The Italian team took second place in race 1 with Novalak, who then secured fourth place in Race 2. The Frenchman provisionally leads the championship standings. Schumacher, who was leading in Race 2, was forced to retire due to contact. Doohan secured valuable points in Race 2.
The FIA Formula 3 Championship has started its 2021 season at the Montmelò track with Sprint Race 1 and 2, which will be followed by Race 3 a few hours before the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix tomorrow. Trident Motorsport began the new championship with the right attitude, scoring the second-fastest lap time in qualifying with Jack Doohan, the seventh with Clèment Novalak and the ninth with David Schumacher. The Italian squad was the only one in the field with all its three drivers in the top ten.
At the start of Race 1, with the top-12 positions in qualifying reversed on the grid, it was Novalak who stole the show with an extraordinary comeback that took him up to second place. The French racer gained two positions at the start and proved very familiar with the art of overtaking, with precise and spectacular manoeuvres. In the final laps, Novalak was aiming for the lead, but the intervention of the Safety-Car precluded any chance of a win for the Avignon-born driver. Schumacher lost some positions at the start and expressed a sub-optimal pace which was investigated by the technical staff after the race. The German driver was close to the points zone and claimed a valuable eleventh place that allowed him to start from the front row in Race 2. Jack Doohan lost a few positions at the start and finished seventeenth, slowed in his pace by traffic in the middle of the pack.
In Race 2, Schumacher got off to a very good start from the second spot on the grid and soon took the lead, imposing his pace. Only a contact with a contender stopped the German second-generation racer from cruising to his maiden win with a remarkable performance. The balance for Novalak is very positive. He drove a masterful comeback race crowned with fourth place at the end. Doohan’s recovery was equally brilliant, as he climbed up to the eighth position from his P17 on the grid.
Trident Motorsport’s first run in the new FIA Formula 3 Championship season was undoubtedly convincing. Now the drivers and technical staff will face the preparation work for Race 3, which will start tomorrow morning at 12:05 and will see Doohan starting from the front row of the starting grid.
Giacomo Ricci, Team Manager, Race 1 commentary
"We are absolutely delighted for Novalak's race. He made a great start and delivered an impressive recovery with consistency and a very high level of performance. Without the intervention of the Safety Car, he could have fought for the victory. As for Doohan, we need to understand what happened at the start, when he lost some positions. Schumacher struggled a bit with his race pace. The technical staff, together with the German driver, investigated, identified and solved the problem ahead of the second race, which saw Schumacher start from the front row on the grid. The first outing of the season, up to this point, has been convincing”.
Giacomo Ricci, Team Manager, Race 2 commentary
"It is a real shame about the incident involving Schumacher, who had what he needed to win and gain valuable points in the driver and team standings. As far as Novalak is concerned, our French driver was once again consistent and focused, the fourth position allows him to jump to the top of the ranking. Doohan's comeback was also extraordinary: he made it to the points zone with great determination. We are aiming for the first win of the season tomorrow, but we will need a little more luck."
FIA F3 Championship, Barcelona Catalunya, Race 3 Report
In the closing race at Montmelò, the Trident Motorsport drivers performed at excellent levels. Doohan took a brilliant second place, while Novalak and Schumacher finished in P6 and P12 respectively.
In Race 3 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which wrapped up the opening round of the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship, the Trident Motorsport drivers performed at excellent levels. By doing so, they confirmed the high performance highlighted by the Italian squad's racecars yesterday. Jack Doohan started from second place on the grid, but lost a few positions and slipped to fourth place in the very early stages. The Australian then put up a convincing comeback that allowed him to secure second place at the end. Unfortunately, at that moment the leader of the race was no longer within the reach of Doohan, who had the pace to aim for the win.
Frenchman Clément Novalak can also draw a positive balance for the weekend after scoring sixth place which means he is now sitting third in the championship table, just six points behind leader Dennis Hauger. The Avignon-born driver confirmed that he is at the top of his game in terms of race management.
After being rear-ended by another driver and having seen his chances for a probable win slip away, David Schumacher fought for most of the time among the top-10 before finishing in P12. The German second-generation racer did not have a set of new tyres at his disposal and made a small mistake.
The teams of the FIA Formula 3 Championship will remain on Spanish soil during the week, as a collective test session is planned in Andalusia at Jerez. The calendar of the category offers a few weeks off, which will allow the competitors to work on the data collected in the first outing in Catalunya. FIA F3 will race again on the last weekend of June together with the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet, where Trident Motorsport aims to play, once again, a leading role.
Giacomo Ricci, Team Manager, Race 3 commentary
"It was an extremely positive weekend. We scored many points and showed a high level of performance. Race 3 did not feature high thermal degradation of the tires. Doohan’s performance today was certainly outstanding and he secured a great second place. If he hadn't lost time at the start, he could have definitely aimed for victory. Novalak, once again, proved to be effective and consistent in managing the race. Schumacher didn't have a fresh set of tires and made a small mistake. We are really satisfied with the outcome of the first race of the season as we are exiting the weekend second in the team ranking. Now we are aiming to do a good job in the test scheduled for next week at Jerez”.