PREMA Racing scored a podium finish and and some extremely valuable points in day 1 of racing for the FIA Formula 3 Championship at the Hungaroring.
The opening race, starting with a reverse grid from yesterday's qualifying, saw Olli Caldwell cruise to another podium, his fourth of the year, with a second place starting from P4 and taking advantage of a post-race penalty. Unfortunately, the British racer was involved in contact at the start of the reverse-grid race 2, and finished in arrears. He still holds second place in driver points.
Dennis Hauger delivered a superb top-5 finish starting from P11 on the grid, powering through the pack with a fast pace and some brilliant overtakes. In race 2, he was pushed back again by a reverse grid. However, the Norweigian was perfect again, fighting back from P8 to another P5 which increased his margin at the top of the driver championship.
Arthur Leclerc had a challenging day. Having to start from P15 due to yesterday's pole and a 3-spot carryover penalty from the previous round, the 20-year-old Monegasque was stuck in the middle of the group on a track where passing, especially while in the middle of large packs, is incredibly hard. He eventually took P13 in race 1, before improving to P11 in race 2.
#1 - Dennis Hauger
"We scored some really good points for the championship. In race 2 the track was quite warmer, so the degradation was a bit higher. I just tried to manage it as well as I could. Once I got past Doohan, who was struggling quite a bit, I could try and get to the pack in front without the dirty air. There were not enough laps though, and it's too hard to get around here. Still, great points we can take with us."
#2 - Arthur Leclerc
"It was quite the same as race 2, as it's almost impossible to overtake in the middle of the pack. I took the opportunity on Doohan because he had quite a bit of degradation. It's a difficult track, with hot temperatures, so it's just not easy to start from P13. Now it's full push for tomorrow!"
#3 - Olli Caldwell
"Not quite the race 2 we wanted after this morning. The goal was to push as hard as possible and see what happened. That's what I did, and unfortunately it didn't pay off today. We managed to salvage as much as we could from the race with the fastest lap. The main thing was to check if the car was ok after the incident and go for the fastest lap, which we achieved. We need to look back at race 1, and at the mistakes I made in race 2, learn from everyone else, where they're passing and go hard tomorrow."