up to speed with racing before hopefully jumping back into Formula 2 next year. His attitude certainly seems to suggest he's here to get on with the racing as he was disappointed to not finish higher in qualifying on Friday. Over the weekend, he got some solid racing results, including a tenth place finish in Saturday's second Sprint Race - his first points of the year! He should be happy with overall results for his first time back out on track. Let's hope this comeback story continues to inspire throughout the year.

Vesti and Caldwell - Championship Contenders?

Saturday saw a lot of action on track with the second race eliminating a few drivers in spectacular fashion. Vesti and Caldwell were able to keep their cool however. Both finished inside the top ten in race one. Then Caldwell won the second race with Vesti in third. In Sunday's race, Caldwell and Vesti finished fourth and seventh respectively. Both drivers are strong and these are the results they'll need to fight for the Championship. Vesti was a very strong contender last year so will be looking to clinch the title this year. As a Mercedes Junior driver, he'll be looking to impress his bosses in F1 for sure.

Leclerc and Martins - Rookies on the Rise

Martins also had a strong opening round with a second place finish in the second race on Saturday. The young Frenchman was on the pace all weekend and capitalized where he could, finishing second in the first race of the weekend. A solid tenth place in Sunday's race keeps him on the radar for the Championship too with an outside chance.

Leclerc is another one to watch. After falling down the order due to a puncture in Race I, he made a awesome climb in Race II to finish in twelfth after starting twenty-eighth. Unfortunately, Leclerc got a penalty for a safety car infringement which put him back down to twenty-fourth. Despite this though, his quick pace should still be noted. Imagine what these drivers can do once they're both up to speed properly...

Hauger Leads the Way

After qualifying in pole, Dennis Hauger took it straight to the chequered flag in Sunday's race. A smooth drive meant he took his first F3 win with relatively little trouble. All the action on track happened behind him. This enabled him to build a nice gap back to second place and take the win comfortably. He currently leads the Championship with thirty four points ahead of Caldwell in second with thirty two.

Boring Barcelona? Not in Formula 3!

This particular track doesn't always give fans the best racing to watch in a calendar year. Even Formula 3 struggled with it a bit last year. This weekend's racing was a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. Even though Sunday's race was more of a procession than would have been liked, Saturday gave us plenty of action and had several fights and crashes for the lead of the race. If Barcelona is a tease of what's to come this season in Formula 3, it looks set to be another great season!

What did you think of Formula 3 this weekend? Let me know in the comments below.

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Comments (4)

  • Btw Vesti is my new Pourchaire ๐Ÿ˜‰ heโ€™s my go-to driver for this category this year...

      1 month ago
  • Vesti is surely a contender! And I hope Leclerc is too.

      1 month ago
    • Leclerc needs some good luck to his come his way for that to happen I think but he should have a solid rookie season for sure!

        1 month ago