Smolyar denies Martins home win on final lap of first F3 race

Formula 3

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Alexander Smolyar has taken his second win of the Formula 3 season in a hotly contested opening race at Paul Ricard.

Calan Williams started from pole position on the partially-reversed grid. David Schumacher lined up next to him on the front row with Logan Sargeant and Juan Manuel Correa behind.

The start was bad for Schumacher, who slipped back, allowing Sargeant to take second. Ayumu Iwasa, who started fifth, passed Correa for third.

The racing was briefly neutralised by a Virtual Safety Car period after Jonathan Hoggard’s F1 debut came to an end when his car stopped on lap one. Schumacher lost more places at the restart, slipping to seventh, letting sixth-Smolyar and Clement Novalak through as he fell down the order.

At the front, Sargeant was able to put Williams under pressure, with Iwasa close behind them. By lap six, Iwasa was close to passing Sargeant in the final sector, where following cars have the advantage of a slipstream.

Sargeant answered Iwasa by passing Williams for the lead at the start of lap seven. Iwasa then repeated the move he’d attempted on Sargeant, following him through to second. Their battle continued, Iwasa taking the lead from Sargeant on lap 10 with a move around the outside through Signes.

Meanwhile, Smolyar and Victor Martins, who had started the race 10th, had moved up the pack. His lead lost, Sargeant fell to fifth behind Martins, while Smolyar was able to take second place by lap 16.

Iwasa held the lead but was placed under investigation during lap 17 for his earlier move for the lead against Sargeant. He was issued a five-second time penalty for putting all four wheels over the line to complete the move, taking himself out of contention.

By the time the penalty came through, Iwasa had also been passed by Smolyar and Martins. Martins continued his charge, taking first place after Smolyar’s error into turn six left him vulnerable at the end of lap 18.

Martins looked certain to open his home race weekend with a victory until Smolyar got within DRS range on the Mistral straight on the final lap. He passed with ease, well ahead by the time they reached the braking zone for the chicane.

Williams completed the podium, with Sargeant, Novalak, Correa, Jack Doohan, Iwasa (after his time penalty), Dennis Hauger and Olli Caldwell the other points finishers. Doohan also took fastest lap, setting a 1’52.742.

Arthur Leclerc, who had been prevented from competing in qualifying following a mechanical failure on his Prema car, rose from 30th on the grid to finish 12th, earning pole for today’s second race.

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Formula 3 race Qualifying one results

Results to follow

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PositionCarDriverTeam
18Alexander SmolyarART
217Victor MartinsMP
326Calan WilliamsJenzer
429Logan SargeantCharouz
55Clement NovalakTrident
69Juan Manuel CorreaART
74Jack DoohanTrident
811Ayumu IwasaHitech
91Dennis HaugerPrema
103Olli CaldwellPrema
1110Jak CrawfordHitech
122Arthur LeclercPrema
1318Caio ColletMP
1421Lorenzo ColomboCampos
157Frederik VestiART
166David SchumacherTrident
1715Oliver RasmussenHWA
1820Pierre-Louis ChovetCampos
1931Reshad De GerusCharouz
2024Kaylen FrederickCarlin
2130Enzo FittipaldiCharouz
2223Ido CohenCarlin
2314Matteo NanniniHWA
2428Filip-Ioan UgranJenzer
2516Rafael VillagomezHWA
2612Roman StanekHitech
2722Amaury CordeelCampos
2825Jonny EdgarCarlin
2919Tijmen van der HelmMP
3027Johnathan HoggardFormula 3

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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9 comments on “Smolyar denies Martins home win on final lap of first F3 race”

  1. What a race! Shame that Iwasa’s steal adulterated the race. Beware of Martins. The kid knows how to come from behind to podium finishes, which will be important with this new 3-race weekend.

  2. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    19th June 2021, 11:04

    The racing was briefly neutralised by a Virtual Safety Car period after Jonathan Hoggard’s F1 debut came to an end

    I think that’s supposed to be F3 debut

  3. That was a modern classic. One of the best F3 races we’ll see all year, without crashes, and in Paul Ricard!

    Shows that the track can provide good racing with the right machinery.

  4. What a race! Can you imagine a F1 race like this one? The Smolyar and Iwasa overtakes in sector 3 were wild

  5. @hazelsouthwell Or whoever is doing the formatting on this page, you might want to look at the formatting of the results table, as on my screen it extends down to the bottom and through the comments making everything else out of proportion.

  6. Also I’d like to point out that Correa was 6th in just his 4th race back. With a bit of luck at the start with the reverse top 10, he could be on for a podium in race 2! Everything crossed.

    1. @randommallard I believe it’s a reverse top 12 in F3, so Correa will start 7th. Still on for some points, hopefully.

      1. @wsrgo Yep you’re right. It’s because of the 30 car field. Yeah that was my bad

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