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FIA F3 Silverstone

How a Silverstone stunner launched Lindblad into the F3 title fight

Doing the double in Formula 3 is an incredibly rare feat, so to do it at your home round meant Arvid Lindblad produced a statement weekend at Silverstone. Here’s how it unfolded and why title talk isn’t being dismissed for the Red Bull-backed rookie

Arvid Lindblad, Prema Racing

Arvid Lindblad unexpectedly joined the Formula 3 championship hunt with a surprise pair of wins at the British Grand Prix weekend, taking his tally to four so far in 2024, more than any other driver.

“It’s pretty amazing,” says Prema driver Lindblad. “But I’m just focused on taking it race by race and doing the best I can. We did a good job this weekend so I’m super-happy about the result. Obviously, an amazing stat doing the double here at Silverstone and being English – it’s crazy, it’s amazing.”

Second-year driver Luke Browning had led the title race coming into the weekend but only added six points to his haul, dropping the Hitech driver behind both new leader Gabriele Mini (Prema) and Lindblad, with seven points now covering the breakaway top three.

More astonishing, however, is that this is being achieved in Lindblad's rookie season – albeit a campaign that he entered off the back of F4 success at Macau and third place in the Italian F4 Championship. The next best rookies are Laurens van Hoepen and Tim Tramnitz in ninth and 10th in the standings respectively.

“I’m 16 years old, I’m in my rookie season of F3 with one year of F4 under my belt, so I’m not expected to be fighting for the championship. This was not our expectation going into the year,” says Lindblad, who was a finalist in last year’s Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award. “Obviously, it’s a great position to be in and I’m going to take every opportunity I can get. I’m not saying I’m not going to fight for the championship, that’s not how I look at it. I’m just focused on being the best that I can, race by race, and we’ll see where we end up.

“It’s nice to be towards the championship hunt with a few races to go and I’ll probably only start thinking about it in Monza [for the finale], if we’re still in the hunt.”

A double victory at Silverstone has catapulted Lindblad into the F3 title fight

A double victory at Silverstone has catapulted Lindblad into the F3 title fight

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

The 2024 F3 season has been one of the most competitive on record, with nine different drivers sharing the first nine wins, before Lindblad followed up his opening-round victory in Bahrain with another in the Spanish feature race.

Now, with his Silverstone double, Lindblad has topped the podium in three of the last five races, with Nikola Tsolov and Browning the only other drivers to have multiple wins this year – each with just two.

While Saturday’s sprint race victory came in relatively normal circumstances, albeit severely delayed due to appalling weather, Sunday’s success in the feature outing was far less straightforward. Lining up in 10th, Lindblad completed the formation lap on wet tyres before pitting for slicks at the end of the lap, a decision that ultimately won him the race while others, including polesitter Browning, remained on the wet rubber.

"To describe doing the double here at Silverstone, I have no words for it and it’s beyond my wildest dreams" Arvid Lindblad

“It’s very much 50-50, it’s a discussion,” Lindblad says when asked how the tyre decision was made. “It’s teamwork. I told my engineer at the time that I wanted to stay on slicks. I thought it was dry but I’m also aware that they have more information than me – they have the radar and all of this information, so I need to trust them. I have a really good engineer, so when he said, ‘Rain is coming and the radar is showing this, we think that maybe not now, but over the race, the wet is the better tyre’, I trusted him and listened to him on that.

“I told him on the formation lap that it looked dry and I just thought that, as we were starting P10, if we did the same as the others then we wouldn’t go that far forward, so we should take a risk and see what happened. We were both in the same mindset going into the race, that was how we were approaching it and that is what happened. I was telling him how dry it was on the formation lap and he said, ‘Fine, let’s box’. We did that and it paid off.”

Despite his victory, Lindblad was not the first driver to take the chequered flag on Sunday, with this honour instead going to fellow British rookie and Award finalist Callum Voisin. Also starting on slicks, and one of only two drivers to have elected against starting the formation lap on wets, the Rodin driver stormed to the front but, in his haste, completed an early pass on Max Esterson’s Jenzer machine while beyond the track limits and earned a five-second penalty.

The call to ditch wet tyres for slicks on the formation lap on Sunday opened up the race for Lindblad

The call to ditch wet tyres for slicks on the formation lap on Sunday opened up the race for Lindblad

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“After the last safety car, it was a bit sketchy but it was drying throughout and I was able to go towards the front,” adds Lindblad. “I crossed the line in P2 but the penalty for Callum meant I took the win. It was amazing. I was informed of his penalty with a few laps to go, so I wasn’t pushing too hard and was quite happy to sit in second because I knew that was going to turn into a win. I was just more focused on trying to keep Gabriele behind because he was my competition at the time.

“To describe doing the double here at Silverstone, I have no words for it and it’s beyond my wildest dreams.”

Now, perhaps challenging for the title doesn’t seem quite such a wild idea.

Can the rookie use his Silverstone stunner to capture the F3 title?

Can the rookie use his Silverstone stunner to capture the F3 title?

Photo by: Dutch Photo Agency

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