F3: Ecstatic Martins triumphs over Novalak in Race 2 at Zandvoort
Ahead of Formula 1’s first race at Zandvoort for 36 years, Formula 3 put on a thrilling spectacle in front of the Dutch fans at the coastal circuit, with Alpine junior Victor Martins winning a closely-fought Race 2 from fifth on the grid.
Clement Novalak led the majority of the race after a great getaway saw him claw the lead from reverse polesitter Ido Cohen at the start. But the Trident racer was unable to break up a DRS train that also included Martins and Mercedes junior Frederik Vesti.
Ironically, it wasn’t until Novalak escaped the clutches of Cohen in the closing stages that his race unravelled, with Martins using the Carlin’s lack of DRS to launch past down the main straight. A second DRS-fuelled manoeuvre, this time on Novalak, followed, as Martins moved into first place to win the race from Novalak.
Vesti clinched a fourth podium of the year but will be disappointed not to have put more pressure on the front two as he falls to fourth in the drivers’ title fight, behind Martins.
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Neither of the championship’s top two scored points, as Dennis Hauger was taken out of contention on the penultimate lap by a collision with Cohen, which dragged them both out of the points.
This handed Jack Doohan a chance to close the gap between himself and his fellow Red Bull junior Hauger, but the Trident driver went skidding through the gravel on the final lap and fell out of the points himself.
With the trio running fourth, fifth and eighth, this promoted a bunch of drivers, with Alpine prodigy Caio Collet finishing fourth ahead of David Schumacher and Olli Caldwell. Race 1 winner Arthur Leclerc scored seventh, in front of Red Bull-backed Jak Crawford, Matteo Nannini and Logan Sargeant.
Hauger will get another chance to extend his championship lead in Race 3 when he starts from pole at 1045 local time on Sunday, the grid set by Friday’s Qualifying session.
For full results and more news, visit the official F3 website.