F3: Smolyar wins in Budapest Feature Race from pole
MP Motorsport’s Alexander Smolyar took his first win of the 2022 Formula 3 season in tricky conditions in Budapest. Pre-race rain saturated the circuit, but the MP man kept himself and crucially his tyres cool to make it to the chequered flag in first.
Zane Maloney was locked in a battle with Oliver Bearman throughout the Feature Race but the duo finished as they started in second and third places respectively.
Arguably the star driver was Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan, who made the most of a mid-race swap to slick tyres to rise from his P22 starting position to end the race fourth. He fired up his tyres, stuck to the dry line and carved his way through from 17th to P4 in the final five laps.
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The Championship contenders experienced differing fortunes in Budapest. After taking the lead of the Drivers’ Championship following Saturday’s Sprint Race, Isack Hadjar had a tough time of it in the Feature, finishing 18th and well adrift of his closest rivals.
Fortunately for the Hitech man, Victor Martins couldn’t take full advantage, picking up just a single point to leave the French pair tied heading into the summer break on 104 apiece.
Arthur Leclerc rebounded from his contact with team mate Jak Crawford in Saturday’s race to finish eighth and is nine points behind the leading duo in P3 in the standings.
PREMA Racing lead the way in the Teams’ Standings, now on 226 points thanks to their triple score in the Feature Race. ART Grand Prix trail in P2 on 144 points, while Hitech Grand Prix are third on 131.