F3 2020: Belgian Grand Prix – Friday

Lirim Zendeli took an impressive pole after surviving red flag and rain disruption. (Image credit: Bryn Lennon/ Getty Images)

Formula Three began their season run-in with Practice and Qualifying at Spa Francorchamps as part of the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix weekend. 

With just two rounds left after this weekend as the 2020 F3 season concluded with another triple header, drivers faced a tough test around Spa Francorchamps with a mixed up Practice before Qualifying threw up further drama to set up an exciting Belgian Race One.

 

Practice

HWA Racelab’s Jack Doohan tops a frantic Practice session. (Image credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Trident trio of Lirim Zendeli, David Beckmann and Olli Caldwell were first out for installation laps but Campos’ Alex Peroni was first to set a lap time of a 2m 23.964 before quickly getting usurped by serval drivers, including Michael Belov who was making his F3 debut with Charouz after David Schumacher switched to Carlin.

Times soon began to tumble with several drivers running at different stages of session on mixture of carry over tyres and new tyres, as Prema’s Oscar Piastri found himself top come the halfway mark with a 2m 07.511 from Enzo Fittipaldi with Aleksandr Smolyar, Beckmann and Clement Novalak rounding out the top five with 22 minutes left in the session.

Jack Doohan however stole top spot with a 2m 05.769 in a frenetic final four minutes as Hitech’s Dennis Hauger finished a surprise second fastest, ahead of Caldwell plus Carlin duo of Schumacher and Das followed by Fittipaldi, Igor Fraga, Logan Sargeant, Theo Pourchaire and Clement Novalak in a mixed up top ten.

Zendeli initially finished tenth fastest but got demoted post session to 26th after his fastest time was wiped for exceeding track limits.

 

Qualifying

Zendeli clinched his maiden pole position in dramatic circumstances with two contrasting disruptions throughout qualifying. (Image credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

A frantic start to Qualifying saw everyone head out onto track but found themselves scrapping for track position with several drivers left unhappy at being impeded, as Beckmann opted to slip down the order to try and find some space ahead of the opening flying laps.

Zendeli meanwhile headed up the field and was duly rewarded with a 2m 05.393 lap time ahead of Theo Pourchaire and Aleksandr Smolyar as Belov lost his rear at Pouhon and spun backwards into the barrier to bring out a seven minute red flag.

Once the session resumed with rain rapidly drawing in, those who failed to get in a lap time prior to the brief stoppage managed to get laps on the board as Sargeant went fourth ahead of Beckmann whilst Liam Lawson edged out Piastri for eighth.

Rain however arrived shortly after everyone returned to pits to prepare for their final runs to ruin any chances for those out of position to improve on their final runs, despite Hauger and Novalak opting to attempt outlaps on slicks on a damp track in an attempt to gather data.

Zendeli therefore took a maiden F3 pole position ahead of Pourchaire, Smolyar, Sargeant, Beckmann, Richard Verschoor, Lawson, Piastri, Frederik Vesti and Alex Peroni.

Great Britain’s Olli Caldwell qualified 11th and just ahead of compatriot, Jake Hughes who was left pondering “Where has my pace gone?” over team radio after getting caught out in traffic on his second attempt.

Novalak meanwhile could only muster up 23rd position after all three Carlin drivers got caught up in traffic either side of the red flag, as a direct consequence of finding themselves up near the pit entry in the pit lane.

 

Results

Practice

Position Driver Team Time
1 Jack Doohan HWA Racelab 2m 05.769
2 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP + 0.377
3 Olli Caldwell Trident + 0.445
4 David Schumacher Carlin + 0.526
5 Cameron Das Carlin + 0.558
6 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA Racelab + 0.769
7 Igor Fraga Charouz + 0.915
8 Logan Sargeant Prema + 0.999
9 Theo Pourchaire ART GP + 1.086
10 Clement Novalak Carlin + 1.181
11 Roman Stanek Charouz + 1.268
12 David Beckman Trident + 1.318
13 Oscar Piastri Prema + 1.318
14 Frederik Vesti Prema + 1.385
15 Frederico Malvestiti Jenzer + 1.483
16 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab + 1.545
17 Aleksandr Smolyar ART GP + 1.621
18 Alex Peroni Campos + 1.651
19 Liam Lawson Hitech GP + 1.688
20 Calan Williams Jenzer + 1.703
21 Michael Belov Charouz + 1.704
22 Sebastian Fernandez ART GP + 1.787
23 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport + 1.793
24 Pierre-Louis Chovet Hitech GP + 1.802
25 Andreas Estner Campos + 1.823
26 Lirim Zendeli Trident + 1.877
27 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport + 2.046
28 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport + 2.186
29 Matteo Nannini Jenzer + 2.193
30 Alessio Deledda Campos + 2.242

 

Qualifying

Position Driver Team Time
1 Lirim Zendeli Trident 2m 05.393
2 Theo Pourchaire ART GP + 0.203
3 Aleksandr Smolyar ART GP + 0.414
4 Logan Sargeant Prema + 0.686
5 David Beckmann Trident + 0.719
6 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport + 0.751
7 Liam Lawson Hitech GP + 0.779
8 Oscar Piastri Prema + 0.813
9 Frederik Vesti Prema + 0.922
10 Alex Peroni Campos + 1.020
11 Olli Caldwell Trident + 1.051
12 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab + 1.075
13 Jack Doohan HWA Racelab + 1.112
14 Matteo Nannini Jenzer + 1.195
15 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA Racelab + 1.365
16 Sebastian Fernandez ART GP + 1.474
17 Frederico Malvestiti Jenzer + 1.606
18 Igor Fraga Charouz + 1.852
19 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport + 2.111
20 Andreas Estner Campos + 2.117
21 Calan Williams Jenzer + 2.137
22 David Schumacher Carlin + 2.305
23 Clement Novalak Carlin + 2.579
24 Roman Stanek Charouz + 2.965
25 Cameron Das Carlin + 3.160
26 Alessio Deledda Campos + 3.374
27 Pierre-Louis Chovet Hitech GP + 3.588
28 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport + 15.576
29 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP No Time Set
30 Michael Belov Charouz No Time Set

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