PIASTRI WINS F3 TITLE WITH PIRELLI TYRES
STRATEGY KEY TO F2 ACTION
Oscar Piastri claimed the FIA Formula 3 Championship title in a thrilling final round at Mugello, having gone into the last race tied on points with his nearest rival at the top of the standings.
In Formula 2, strategy with the 18-inch tyres played an important role, with the step between the nominated hard and soft compounds helping to make for an exciting conclusion to the race. In Formula 3 the hard tyres were supplied.
Feature Race, the winner: Nikita Mazepin took victory for Hitech GP from 14th on the grid, having started on the hard tyre. A safety car in the final third of the race bunched up the field and brought Mazepin and others on a similar strategy into contention on fresh soft tyres. He went from 10th to third at a chaotic restart, and on another restart with three laps remaining he snatched the lead through the first two corners before pulling away to victory.
Nikita Mazepin: “Starting P14 after a disappointing qualifying at a track I've never been to before, I knew the race was going to be tough. To be able to really go out there and improve so many positions in pretty enjoyable circumstances, being on newer tyres compared to cars around me on the alternative strategy, was just fantastic. It paid off.”
Feature Race, alternative strategy: Christian Lundgaard (ART Grand Prix) led early on from pole position with the top seven drivers on the grid all starting on the soft tyre. Having pitted for hard tyres when the window opened on lap seven, Lundgaard resumed the lead on lap 21 just before the safety car. After the restart, Lundgaard finished up in sixth place but Hitech’s Luca Ghiotto – also on worn hard tyres – held on to finish second ahead of Charouz driver Louis Deletraz on the soft tyres.
Sprint Race, the winner: Lundgaard took a dominant victory on the hard tyres after climbing from third to first at the start, with Deletraz finishing second from sixth on the grid. Some drivers chose to make a pitstop for soft tyres under a virtual safety car: Marino Sato (Trident) worked his way up to eighth on his faster rubber.
Race 1, the winner: Frederik Vesti (Prema Racing) triumphed in a thrilling first race for F3 at Mugello, with the lead changing hands on numerous occasions. Vesti sealed the win with a pass on Jake Hughes (HWA Racelab) on the final lap, while Theo Pourchaire (ART Grand Prix) claimed third. Logan Sargeant finished sixth to draw level at the top of the championship with Prema team-mate Oscar Piastri, who was 11th.
Race 2, the winner: Liam Lawson (Hitech GP) led from start to finish for his third win of the season, ahead of David Beckmann (Trident). Pourchaire finished third again, from eighth on the grid, to get within three points of claiming the title. As it was, Piastri did enough by finishing seventh, while Sargeant was eliminated from the race in first-lap contact.
Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing Mario Isola: “Congratulations to Oscar Piastri for joining the ranks of F3 champions after an intense 2020 season. Along with his predecessors, he will be receiving a financial scholarship from Pirelli to help him graduate to Formula 2 next year: a long tradition from us now. This year’s Formula 2 championship still remains wide open after a particularly exciting and action-packed encounter at Mugello, where managing the tyres over the course of the whole race was crucial. Unusually, we also saw some pit stops during the sprint race as well: a sign of just how demanding this new venue was on tyres.”