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FIA F3 Championship, Le Castellet, Race Preview

FIA F3 Championship, Le Castellet, Race Preview

It's time for the FIA Formula 3 Championship to get back into action as the series will be running at the traditional Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet. After making a convincing 2021 debut and performing well in testing at Jerez, the Trident Motorsport drivers will be hunting for their maiden win.

The FIA Formula 3 Championship will continue its 2021 season with another tradition-rich racetrack. After opening the season at Montmelò, the series will move towards the French Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet and will race alongside the Formula 1 Grand Prix of France. The venue will host F3 racing after a break in 2020, and Trident Motorsport will try to make it a winning return with its three drivers Mick Doohan, Clément Novalak and David Schumacher, all three coming from a convincing run in Spain. 

Doohan, who took second place in qualifying at Montmelò, is holding P5 in points courtesy of a second place in Race 3. The Australian follows teammate Novalak, a master of consistency in Spain, by two positions. Novalak, who has been racing with a French license since the beginning of the season, took P3, P4 and P6 respectively in the opening round of the season. The driver from Aix-en-Provence is only six points away from the top of the Championship table. In addition, he was the fastest in the collective test held in mid-May at Jerez.  Contact with another driver deprived David Schumacher of the taste of a win in Catalunya. The German was leading Race 2 but was forced to retire. Trident Motorsport, sitting second in the team ranking, has seen its trio of drivers put up brilliant performances in round 1. Led by the team's technical staff, they are looking forward to doing it all again on the classic Paul Ricard track. From the technical point of view, Pirelli will bring a harder compound than the one used in 2019. The venue features an interesting mix of corners, and, for this reason, it is often used in collective tests. For many years, it served only as a test track. It is 5.842 km long with 15 curves, nine of which are on the right. The promoters, forced to cancel the race in 2020 due to the pandemic, expect about 20.000 people to hit the grandstand. For the Trident Motorsport drivers, and for Clément Novalak in particular, as he will be lining up third in points on his home track, this will provide additional motivation.

Giacomo Ricci, Team Manager: “After more than a month of waiting, F3 is back on a fast and technical track, Le Castellet. Our drivers come from a good 2021 opener in Barcelona and a convincing collective test a few days later in Jerez. This time we will be hunting for our first win of the season. Our stalwarts have what they need to get to the top step of the podium, but in a series as competitive as the FIA Formula 3 Championship, perfection is always a requirement for the drivers and the team's technical staff."

The FIA Formula 3 Championship weekend will start on Friday morning at 10:05, with the 45-minute free practice session. Qualifying is scheduled for the same day at 13:50. Race 1 will be Saturday at 10:10, while Race 2 will start in the afternoon at 16:40. Race 3, which will conclude the weekend, will start on Sunday at 11:40 am. Track activity will be fully broadcasted live by the Sky Sports networks.