Liam Lawson’s horrid Hungarian F3 weekend has ended in yet another retirement when the Kiwi pulled off the road on Lap 8 with a reported mechanical issue.
His second non-driver related DNF of the weekend, Lawson leaves the Hungaroring with his title challenge sucker-punched while championship leader Oscar Piastri added another podium finish to his impressive tally.
Meanwhile, a brilliant drive in the wet has gone unrewarded for Bent Viscaal who was leading by over six-seconds before being sentenced with two controversial five-second penalties and then forced to finish the race under the safety car.
Ultimately, Viscaal’s cruel luck elevated David Beckmann to claim his maiden F3 race win in his third season in the junior formulae.
Scattered showers punctuated the build-up to the race, forcing drivers to start on the extreme wet tyres.
An electric start by Beckmann saw the Trident driver maintain the lead into Turn 1 as Red Bull junior Dennis Hauger fell into second.
Hauger was unquestionably the quicker driver in the slippery conditions and he would only wait until Lap 2 before he made his lunge for the lead at the second corner, building out a 2.3sec advantage in just one tour.
Lawson had moved forward an incredible 13 positions in the opening two laps, aided by a myriad of clumsy incidents which included former Toyota Racing Series rival Igor Fraga who clashed with Viscaal at Turn 12, pitching the Brazilian into a spin and out of the race.
After his sublime start, Lawson hit a mobile roadblock behind David Schumacher in a battle for 12th.
But just as the Kiwi made his move for the position his Hitech GP machine came to an abrupt halt at the exit of Turn 1 with a mechanical issue.
Lawson’s retirement is his third DNF in a row after crashing from the lead in Austria last weekend before a dramatic fire ruled him out of yesterday’s feature race.
With a truncated championship amid the global pandemic, Lawson will be praying that his luck drastically turns around as he shifts his attention to Silverstone in two weeks’ time.
Parked in an unsafe position, the Safety Car was deployed to neutralise the field with Hauger maintaining his composure off the restart to quickly re-establish a healthy margin with Beckmann and Piastri in tow.
However, it was Viscaal who was making the largest headway in the wet conditions.
Sitting in fifth, Viscaal quickly scythed his way into second in a handful of laps before sailing past Hauger to claim the lead on lap 13 just as race control dealt the MP Motorsport pilot with a contentious five-second penalty for his earlier collision with Fraga.
The penalty only served to galvanize the Dutch driver who set about setting fastest lap after fastest lap, pulling out of the five-second danger zone in just three laps just as Beckmann forced himself past Hauger for second in an unrestrained lunge at Turn 1.
But another five-second penalty for overtaking off the circuit on the Safety Car restart meant Viscaal’s lost his advantage up front.
It would go from bad to worse for the leader when a second full course caution was deployed when Franco Malvestiti collected the barrier three laps from home.
With ten seconds worth of time penalties, Viscaal crossed the line first but was demoted to 17th and outside the points-paying positions.
Beckman was duly awarded the race win ahead of Piastri and a fortunate Hauger who was coming under threat by the second Prema of Logan Sargeant prior to the safety car.
Formula 3 will now take a two week break before its next round – a doubleheader from the famed Silverstone circuit goes ahead on July 31 – Aug 2
|26||Matteo Nannini||+1 lap|
|Ret||Federico Malvestiti||+3 laps|