Logan Sargeant has reclaimed the F3 championship lead after taking a dominant victory in the second Belgian race of this weekend.
The American made a great start from third to find himself second only to be forced wide at Les Combes by Richard Verschoor, before getting past with DRS on lap three to secure a dominant victory despite surviving a late charge from Prema teammate, Frederik Vesti.
Liam Lawson made a poor start but recovered to finish third ahead of Aleksandr Smolyar, Theo Pourchaire and Oscar Piastri, of whom received a five second time penalty for gaining an advantage by going wide at Raidillon and immediately passing Verschoor on the Kemmel Straight into Les Combes on lap 10.
Verschoor, Lirim Zendeli, David Beckmann and Sebastian Fernandez round out the top ten finishers, whilst Olli Caldwell finished 11th despite running as high as third.
In terms of the title race, Sargeant now leads Piastri by seven points as Beckmann sits third but 40.5 points behind Sargeant and in need of a perfect weekend at Monza next weekend to stay in the title fight.
Speaking post-race on his win which returned him to the championship summit, Sargeant said; “Fortunately, we were able to get the win today, which was super important after the technical problems that we had yesterday.”
Verschoor made a clean getaway whilst fellow front row starter, Liam Lawson got bogged down and slipped to fifth, allowing Sargeant and Caldwell through into the top three behind Verschoor.
Sargeant soon found himself within striking distance of the lead when he attempted an outside move on Verschoor into Les Combes, only to be forced wide over the kerbs but retained second.
Verschoor however soon succumbed to Sargeant’s charge on lap three when the American breezed past with DRS on the Kemmel Straight, whilst Jack Doohan retired with a puncture following contact with Jenzer’s Calan Williams on the second lap.
Vesti then demoted Verschoor to third in a replica of Sargeant’s move whilst Olli Caldwell lost third when he got clipped by Lawson to send him wide and down to fifth, just as Virtual Safety Car was deployed after Pierre-Louis Chovet found the barriers at Les Combes.
Upon the restart at end of lap five, Alex Peroni caught Beckmann and Fernandez napping into the Bus Stop Chicane as he passed the pair to take ninth, which didn’t last long as Beckmann used DRS to reclaim ninth just a few corners later on the Kemmel Straight.
Caldwell meanwhile continued to slide down the order and a 11th placed finish was confirmed when he tagged Peroni at Les Combes on lap 12, sending Peroni into a spin and down to 25th position although he recovered to 22nd at the flag.
Pourchaire found himself in third with six laps left but Lawson and Smolyar managed to demote the two-time young race winner to fifth within the space of five corners, between Kemmel Straight and Rivage, with Piastri then passing the Frenchman three laps later only for a five second time penalty to demote Piastri back behind Pourchaire at the flag.
Up front, Sargeant built a solid two second lead over Vesti who managed his tyres better than his Prema teammate in the closing stages, although Sargeant eventually managed to cling on for the win by just 0.801s and reclaimed the championship lead with just four races remaining this season.
|1||Logan Sargeant||Prema||17||37m 52.233|
|2||Frederik Vesti||Prema||17||+ 0.801|
|3||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||17||+ 8.736|
|4||Aleksandr Smolyar||ART GP||17||+ 9.480|
|5||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||17||+ 13.401|
|6||Oscar Piastri||Prema||17||+ 16.157|
|7||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||17||+ 17.158|
|8||Lirim Zendeli||Trident||17||+ 23.413|
|9||David Beckmann||Trident||17||+ 24.882|
|10||Sebastian Fernandez||ART GP||17||+ 25.545|
|11||Olli Caldwell||Trident||17||+ 27.665|
|12||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||17||+ 31.429|
|13||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||17||+ 32.455|
|14||David Schumacher||Carlin||17||+ 37.859|
|15||Clement Novalak||Carlin||17||+ 38.940|
|16||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||17||+ 41.046|
|17||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||17||+ 43.725|
|18||Roman Stanek||Charouz||17||+ 47.025|
|19||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||17||+ 50.888|
|20||Andreas Estner||Campos||17||+ 51.647|
|21||Alex Peroni||Campos||17||+ 51.892|
|22||Cameron Das||Carlin||17||+ 56.516|
|23||Alessio Deledda||Campos||17||+ 57.484|
|24||Frederico Malvestiti||Jenzer||17||+ 61.410|
|25||Calan Williams||Jenzer||17||+ 1m 16.355|
|26||Matteo Nannini||Jenzer||17||+ 1m 24.425|
|27||Igor Fraga||Charouz||17||+ 1 Lap|
|29||Pierre Louis Chovet||Hitech GP||3||Spin|
|30||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||2||Puncture|