Sochi F3: Red Bull junior Vips wins season finale

Red Bull junior Juri Vips ended a barren run winning the FIA Formula 3 season finale at Sochi, while Ferrari protege Marcus Armstrong secured second in the championship.

Sochi F3: Red Bull junior Vips wins season finale

Hitech Grand Prix driver Vips led away from pole and went unchallenged until DRS was activated, when HWA’s Jake Hughes closed in.

But the key moment of the race came when Vips’s teammate Leonardo Pulcini put pressure on Hughes, the two banging wheels at Turn 4 on lap five of 20. One corner later they made contact and Pulcini spun out.

The drama allowed Vips to break the tow and on the next tour he set a fastest lap of the race to move three seconds clear.

After the incident Prema Racing’s race one winner Armstrong moved up to second and began to erode Vips’s lead, moving within 1.4s in the last three laps.

But the New Zealander couldn’t make any further meaningful inroads to give Vips a third win of the year and his first since July's Silverstone round.

Second was enough to give Armstrong second in the championship as his Prema teammate Jehan Daruvala had a technical issue on the grid and had to start from the pits. 

The Indian driver had fought back to the top 10 but fell to 15th at the finish due to a penalty.

Spa race winner Pedro Piquet was set to take the final spot on the podium but had to retire with a technical issue three laps from the end, promoting newly-crowned champion Robert Shwartzman (Prema) to the place.

SMP Racing-backed Shwartzman ran eighth in the early stages but steadily worked his way forward, passing Hughes with five laps to go at Turn 13.

Hughes ended up fourth after Piquet's retirement while Niko Kari (Trident) ended his best weekend of the year in fifth.

Sixth went the way of Renault junior Yifei Ye (Hitech), his best finish of the year, ahead of MP Motorsport duo Richard Verschoor and Liam Lawson, who made a double pass on the final lap on Christian Lundgaard and Logan Sargeant for the last point.

The two new drivers to the series finished lying astern, with Ralf Schumacher’s son David taking 20th for Campos Racing ahead of Macanese driver Charles Leong (Jenzer).

Race results:

shares
comments
Sochi F3: Armstrong wins, Shwartzman wraps up title

Previous article

Sochi F3: Armstrong wins, Shwartzman wraps up title

Next article

Shwartzman "99 percent" sure of step up to F2

Shwartzman "99 percent" sure of step up to F2
Load comments
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Prime

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

FIA F2
Sep 20, 2021
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Prime

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3 Prime

How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3

After a promising start to his single-seater racing career, life in the Formula 1 feeder series gave Jack Doohan a reality check. But, following a year of learning and toiling, the driver with one of the most famous surnames on the Formula 3 grid isn’t feeling the weight of expectation pushing down too hard on him any longer

FIA F3
Jun 30, 2021
The Monaco win that started another triple crown Prime

The Monaco win that started another triple crown

30 years ago, victory in the Monaco Grand Prix-supporting Formula 3 race – then a showpiece invitational event – began a young Jorg Muller’s pursuit of a unique set of street circuit wins that he’d later complete at Macau and Pau.

FIA F3
May 21, 2021
Why Correa's return is the feel-good story racing needed Prime

Why Correa's return is the feel-good story racing needed

Juan Manuel Correa has had a long road to recovery from that horrific day at Spa in 2019. ART's decision to give him his race return in FIA Formula 3 in 2021 is a victory in itself, but his determination will surely - in time - have him fighting for bigger things

FIA F3
Feb 2, 2021
Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested Prime

Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested

F3 rookie Oscar Piastri only just snatched the 2020 title with Prema Racing, but the setbacks he overcame to do so suggest that Renault's next Australian talent is one destined for the top.

FIA F3
Jan 12, 2021
The young driver Red Bull couldn't ignore Prime

The young driver Red Bull couldn't ignore

Igor Fraga has a more colourful career behind him than any other driver on the FIA Formula 3 grid, and now he's beginning to become as recognised for his talents in real racing as in the virtual world.

FIA F3
Jun 21, 2020
The junior formula champions on a collision course in F3 Prime

The junior formula champions on a collision course in F3

Prema teammates Frederik Vesti and Oscar Piastri may be rookies in this season's FIA Formula 3 Championship, but all eyes are on them as they step up as the 2019 kings of Formula Regional and Formula Renault. Peter Allen writes.

FIA F3
Mar 30, 2020