Martins bounces back to regain control: 3 takeaways from FIA F3 Round 3 at Barcelona

Formula 3 returned to Spain after a month away from racing. However, in season testing meant that this weekend would be tight and close racing was what we got. David Vidales converted his reverse grid pole into his first win in FIA F3. Victor Martins became the first repeat winner of the season by winning the Feature Race. These are the three takeaways from the weekend.

By Charlie Parker

Feature Race win puts Martins back on the championship charge

Winning his second Feature Race of the year, Martins overtook Roman Stanek on the jump and masterfully cruised home to separate himself from the pack on the top of the standings. 

The French driver was tied with Prema’s Arthur Leclerc at the top of the standings, but a mechanical issue forced the ART GP driver to retire in the Sprint. However, like in Bahrain, Martins would overcome a no point start to the weekend to win the Feature Race. While Leclerc had a hectic race, ending with no points and dropping to fifth in the standings.

Martins has a 12 point lead over Stanek as we go into the long wait until Silverstone, which is in July. Jak Crawford sits in third in the standings after claiming his 50th single seater podium, despite being just 17 years old. Isack Hadjar and Arthur Leclerc sit fourth and fifth, being the last drivers within a feature race win of first.

Vidales gets shock win but isn’t shocked himself

To the delight of the fans, Spanish driver Vidales claimed his first victory in F3. Vidales started on reverse grid pole and managed to hold off an attack from Crawford, who went off trying to go around the outside at turn one. The stewards did investigate it, but decided it was a racing incident meaning Vidales kept his win.

Many people were shocked that Vidales was able to keep his Campos car ahead of everyone else. He only had to hold off that one Crawford attack. It was Campos’ second win in the current era of FIA Formula 3 with Lorenzo Colombo claiming the team’s first victory at Spa last year.

Vidales Campos 2022
David Vidales (Campos) during the FIA F3 Barcelona round | Credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Vidales himself wasn’t shocked by the result, speaking to F1 Feeder Series after the Sprint the Spanish driver feels that this win shows that the team needs to believe they can achieve this result more often: “We cannot just be happy being P8. We have to make a step because I think we have the potential. We can fight for podiums and victories. We have to keep pushing and try to keep learning as much as we can to make this step, which is very close.”

Kaylen Frederick will take the crown of ‘Mr Consistent’

During the last F3 season, French driver Clement Novalak became known as ‘Mr Consistent’. Novalak finished third in the standings only finishing outside of the points in four races, only Frederik Vesti had less out of the points finishes. Novalak finished 14 of the 20 races in the top six.

American driver Frederick may turn into this years ‘Mr Consistent’. Frederick has finished in the points in five out of six races, tied with fellow American Jak Crawford for most on the grid. The 2020 GB3 champion has always been in the mix this season but will need to slightly improve and find himself on the podium to truly take the crown.

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