Barcelona F3: Caldwell inherits win after multiple leader tangles

Prema Racing’s Olli Caldwell took his first FIA Formula 3 win in Barcelona after a chaotic race involving two safety cars and two crashes amid tussles for the lead.

Barcelona F3: Caldwell inherits win after multiple leader tangles

After starting the second race of the weekend in seventh, the Brit moved into contention by avoiding incidents involving Trident’s David Schumacher and Charouz Racing System’s Enzo Fittipaldi, followed by another tangle involving HWA Racelab’s Matteo Nannini and Caldwell’s team-mate Dennis Hauger.

Caldwell then staved off pressure from F3 rookie Victor Martins to comfortably better his previous best finish of fifth at the Red Bull Ring last year and win by 0.9s.

MP Motorsport driver Martins took his first podium in F3 after an audacious attempt to pass Caldwell around the outside at Turn 1 on the final lap of 22 was aborted, while ART GP’s Frederik Vesti completed the podium.

The first safety car came out on the first lap after contact between the top two in race one - runner-up Clement Novalak and race-winner Alex Smolyar - at Turn 2 resulted in the latter receiving a rear-right puncture, before veering right and collecting Charouz driver Logan Sargeant on his way into the gravel.

Racing resumed on the fourth lap, with poleman Fittipaldi maintaining his lead over Schumacher and Nannini, while further back there was a battle for fourth between Martins, Hauger and Caldwell.

The grandson of double world champion Enzo, Fittipaldi held the lead until the 12th lap when Schumacher - the son of six-times Formula 1 race winner Ralf - took him by surprise with a late braking move at Turn 1.

But just three laps later, the pair collided at the Turn 2 left-hander as Fittipaldi attempted to pass around the outside of Turn 1 before contacting the German, who bounced over the kerb and across the gravel into the barrier.

Race winner Olli Caldwell, Prema Racing

Race winner Olli Caldwell, Prema Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

This gave Nannini the lead, with Hauger second and Fittipaldi dropping to third before the safety car was deployed for a second time.

But Fittipaldi ground to a halt behind the safety car, ending his race and promoting Hauger to second and Caldwell to third before racing resumed on lap 17.

Another tussle for the lead ensued as Nannini attempted to fend off Hauger, only for the Norwegian to get sideways over the Turn 1 kerb and punt Nannini into a spin.

Both cars lost their front wings in the tangle and plummeted down the order, allowing Caldwell to take the lead. Hauger was issued a 10 second post-race penalty for the contact, although it didn't affect his finishing position of 25th.

Trident driver Novalak survived his brush with Smolyar to finish fourth, with Martins’ team-mate and fellow Alpine Academy member Caio Collet completing the top five on his first race weekend since graduating from Formula Renault Eurocup.

ART GP’s Juan Manuel Correa, returning to racing 18 months after surviving a tragic multiple car Formula 2 crash at Spa in 2019 that claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert, scored points on his second race back behind the wheel, finishing tenth.

Arthur Leclerc stormed through from 28th to 12th following a puncture in Race 1 on Saturday morning. However he was also handed a 10 second penalty for breaching regulations under safety car conditions, dropping to 24th after exceeding the minimum delta time in four consecutive marshalling sectors on lap 16.

The third race of the weekend takes place on Sunday morning, with the grid having been decided during Friday’s qualifying session.

Hauger starts on pole, with Trident’s Jack Doohan in second and Martins in third. Nannini lines up fourth, with Vesti in fifth and Caldwell sixth.

Results

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Interval
1 United Kingdom Olli Caldwell Italy Prema Powerteam 40'42.623    
2 France Victor Martins Netherlands MP Motorsport 40'43.528 0.905 0.905
3 Denmark Frederik Vesti France ART Grand Prix 40'45.481 2.858 1.953
4 United Kingdom Clement Novalak Italy Trident 40'46.365 3.742 0.884
5 Caio Collet Netherlands MP Motorsport 40'46.602 3.979 0.237
6 United Kingdom Jonny Edgar United Kingdom Carlin 40'47.145 4.522 0.543
7 Ayumu Iwasa United Kingdom HitechGP 40'47.631 5.008 0.486
8 Australia Jack Doohan Italy Trident 40'48.134 5.511 0.503
9 Jak Crawford United Kingdom HitechGP 40'48.491 5.868 0.357
10 United States Juan Manuel Correa France ART Grand Prix 40'49.090 6.467 0.599
11 Australia Calan Williams Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 40'49.380 6.757 0.290
12 Arthur Leclerc Italy Prema Powerteam 40'51.175 8.552 1.795
13 Czech Republic Roman Staněk United Kingdom HitechGP 40'52.485 9.862 1.310
14 Reshad de Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 40'52.951 10.328 0.466
15 Pierre-Louis Chovet Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 40'53.542 10.919 0.591
16 Tijmen van Netherlands MP Motorsport 40'54.105 11.482 0.563
17 Amaury Cordeel Spain Campos Racing 40'54.602 11.979 0.497
18 United States Kaylen Frederick United Kingdom Carlin 40'56.736 14.113 2.134
19 Rafael Villagómez Germany HWA AG 40'57.791 15.168 1.055
20 Oliver Rasmussen Germany HWA AG 40'58.231 15.608 0.440
21 Ido Cohen United Kingdom Carlin 40'58.670 16.047 0.439
22 Filip Ugran Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 40'59.031 16.408 0.361
23 Italy Lorenzo Colombo Spain Campos Racing 40'59.524 16.901 0.493
24 László Tóth Spain Campos Racing 41'00.928 18.305 1.404
25 Norway Dennis Hauger Italy Prema Powerteam 42'10.114 1'27.491 1'09.186
26 Italy Matteo Nannini Germany HWA AG 40'00.952 1 Lap 1 Lap
  Brazil Enzo Fittipaldi Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 7 laps    
  Germany David Schumacher Italy Trident 8 laps    
  United States Logan Sargeant Czech Republic Charouz Racing System      
  Russian Federation Alexander Smolyar France ART Grand Prix      
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Barcelona F3: Smolyar takes maiden win after safety car finish
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