Home Featured Viscaal beats Zendeli in thrilling Silverstone FIA F3 finish

Viscaal beats Zendeli in thrilling Silverstone FIA F3 finish

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Bent Viscaal beat Lirim Zendeli to the victory in a drag race at the end of the reversed-grid FIA Formula 3 Championship race at Silverstone.

MP Motorsport man Viscaal had spent the entire race on Zendeli’s tail, always within DRS range but never able to make a move on the Trident driver.

It was only on the final lap of the race that Zendeli made a small mistake to allow Viscaal to pull alongside him at the exit of Brooklands. The pair ran side by side and Viscaal got his nose ahead before they reached Copse corner.

Zendeli fought back in the second half of the final lap, bringing his car alongside Viscaal’s into Vale, but Viscaal had the edge as they entered the start finish straight and put his foot down to finish 0.189s ahead.

For most of the race, the main battle in the field was that for third. Having dropped back from pole, Ben Barnicoat held the position in the early stages of the race, but immediately came under pressure from David Beckmann and Theo Pourchaire after an early safety car period.

An issue for Barnicoat then dropped him down the order and into retirement and promoted Pourchaire to third. He was more than three seconds behind the race leader at this point and, though he began to close the gap, quickly fell backwards as Beckmann, Liam Lawson, and Jake Hughes renewed their pressure in the battle for the final podium position.

Pourchaire was shown the black and white flag for weaving as he tried to defend the position and appeared to heed the warning.

Lawson took fourth from Beckmann in the closing stages of the race and the battle for third ran almost side by side in the run to the chequered flag, but it was Pourchaire ahead of Beckmann by less than half a second at the line.

Championship leader heading into the race, Logan Sargeant fell backwards in the opening lap and became stuck behind fellow American Cameron Das in the battle for P11.

Sargeant finally found a way through for a moment before contact was made between the rear of his Prema run car and Das’s Carlin machine, and Sargeant slowed with damage. He managed to limp back to the pits but was forced to retire, earning his first non-finish of the season.

Team-mate and title rival Oscar Piastri fared better. Despite contact with Lawson early in the race dropping him back to eighth, Piastri fought back to finish sixth ahead of Jake Hughes and Frederick Vesti. Sargeant remains one point ahead of Piastri at the top of the championship.

Clement Novalak climbed up to ninth ahead of Enzo Fittipaldi, who snatched the final points paying position from Das on the final lap.

Race result (20 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Bent Viscaal MP 40m31.362s
2 Lirim Zendeli Trident +0.189s
3 Theo Pourchaire ART +8.395s
4 David Beckmann Trident +8.829s
5 Liam Lawson Hitech +8.848s
6 Oscar Piastri Prema +9.226s
7 Jake Hughes HWA +10.742s
8 Frederik Vesti Prema +10.966s
9 Clement Novalak Carlin +11.501s
10 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA +21.346s
11 Igor Fraga Charouz +22.833s
12 Cameron Das Carlin +23.898s
13 Max Fewtrell Hitech +23.937s
14 Sebastian Fernandez ART +24.043s
15 Alexander Smolyar ART +24.918s
16 Roman Stanek Charouz +25.441s
17 Matteo Nannini Jenzer +26.007s
18 Richard Verschoor MP +26.362s
19 Sophia Floersch Campos +26.718s
20 Dennis Hauger Hitech +27.176s
21 Jack Doohan HWA +27.791s
22 Olli Caldwell Trident +28.002s
23 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer +28.132s
24 Alex Peroni Campos +1m00.615s
Ben Barnicoat Carlin
Logan Sargeant Prema
Alessio Deledda Campos
David Schumacher Charouz
Lukas Dunner MP
Calan Williams Jenzer
Fastest lap: Viscaal, 1m46.632s

Championship standings:
Sargeant 106   2 Piastri 105   3 Beckmann 82.5   4 Lawson 77   5 Vesti 70.5   6 Pourchaire 69   7 Verschoor 47   8 Peroni 42   9 Zendeli 40   10 Viscaal 36