FIA FORMULA 3-SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS,27-29 AUGUST 2021
The 2021 FIA F3 met up for their fifth race event of a total of seven as part of the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix 2021 program on the legendary Spa-Francorchamps (B) circuit. Spa is one of the most challenging venues on the calendar, and is one where good overtaking is to be expected. However, Spa is also known for being cool and wet!
RACE ONE QUALIFYING
Friday, 27/08/21, 13.50 – 14.20, Weather: Rain, 12°C
In free practice on Friday morning, the track was dry after morning fog. Johnathan, who already knew the track, achieved a very good 10th place. Calan finished 21st on this demanding course. According to the FIA protocol, Due to medical reasons Filip was not able to take part in either free practice or qualifying session. It was now up to the stewards to decide whether he would be admitted to the races. He was allowed to start the first race (and the third) from the pit lane.
Even before the qualifying it started to rain at intervals. Everyone chose rain tires, even though it stopped raining for a while. Johnathan managed to repeat his performance and reached an excellent 9th place. Calan lost some time on his fastest lap in the middle sector, which brought him to 21st place in the end.
FIA F3 CHAMPIONSHIP
RACE ONE (40 MINUTES)
Saturday, 28/08/21, 10.05, Weather: Rain, 13°C
The race started a little late due to fog and heavy rain. The safety car led the field around the very wet track for the first two laps. Heavy spray blocked visibility and not many tried to overtake when the track was cleared. Johnathan managed to keep fourth place over long laps. Only in the final laps, when the track was a little drier, did four competitors push forward. Schumacher, Vesti, Collet and Martins. In close combat, they chased two wide through the Eau Rouge, with Johnathan still defending his place. But on the mountain he had lost some momentum and Vesti, Collet and Martins passed him immediately. Schumacher fell back and Collet was given a 5-second time penalty for a maneuver off the track that made him gain positions. This put Johnathan in 6th place in the penultimate lap. He brought this excellent place safely over the finish line after a strong drive. Calan had started well and, despite the poor visibility and difficult conditions in midfield, held his 19th place until three laps before the end when his fire extinguisher suddenly went off. Calan was distracted for a moment, which meant that several vehicles raced past him. Calan fell back to 24th place and finally brought it home well. Filip started the race from the pit lane and quickly caught up with the field. He drove his racing machine for the first time this weekend and fought well in the unfortunate conditions. When after an off track excursion he noticed that the engine temperature had risen sharply, he decided shortly before the end to drive back to the pit lane to have it checked. With that he was classified in 28th position.
FIA F3 CHAMPIONSHIP
RACE TWO (40 MINUTES)
Saturday, 28/08/21, 17.55, Weather: Wet, 15°C
As the F1 qualification session dragged on for much longer than planned due to heavy rain, there was a delay of about an hour for the following races. The F3 race started at 6:50 p.m. The track was still wet even though the rain had subsided. There was still a lot of spray, but this time the start was not behind the safety car. Johnathan did not get off well and was 9th after the first lap. Now he had Leclerc and Hauger close behind, which were putting pressure on him. When Leclerc launched an attack, there was contact. Johnathan spun off the track and couldn’t continue until the entire field was through. With that the goal of another top ten place was unfortunately out of reach. Johnathan finished the race in 25th place. Filip started very well and made up several positions. Over long laps he maintained 24th place. He was not deterred by the spray and avoided all accidents. This brought him to 19th place at the end of the race. Calan didn’t risk anything and wanted to finish well. When a few raindrops fell and Cordeel and Yeany spun in front of him, Calan was also involved in the accident. With a badly damaged car his race ended prematurely. Fortunately, the drivers were fine, but the accident immediately brought out the safety car. There was not enough time for a restart and the race ended behind the safety car.
FIA F3 CHAMPIONSHIP
RACE THREE (40 MINUTES)
Sunday, 29/08/21, 10.40, Weather: Rain, 12°C
The third race also took place in extremely difficult conditions. The track was incredibly wet, and again two warm-up laps were driven behind the safety car. When the safety car came in, the start was rolling. Soon after the start, Johnathan managed to overtake Schumacher. This placed him in excellent 8th position. A few laps later, Schumacher managed the counterattack. Hauger, who was closing in behind Johnathan, equally found a way through. Johnathan was 10th. A few laps later, Johnathan went wide on the slippery track and went on a trip through the gravel bed. This dropped him back to 16th place, and that was the position in which he saw the checkered flag. Calan had moved up two places after the start and was 17th. He defended this position until shortly before the end when Rasmussen managed to overtake him. Calan finished the difficult race in 18th place. Filip started from the pit lane and drove a good race, which he finished in 25th place.
Looking forward to the next racing event, which will take place in one week on the weekend of September 5, 2021 on the new circuit in the dunes of Zandvoort in Holland.