Formula 3 Returns To Action In Melbourne

Formula 3 Returns To Action In Melbourne
Formula 3 Returns To Action In Melbourne

It is still early in the Formula 3 season but with just one round of racing in the books, Luke Browning leads the way in the Standings with 25 points after his Sakhir Feature Race victory.

MP Motorsport’s rookie Tim Tramnitz, in second, is just four points adrift following his P5 Sprint Race finish with a run to third in the Feature event behind Browning.

Christian Mansell joined the pair on the rostrum after finishing as the runner-up behind Browning and that sees him third in the Championship for ART Grand Prix ahead of Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli, after the Italian’s double points-scoring efforts in Bahrain.

PREMA Racing’s Arvid Lindblad enjoyed a weekend to remember after scoring the Sprint Race victory on debut. With 14 points, he is fifth in the Standings as his fellow rookie Sami Meguetounif sits one place and point back for Trident.

Lindblad’s teammate Gabriele Minì is seventh while ART’s Laurens van Hoepen’s podium in the Sakhir Sprint Race sees him in eighth. The second rookie in Trident’s lineup Santiago Ramos is ninth while Nikola Tsolov makes it three ART drivers in the top 10.

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Dino Beganovic took Pole Position in Sakhir, but the PREMA driver had a couple of difficult first laps that ended his hopes of victory in Round . He will be keen to get his campaign off the ground in Melbourne.

In terms of the Teams’ Standings, Trident’s consistent points scoring efforts across the Sakhir weekend means they’re at the top of the table, with 38 points. The Italian team are three points ahead of rivals ART fresh of their two podium finishes in round one.

PREMA are third with 28 points to their name, three points ahead of Hitech Pulse-Eight, thanks to Browning’s victory, while MP Motorsport, on 23, round out the top five.

FROM THE GRID – Christian Mansell, ART Grand Prix

“I’m biased, so I am going to say I like everything about the race, but my personal favourite is obviously the atmosphere, it’s second to none. Every person in their home race can say that but Melbourne is different gravy, it’s the best atmosphere that you can get. It’s one of the biggest Grands Prix attendance-wise on the whole calendar so it’s such a cool feeling to be a part off and I can’t wait.

“It’s a street circuit yes but it almost feels like a normal Grand Prix circuit because the length of it is quite big. You actually sort of forget it’s a street circuit in a certain way.

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“We are on the new medium, so I think tyre strategy will be to make sure you don’t go too hot out of the blocks and just manage from there.

“In F3 it’s so easy to go over the limit in putting the lap together, 99% is probably better than pushing it at a 100 because you’ll probably make a mistake. I mean a win, a podium, points, I want as best as the car has to offer.

“I’ve got a good friend of mine coming down, also my brother, Sophie Monk and her husband, which is a pretty cool relationship that I developed last year with those guys, obviously Soph and Joshua lovely people, it’s all pretty good.”

TECHNICAL GUIDE

Albert Park is one of the more well-rounded circuits that the drivers and the teams will face with multiple high-speed sections, including four DRS zones, and slow corners to boot.

As a result, downforce levels will be high, with plenty of those high-speed segments ending in heavy braking zones especially Turns 3, 4, 11 and 14.

Tyre degradation will not be as big of a worry for the teams and drivers this weekend as they bolt on the new medium compound that is a step softer than the one used last year.

The high-speed chicane at Turns 9 and 10 in the middle sector of the lap is where the tyres will have to work their hardest as well as at the heavy braking zones. However, the cooler conditions and the low grip surface should allow for multiple push laps in Qualifying.

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TYRE TALK

The medium tyres will be the ones handed to the F3 teams this weekend and while the compound will be a step softer than the ones used last year, the Albert Park street track surface not being too demanding on the tyres means degradation should not be too high.

In last year’s event, the drivers were able to do multiple push laps on the same set of tyres in Qualifying, and that should still be possible this weekend.

Gareth Hynes, Pirelli Formula 2 and Formula 3 Trackside Engineer

“The most important challenge the drivers will face is managing rear tyre temperatures. Whoever does that best in the first third of the race and avoids the ‘cliff’ should be in a position to be competitive all the way to the flag. Graining could be a risk on the front tyres: if this happens, as has been the case a few times in the past, the drivers will have another important complication to deal with. So, all the technical elements are in place, at least from a tyre point of view, to produce some interesting races and challenge the drivers: one of Formula 3’s key objectives.”

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Key Stats

  • With Arvid Lindblad and Luke Browning winning in Bahrain, they join Gabriele Minì and Oliver Goethe as the only F3 race winners on the current grid.
  • Three rookie drivers ended up on the podium in Bahrain, with Lindblad, Laurens van Hoepen and Tim Tramnitz all taking home silverware.
  • Minì and Sebastián Montoya both finished on the podium in Melbourne last year, the latter ending up second in the Sprint Race while the former took third in the Feature.
  • Half of the drivers on the grid scored points in the opening round of the year in Bahrain.
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