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From Pin’s return, to battles hotting up: Five feeder series storylines ahead of the Spanish weekend

Written by Vyas Ponnuri


It’s a massive weekend for the feeder series supporting Formula One, as Formula 2, Formula 3, and even the all-female F1 Academy are set to race around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend. DIVEBOMB dives into some storylines ahead of a hectic weekend of racing….



Pin returns, can she stop Abbi from “Pulling away?”


It’s a big weekend if you’re rooting for Doriane Pin, as the French racer is all set to return to competitive racing ahead of F1 Academy’s Barcelona outing. 


Having driven the first race of the FRECA weekend at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday, Pin would miss the second race on Sunday, with further medical checks revealing cracked ribs for the 20-year old, as she would later reveal on social media through her Instagram post. 


The injury put her participation in the 92nd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in doubt, and Pin would later announce she would miss the event, with the #85 Iron Dames announcing Rahel Frey as a replacement for the speedy Frenchwoman. 


Pin also missed the entirety of the FRECA weekend at Zandvoort too, in a bid to get back on track for the F1 Academy round at Barcelona. 


The Mercedes junior was pleased to be back on track once again, as she looks to reduce the deficit to Rodin Motorsport’s Abbi Pulling, the Alpine junior driver dealing a major blow to the Prema racer’s chances by winning both races at Miami. 


While Pin finished second in both races to limit the damage, she will want to replicate the pace from F1 Academy’s opening round in Jeddah, when she won out ahead of Pulling twice, only to lose the second of those wins to a penalty for taking the chequered flag twice. 


Pulling was the beneficiary of Pin’s Jeddah penalty, taking her first win of the season. The ever-consistent Briton has been bulletproof across two F1 Academy rounds so far, not being off the top two spots, let alone the podium. She will be looking to continue her excellent run, and grow her 34-point advantage in the standings at Barcelona. 



Hadjar vs Aron as the championship takes yet another turn


Campos racer Isack Hadjar looked on course to take a third consecutive feature race victory this season, as he rounded the 40th lap of 42 around the streets of Monaco. 


However, late drama thwarted the Red Bull junior’s quest for a famous Monaco victory, as AIX Racing’s Joshua Dürksen pulled into to the run-off at Casino Square, after an incident at the pit exit with then-championship leader Zane Maloney vaulted the Bajan’s Rodin Motorsport into the air. 


The stopped AIX on the side initially triggered yellow flags, before a Virtual Safety Car neutralised proceedings, and ART Racing managed to bring Zak O’Sullivan into the pits for his mandatory pit stop before the VSC was called. 


The Briton retained the race lead going into the final lap of the race, leaving Hadjar fuming over the radio, as he would be left to take home second on the road, losing what would have been a championship lead. 


That lead, however, went to the man finishing right behind him, Hitech Pulse Eight’s Paul Aron, the Estonian having stood on the podium at least once in every Formula 2 race weekend so far. 


It’s an incredibly consistent campaign for the former Mercedes junior, with only one finish outside the points, and no race victory for his name, as he rallies to make a mark for himself, and for a Formula One seat in the future. 


The spotlight will be on the duo, who have largely raced in the shadow of Rodin Motorsport’s Zane Maloney this season, the Bajan racer losing the championship lead he held ever since he won both races on Formula 2’s opening weekend in Bahrain. 


Having lost the lead in the standings to two extremely consistent racers, all eyes will be on the Sauber junior, as he will be looking to close down the gap to the two ahead, who will be battling for ultimate supremacy, and the lead of the standings at Barcelona. 


With a potential opportunity at AlphaTauri heading into 2025, there’s even more riding on the line for Hadjar’s Formula 2 season. 



Can Martins and Bearman rediscover 2023 potential once again?


If you picked two drivers to have underwhelming starts in 2024, Victor Martins and Ollie Bearman certainly wouldn’t have been on your lists. 


It’s a sharp fall from rookie-season stardom for the duo, with Bearman only notching up 18 points from four weekends, losing his pole position at Jeddah when he was roped in by Ferrari as a last-minute replacement for Carlos Sainz, who was suffering from appendicitis and withdrew from the weekend’s events. 


