F3: Maloney secures back-to-back Feature Race wins as Martins regains championship lead in Zandvoort
Zane Maloney has launched himself into the fight for the title as the Trident rookie brought home his second victory of the season and set the stage for a seven-driver shoot-out to be crowned the 2022 Formula 3 Champion in Monza.
Victor Martins balanced risk versus reward to finish second and snatch the lead in the standings away from Isack Hadjar. Franco Colapinto secured the fourth podium of his rookie campaign in third.
After pole-sitter Maloney lost the lead to Martins on the opening lap and stayed on the ART Grand Prix driver’s tail following the first Safety Car restart, he took a leaf out of the Alpine Academy junior’s book and recreated his move to dive back into the front of the field on Lap 12.
Holding off the field in two further Safety Car restarts in the final nine laps, the Bajan driver survived a two-lap charge to the end to climb into the top five in the drivers’ championship.
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Roman Stanek kept things consistent in fourth, ahead of Hadjar. Jak Crawford recovered from an error with a late charge to sixth ahead of Caio Collet and Sebastian Montoya – in his second points appearance of his debut weekend. Jonny Edgar put all three Tridents in the points in ninth.
Alexander Smolyar was promoted to the final points-paying position after Oliver Bearman received a drive-through-penalty (converted to 20 seconds post-race) for failing to maintain the proper gap behind the Safety Car. The Ferrari Academy junior had made a series of daring moves after falling back to P17 at the start. Meanwhile, Arthur Leclerc only managed to move up to P14.
Seven drivers remain in contention for title glory – Martins leading the way with 126 points, five points clear of Red Bull junior Hadjar. Stanek leaps up into third, demoting Oliver Bearman to fourth. Two back-to-back wins promotes Zane Maloney to fifth, as Arthur Leclerc drops out of the top five.
It all now comes down to the ninth and final round in Monza from September 9-11.
For more on the F3 Feature Race in Zandvoort, check out the full report on the official Formula 3 website.