Home Featured Trident’s Lirim Zendeli converts pole to maiden F3 win at Spa

Trident’s Lirim Zendeli converts pole to maiden F3 win at Spa

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Lirim Zendeli claimed a lights-to-flag maiden win in the first FIA Formula 3 Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps, as engine problems hit title contender Logan Sargeant.

Trident driver Zendeli was kept under pressure from Theo Pourchaire early on, but managed to steadily build a gap to the ART Grand Prix driver in the second half of the race.

By the end of the 17-lap event he was more than four seconds ahead, with team-mate David Beckmann a further second back in third.

The opening three laps were riddled with incidents. Three drivers suffered punctures, including Carlin’s Clement Novalak, while Charouz Racing System’s Roman Staneck had to pit for a new front wing.

Racing was paused midway through the lap when Campos’s Alessio Deledda span into the gravel and was unable to get moving again.

On the restart, Beckmann snatched third from Alexander Smolyar and set about closing the gap to Pourchaire. He was able to get onto the back of the ART driver but an issue dropped him back again.

Oscar Piastri took fifth and the points lead after a fight up through the field. The Prema driver was forced to go side-by-side with Hitech GP’s Liam Lawson in the battle for seventh and both ran wide fighting for the position. Lawson returned to the track just ahead, but gave back the position a few laps later.

Lawson didn’t stay ahead for long as Sargeant and Oscar Piastri both found a way back through. Sargeant looked set to extend his points lead over team-mate Piastri, only for intermittent engine issues to plague the second half of his race.

Sargeant dropped back to eighth as the third Prema car of Frederick Vesti and Trident’s Olli Caldwell came through. He tried to fight back on the final lap, pulling alongside Caldwell on the run to the chequered flag, but Caldwell just had his nose ahead.

Lawson and MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor completed the top 10.


Race results (17 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Lirim Zendeli Trident 38m04.971s
2 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix +4.047s
3 David Beckmann Trident +5.704s
4 Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix +15.043s
5 Oscar Piastri Prema +15.633s
6 Frederik Vesti Prema +19.085s
7 Olli Caldwell Trident +22.818s
8 Logan Sargeant Prema +22.967s
9 Liam Lawson Hitech GP +24.571
10 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport +24.894s
11 Sebastian Fernandez ART Grand Prix +25.585
12 Jack Doohan HWA Racelab +26.878s
13 Matteo Nannini Jenzer Motorsport +27.881s
14 Alex Peroni Campos Racing +30.168s
15 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP +30.625s
16 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport +30.853s
17 David Schumacher Charouz Racing System +33.975s
18 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport +35.054s
19 Igor Fraga Charouz Racing System +35.725s
20 Mikhael Belov Charouz Racing System +36.455s
21 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport +37.018s
22 Pierre-Louis Chovet Hitech GP +39.200s
23 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport +39.501s
24 Roman Stanek Charouz Racing System +1m30.840s
25 Cameron Das Carlin +1m41.379s
26 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA Racelab +1m50.868s
27 Andreas Estner Campos Racing +1 lap
Ret Clement Novalak Carlin
Ret Jake Hughes HWA Racelab
Ret Alessio Deledda Campos Racing
Fastest lap: Hughes, 2m07.040s

Championship standings
1 Piastri 140   2 Sargeant 135   3 Beckmann 109.5   4 Lawson 101   5 Pourchaire 100   6 Vesti 78.5   7 Zendeli 69   8 Hughes 63.5   9 Peroni 58   10 Verschoor 58