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Feeder Series Preview: Spa-Francorchamps

Written by Juan Arroyo, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Formula 2

After a scratchy first portion of the year, who would have expected Jack Doohan to take only the second grand chelem in Formula 2 history? Not many. The Australian has experienced a renaissance since the Spain round. A streak of eight consecutive top-10s is something Doohan will definitely want to keep going, heading into Spa.

Hungary was great for the rookies this year: Bearman claimed a podium in the sprint race, while Victor Martins got his in the feature race. It was also great for the sophomores, with Doohan claiming pole position, race win, and the fastest lap, while Ayumu Iwasa claimed a podium earlier in the sprint.

But it’s two veterans who should be stealing the spotlight heading into Spa: Frederik Vesti and Theo Pourchaire—two who rarely meet on track, but stick to each other like glue in the standings.

They’ve both had similar campaigns, with Vesti edging it thanks to his race wins. Consistency pays when it’s a little better than your rivals’, he should be finding out. If there is ever a time for Pourchaire to tap into his experience, that time is now. Look away, Vesti (or indulge in the pressure, the choice is yours).

Not far behind, Iwasa remains the same threat he’s been all year. The Red Bull junior is not close enough to punish the top two on his own, but one slip up from the others will be used to his advantage. So perhaps it’s Pourchaire, who only lies ten points ahead of Iwasa, who should do the looking away.

Formula 3

We enter the penultimate round of the Formula 3 championship, with a chance to crown a new champion. Few seemed to lock in Bortoleto as a title contender at the start of the year. Seven rounds later, however, few would doubt him as the eventual winner.

Bortoleto performed admirably in Hungary's sprint race, securing a podium finish, and setting the fastest lap. This isn't his usual hunting ground—that is usually reserved for Sundays—but it would suffice to say he left the previous round with a healthy 43-point margin to second-placed Zak O'Sullivan in the standings.

His usual challengers suffered another blow at the Hungaroring. Pepe Martí had to settle for sixth place in the feature race, after a stunning recovery drive, but finishing outside the points in the sprint was the last thing the Campos driver needed in the title fight.

Gabriele Minì once again proved his potential in the sprint race with a respectable win, only to finish 16th on Sunday. The ever-consistent Bortoleto extended his lead once more.

O'Sullivan's current place in the standings hasn't been secure previously; in fact, he scored zero points in three of his last four races. But the fourth time was the charm: Pole position, a win, and fastest lap wrapped up the PREMA driver's most successful weekend yet in FIA F3.

The battle for the teams' title is much closer, however. PREMA and Trident stand on 289 and 274 points respectively. An interesting conclusion can be drawn from the fact that all PREMA drivers are within seven points of each other, while Bortoleto has more points than his Trident teammates combined.

With an uptick in results from Trident recently, this title battle is a civil war waiting to happen at both teams' home soil in Monza, regardless of Spa's conclusion.

Credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Here’s everything you need to know about this weekend’s venue:

  • The Spa-Francorchamps circuit has a length of approximately 7.004 kilometers (4.352 miles). It is the longest track on the Formula 1 calendar.

  • Spa-Francorchamps is a high-speed, fast-flowing circuit with plenty of overtaking opportunities available. It is characterized by its long straights and changes in elevation, most notably at the iconic Raidillon complex.

  • Weather is usually a factor in Spa, though holding the Grand Prix in July is an unusual affair.

  • Main overtaking opportunities are at the Kemmel straight following Raidillon, Les Combes at the end of it, and the Bus Stop Chicane before the start-finish straight.

  • Felipe Drugovich claimed F2 Pole Position in 2022, with a time of 1:58.232s.

  • Caio Collet claimed F3 Pole Position in 2022, with a time of 2:11.289s.


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