Home Featured Smolyar wins wet-to-dry F3 feature race at Hungaroring

Smolyar wins wet-to-dry F3 feature race at Hungaroring

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

MP Motorsport’s Alexander Smolyar took his first FIA Formula 3 Championship victory in over a year with a commanding performance in the Hungaroring feature race.

The race started on a wet track, and with the whole 30-car field on grooved tyres. Most had wheelspin off the line, and poleman Smolyar immediately cut to the inside to fend off Zane Maloney and Ollie Bearman.

His tight turn-in down to turn one meant he drifted wide at the exit as he returned to the throttle, right in the path of Maloney. That allowed Bearman to take the outside line for turn two but with little grip he ran wide and went back into third behind the front row starters.

Jonny Edgar and Pepe Marti then got in a squabble at turn two that forced several drivers to go off in avoidance, and the pair fell to the back of the field as they than had to pit, with Marti picking up a five-second penalty shortly after too.

After heading back uphill to the drier middle sector, Smolyar started to race away and had a three-second lead within two laps. That grew to five seconds after five laps, before Smolyar and those behind started looking for wet patches on the track to cool their tyres.

The gap was managed through the rest of the race, and Smolyar claimed his first win since 2021’s opening Paul Ricard sprint race by a margin of 5.56 seconds.

Maloney had Bearman in his mirrors the whole race and managed to hold him off in a photo finish for his maiden F3 podium.

Jak Crawford moved into fourth on lap one and sat comfortably in that position until the final laps when he charged onto the rear of Prema team-mate Bearman but couldn’t find a way through on what was now a dry track. He then dropped to fifth on the last lap, as Carlin’s slick-shod Zak O’Sullivan came by after pitting mid-race.

Juan Manuel Correa, another of the pitters, beat Kush Maini to sixth, while Arthur Leclerc was fastest as the track was drying and finished eighth after an early battle with David Vidales, who made up eight places on lap one.

Vidales would go on to struggle with his tyres and fell out of the points but still ahead of Reece Ushijima, who also passed eight drivers on lap one and ran in the top 10 before fading to 14th as drivers at the back of the field pitted for slicks and stormed up the order.

Victor Martins fell to 10th as he was passed by slick-shod runners, but draws level with Isack Hadjar at the top of the championship as he struggled to 18th.

Race result (24 laps)
Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Alexander Smolyar MP Motorsport 45m02.423s
2 Zane Maloney Trident +5.560s
3 Ollie Bearman Prema +5.585s
4 Zak O’Sullivan Carlin +7.316s
5 Jak Crawford Prema +8.705s
6 Juan Manuel Correa ART Grand Prix +10.059s
7 Kush Maini MP Motorsport +10.578s
8 Arthur Leclerc Prema +10.983s
9 Caio Collet MP Motorsport +19.452s
10 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +19.614s
11 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix +22.570s
12 Roman Stanek Trident +23.027s
13 David Vidales Campos Racing +32.473s
14 Reece Ushijima Van Amersfoort Racing +35.487s
15 Franco Colapinto Van Amersfoort Racing +38.020s
16 William Alatalo Jenzer Motorsport +39.532s
17 Ido Cohen Jenzer Motorsport +40.124s
18 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP +40.642s
19 Enzo Trulli Carlin +40.978s
20 Kaylen Frederick Hitech GP +41.152s
21 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +41.692s
22 Brad Benavides Carlin +47.360s
23 Christian Mansell Charouz Racing System +57.609s
24 Jonny Edgar Trident +1m09.334s
25 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport +1m10.674s
26 Nazim Azman Hitech GP +1m14.488s
27 Francesco Pizzi Charouz Racing System +1m16.800s
28 Oliver Goethe Campos Racing +1m27.064s
29 Pepe Marti Campos Racing +1 lap
Ret Laszlo Toth Charouz Racing System
Fastest lap: O’Sullivan, 1m38.070s

Championship standings
1 Martins 104   2 Hadjar 104   3 Leclerc 95   4 Crawford 80   5 Bearman 80   6 Stanek 69   7 Smolyar 63   8 Collet 52   9 Colapinto 51   10 Maloney 48