Martins, on the other hand, has struggled for consistency, and hasn’t been able to convert his starts into big finishes. The Frenchman’s struggles were evident in Monaco, as he started from the front row, and would have been on for potential victory if not for a slow start in the feature race. 


Earlier in the weekend, he would come a cropper at the start, once again, clipping Pepe Marti and Juan Manuel Correa going into Sainte-Devote, damaging his front wing before going into the barrier at the exit of the corner. 


He would only recover to ninth, making his way back up as contenders ahead had incidents or retired from the race due to reliability concerns. 


The ART racer will be looking to rediscover the form that led him to a ‘Rookie of the year’ award last season, as he sits down in 20th at the moment, only ahead of Monaco sprint winner Taylor Barnard, and VAR racer Rafael Villagomez. 


You can expect Martins to enter the weekend on a high, though, as he recently tested the Alpine A522 at the Red Bull Ring, alongside fellow junior Kush Maini, another driver looking to turn around his fortunes this season. 


With Ocon’s departure potentially opening up a seat at Alpine for next year, both drivers will be hungrier than ever to prove their worthiness to step up, either as a full-time racer or as a reserve, should current reserve Jack Doohan step up to the seat. 


As for Bearman, he hasn’t been able to discover the form that made him a multiple race winner in 2023. While lady luck hasn’t been on his side this year, he will take confidence from scoring his best result at Monaco, finishing fourth in the feature race, as the Briton remains in the fray for a Formula One seat in 2025. 



Mini leads as Formula 3 sees eight different race winners in 2024


Eight different winners in eight races. You’ve seen this before. Your minds must be going back to the uber-competitive 2012 Formula One season, which also saw eight different drivers win the first eight races of the season. 


However, even for a series as utterly competitive and evenly-matched as Formula 3, eight winners in eight races is a daunting feat to achieve. It only speaks volumes of the hunger and competitive nature of the Formula 3 grid, as they look to ascend the motorsport ladder and edge ever closer to their dreams of being in Formula One. 


Highly-rated Red Bull junior Arvid Lindblad won in the opening sprint at Bahrain, while Luke Browning took the spoils for the first feature race the next day. Martinius Stenshorne took his first victory at the Australian sprint, while Ferrari junior Dino Beganovic finally took his maiden Formula 3 victory at Albert Park. 


A dramatic Imola sprint would be won, at first by VAR’s Noel Leon, before Campos’ Ollie Goethe’s penalty was rescinded, and he was crowned the victor, before Trident’s Sami Meguetounif took victory in the feature race, starting at the tail end of a Trident 1-2-3. 


Finally, Alpine junior Nikola Tsolov converted reverse grid pole to victory at Monaco, while Gabriele Minì took the championship lead after converting pole position into race victory the next day. 


There are more names in the fray who have yet to win a race, but have shown strong pace and consistency, including the likes of MP Motorsport’s Tim Tramnitz, Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli, as well as the ART duo Laurens van Hoepen and Christian Mansell.


Will we witness a ninth different race winner at Barcelona? Or will one of our eight race-winners become the first to win two races all season? It’s an interesting prospect heading into the weekend. 



Formula 3 tons up at Barcelona


It would only be fitting for Formula 3 to have their 100th outing at a place where it all began five years ago, when 30 drivers took to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the first time in Formula 3. 


The series would see the brightest youngsters in the world of motorsport make a step-up from regional single-seater series around the planet, converging into the series to embark along the fixed pathway that would see them graduate to Formula 2, and potentially even to Formula One, or other motorsport series in the future. 


The series was intended to unearth talented racers set to don overalls at major motorsport series in the future, and there’s no denying Formula 3 has surpassed every bar when it comes to giving talented racers a spot to hone and display their skills. 


Yuki Tsunoda, Oscar Piastri, Robert Shwartzmann, Dennis Hauger, Liam Lawson, Victor Martins, Ollie Bearman…. The list of alumni of the series goes on and on, with a large number of racers having graduated from Formula 3 ever since the series’ inception in 2019. 


In half a decade, the series has seen over 150 racers, and many more are set to race in the lowest rung of the road to Formula One in the future, their eyes firmly set on reaching the top tier of motorsport.  


2 Comments


Guest
Jun 21

Hey mate keep up the good work!

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Replying to

Thank you! There's certainly more fun articles in the pipeline. I'm sure you will enjoy reading them.

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