Zandvoort F3: Martins claims maiden victory in dramatic race

Victor Martins captured his first FIA Formula 3 victory at Zandvoort, with a convincing charge through the field putting him third in the drivers standings.

Zandvoort F3: Martins claims maiden victory in dramatic race

The four-time podium finisher, who had been runner-up twice, finally scored his debut win after a dramatic race, which saw his two title rivals Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan finish with no points after incidents in the last two laps.

Martins, who took his win at team MP Motorsport’s home race, started in fifth before making the most of his rapid pace and overtaking talent to claim the top spot on lap 16.

Fellow Frenchman Clement Novalak (Trident), who was in the lead until that point, finished second, while Frederik Vesti took third place for ART Grand Prix.

Martins’ teammate Caio Collet took fourth, with David Schumacher in fifth for Trident and Prema Racing’s Olli Caldwell in sixth.

Clement Novalak had taken the lead from Ido Cohen by Turn 1, leading the two-wide pack in a chaotic exit from the banking at Turn 3 before Johnathan Hoggard took a trip through the gravel.

Teammates Hauger and Caldwell were racing wheel-to-wheel on lap two, battling for fifth, with Hauger coming close to overtaking before backing off several times.

The safety car was deployed on lap three when Lorenzo Colombo suffered a left-rear puncture after contact with Hunter Yeany in Turn 1.

Racing resumed on lap six, with Iwasa plunging down the order after a lock-up at Turn 1 forced him to run wide and take to the escape road.

Martins took advantage of Vesti and Cohen’s battle for second to sweep up the inside of Turn 3 and take third position from the Dane.

Doohan and Schumacher made contact briefly as the pair chased Jak Crawford, who suffered a huge lock-up on the inside of Turn 1 on lap eight.

A DRS train had formed by lap nine, with Cohen closing in to within 0.7s of Novalak before falling back again. Martins attempted to pass the Carlin driver into Turn 1 but locked up as Iwasa had done several laps earlier.

By the halfway point, Vesti was right on the gearbox of Martins, while Novalak broke the one-second DRS window to Cohen, allowing him to build a 1.3s lead.

Martins eventually gained the momentum to pass Cohen with the help of DRS on the start-finish straight on lap 14, putting him up into second, just 0.7s behind Novalak.

Vesti also passed Cohen a lap later, taking the third podium spot in an almost carbon-copy of Martins’ earlier move.

The increasingly rapid Martins swept past compatriot Novalak for first on lap 16 despite the latter’s defensive moves, with the MP Motorsport car proving too quick to contend with.

Hauger finally overtook teammate Caldwell on the straight into lap 18, taking fifth place, before continuing his charge through the field and passing Cohen up into fourth place.

The safety car was deployed on lap 20 with just seven minutes to go after Amaury Cordeel’s Campos-run car became beached in the gravel at Turn 1, ending his race.

Racing resumed for lap 23, the penultimate tour, with Vesti almost letting Hauger through courtesy of a lock-up in the dusty line.

But a melee upon the restart saw Cohen make contact with Hauger into the banking, who suffered a right-rear puncture, plunging him down the order and out of the points.

The dramatic final lap also saw Schumacher pass Caldwell into P5, before Doohan went off the road and dropped down into 18th, leaving two of the three title contenders pointless for the race.

Zandvoort F3: Race results:

shares
comments
FIA F3 season finale moved from Austin to Sochi
Previous article

FIA F3 season finale moved from Austin to Sochi

Next article

F3 drivers "really surprised" by Zandvoort passing opportunities

F3 drivers "really surprised" by Zandvoort passing opportunities
Load comments
From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back Prime

From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back

After a disastrous 2020 in FIA Formula 3 with Hitech, Dennis Hauger began to doubt himself - with the self-belief he had built through success in junior series evaporating. But after regrouping, he stormed to the F3 title in 2021. Here’s how he did it...

FIA F3
Oct 7, 2021
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