Formula 3 Finale Preview: Monza
Written by Sasha Macmillen
As championship finales go, there may not be many better places to do it than the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. The iconic and mystic circuit breeds racing, and since it broke ground 100 years ago in 1922, has created more famous moments than I can remember. As the young Formula 3 drivers contend for championship glory, looking towards a future in Formula One, moments of magic, controversy, glory and drama will certainly be on the cards for Formula 3's season finale.
Whether it be Isack Hadjar and Victor Martins going wheel-to-wheel into turn one, or a backmarkers squabble at the Della Roggia chicane, racing at Monza is hard and fast. The championship protagonists will certainly have to proceed with caution, as they cannot afford to drop a single point in their valiant odyssey for glory. Plenty of drivers are ready to spoil the party, such as Franco Colapinto and Jonny Edgar, who have plenty of pace yet don't have a championship to worry about. They will be giving it all to cap off 2022 with a bang, and could provide an unnecessary nuisance for the championship hopefuls.
The series has not visited Monza since 2020, where we saw Frederik Vesti and Jake Hughes take victory, two drivers that now of course call Formula 2 their home. But all the attention this weekend will be on the championship, and six different drivers go in with a shot at the title. Arthur Leclerc, Zane Maloney, Ollie Bearman, Roman Stanek, Isack Hadjar and Victor Martins all have the mathematical possibility of winning the Formula 3 championship this season at the finale in Monza. The two Frenchmen, Hadjar and Martins, are the most likely candidates and are separated by a mere five points at the top of the standings. Whilst both are likely to have a seat in Formula Two next year, they would dearly like to add an impressive F3 championship to their CV.
Zane Maloney is in red-hot form, having taken an impressive pole position in the Dutch dunes of Zandvoort, and is now on a run of back-to-back feature race victories. His recent form has hauled himself into an outside chance at the championship, and if he can repeat that stellar form, there's nothing that says he can't nick the title by a point or two. Of course, that relies upon some misfortune and shenanigans for those in front of him, but in Formula 3 we have seen time and time and time again that anything can happen, and anything probably will happen.
Formula 3's fourth season since its inauguration has been truly eventful, with a tense championship battle that has been twisting and turning throughout, more than anyone could have expected. What final twist may it provide? A late engine failure? A dramatic collision? Whether it be a Prema challenger, a daring Frenchman or a Trident-backed warrior, Formula 3 will coronate a worthy champion in 2022.