Home Featured Pedro Piquet takes commanding Spa FIA F3 win, Shwartzman extends lead

Pedro Piquet takes commanding Spa FIA F3 win, Shwartzman extends lead

by Peter Allen

Photo: Gareth Harford / FIA F3 Championship

Pedro Piquet scored a commanding FIA Formula 3 win in the first race at Spa-Francorchamps as Robert Shwartzman beat Jehan Daruvala to second to increase his series lead.

Starting second on the grid, Piquet took the lead away from pole-sitter Daruvala exiting Raidillon on the opening lap.

After a virtual safety car period that lasted for around one lap, Piquet was able to quickly pull out a four-second advantage as Daruvala squabbled with Yuki Tsunoda and Leonardo Pulcini over second.

Pulcini, who went around the outside of Shwartzman for fourth at Les Combes on the first lap, went past Tsunoda and then Daruvala within a few corners at the restart, only for Tsunoda to then jump past both down the Kemmel Straight.

Daruvala eventually worked his way back up to second by lap seven of 17, but Shwartzman was also on a charge, and swept past his Prema team-mate on the run to Les Combes three laps later.

Shwartzman’s clean DRS-assisted overtake helped him to take a slice out of Piquet’s lead, but the Trident driver’s pace dropped off only on the last lap, winning by 2.2s for his first Saturday triumph at this level following his two reversed-grid GP3 victories last season.

Five seconds separated Shwartzman and Daruvala at the flag, now split by 19 points at the top of the standings, but they were well clear of a manic final-lap fight for fourth.

Title contender Juri Vips had had a quiet race having failed in an earlier bid to get past Tsunoda, but he went three-wide with both Tsunoda and Leonardo Pulcini on the run to Les Combes.

Vips claimed the inside line, with Tsunoda and a charging Christian Lundgaard (who started 14th) both running off track on his outside. Tsunoda came back on across the front of Vips, who continued in fourth ahead of Lundgaard until the Bus Stop chicane, when the Hitech driver locked up under pressure from the ART man and conceded the place.

Tsunoda took sixth ahead of Pulcini and Marcus Armstrong, who came from 19th after a disastrous qualifying to take eighth and reversed-grid pole for race two. ART duo Max Fewtrell and David Beckmann completed the top 10, while Carlin’s Teppei Natori missed his maiden point by just a single place.

Vips was fortunate not to be further back after the first lap, but he benefitted first from contact in front of him at Les Combes between Logan Sargeant and Jake Hughes (which dropped Hughes to the rear and earned Sargeant a penalty) and then from Devlin DeFrancesco and Alex Peroni locking wheels at Bruxelles, after which Peroni went off into the barriers to trigger the VSC.


Race results (17 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Pedro Piquet Trident 37m40.863s
2 Robert Shwartzman Prema +2.222s
3 Jehan Daruvala Prema +7.621s
4 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix +14.837s
5 Juri Vips Hitech GP +15.498s
6 Yuki Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport +16.147s
7 Leonardo Pulcini Hitech GP +17.724s
8 Marcus Armstrong Prema +18.661s
9 Max Fewtrell ART Grand Prix +19.346s
10 David Beckmann ART Grand Prix +26.879s
11 Teppei Natori Carlin +32.465s
12 Liam Lawson MP Motorsport +33.181s
13 Logan Sargeant Carlin +35.538s
14 Keyvan Andres HWA Racelab +35.751s
15 Yifei Ye Hitech GP +36.721s
16 Giorgio Carrara Jenzer Motorsport +37.539s
17 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport +41.006s
18 Felipe Drugovich Carlin +41.357s
19 Niko Kari Trident +41.442s
20 Bent Viscaal HWA Racelab +42.303s
21 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab +43.007s
22 Lirim Zendeli Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +43.809s
23 Andreas Estner Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +52.045s
24 Simo Laaksonen Campos Racing +53.111s
25 Sebastian Fernandez Arden +55.152s
26 Raoul Hyman Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +56.454s
27 Fabio Scherer Sauber Junior Team by Charouz +59.466s
28 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing +1m03.428s
29 Devlin DeFrancesco Trident +1m16.706s
Ret Alex Peroni Campos Racing
Fastest lap: Piquet, 2m08.911s

Championship standings
1?Shwartzman 142? ?2?Daruvala 123? ?3?Vips 122? ?4 Armstrong 102? ?5 Lundgaard 85? ?6?Piquet 70? ?7?Pulcini 59? ?8?Fewtrell 57? ?9?Hughes 56? ?10 Tsunoda 25