Oscar Piastri was crowned as 2020 Formula Three champion with a seventh placed finish in a thrilling final race of season, which was dominated by Liam Lawson who took victory.
Lawson led from lights out but a clash further behind him saw Lirim Zendeli hit title contender, Logan Sargeant to cruelly end the American’s hopes of clinching the title in the gravel trap at Luco as the safety car was deployed. with Piastri up to seventh ahead of outside contender – Theo Pourchaire.
Racing resumed on lap four with Pourchaire swiftly clearing Piastri and the departing Jake Hughes before launching a charge which took him to third by lap 16 with the title fight down to a single point as Piastri sat ninth at the end of that lap.
Pourchaire ultimately failed to catch and pass Beckmann for second which would of given him the title, as Piastri was allowed through by Vesti to make sure of the title although the Aussie eventually pipped Sebastian Fernandez to seventh at the flag to confirm himself as champion.
Piastri consequently wins the title with 164 points as Pourchaire leapfrogged Sargeant into second to become vice champion, whilst Vesti, Lawson and Beckmann rounded out the top six championship finishers of who were all covered by 24.5 points in the end of season standings.
Speaking post-race on his championship win, Oscar Piastri, says: “Exhausted to be honest. It was a tough race and yeah, I think the last few weeks have certainly put me to the test emotionally and so still cant believe we really won that thing.”
Lawson made a lightning start from pole to take the lead from Aleksandr Smolyar and Beckmann who demoted Fernandez down to fourth, with the Spaniard on inside line squeezing Sargeant into Luco when Zendeli hit the American’s right Prema sidepod to send both off into the gravel trap, ending Sargeant’s title hopes as the safety car was deployed.
Piastri had worked his way up to seventh but on the safety car restart, he found himself passed by Pourchaire into San Donato and suffered a brief slide down the order to tenth as Pourchaire immediately cleared Hughes for sixth, meaning that the Frenchman needed at least third to claim the title.
Up front, Lawson set about quickly stretching his lead over Smolyar with the Russian eventually losing second to Beckman on lap eight into San Donato, whilst Vesti passed Piastri into the same corner for ninth to damage his teammate’s title hopes.
Fernandez, Fittipaldi and Pourchaire soon reeled in and passed Smolyar by the end of lap 10 with Pourchaire soon snatching fourth from Fittipaldi into San Donato on the following lap, as Piastri found himself languishing still in tenth but set to win the title by just a point from Sargeant and two ahead of Pourchaire.
Smolyar however soon struggled for tyre life as he was passed by Richard Verschoor, Hughes and Vesti between laps 13-15 as Pourchaire looked set to snatch the title when he made a move on ART GP teammate, Sebastian Fernandez into San Donato at the start of lap 16, just as Piastri managed to pass Smolyar to close the gap to a single point in the Aussie’s favour.
Piastri however had Prema teammate, Vesti ahead of him and the Danish driver allowed him through into San Donato on lap 18 for eighth to put the Aussie on course for the title by two points from Pourchaire.
Beckmann meanwhile had enough pace to keep Pourchaire over a second behind him to the flag as Fernandez slid down the order in the final three laps as Fittipaldi, Verschoor and Hughes got past the Spaniard, with Piastri eventually edging him out for seventh by 0.043 seconds at the flag ahead of Vesti and Smolyar who completed the top ten as Piastri celebrated winning the title with Pourchaire confirmed as vice champion by finishing third.
Piastri is part of the Renault Junior Academy and Renault Sport Academy Director, Mia Sharizman released a short statement praising Piastri for his success, saying; “He has been the most consistent driver in the field this year and a hugely level-headed driver. These qualities will stand him well for the senior championships.”
|1||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||21||36m 30.379|
|2||David Beckmann||Trident||21||+ 7.806|
|3||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||21||+ 9.193|
|4||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||21||+ 10.399|
|5||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||21||+ 10.982|
|6||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||21||+ 12.436|
|7||Oscar Piastri||Prema||21||+ 13.521|
|8||Sebastian Fernandez||ART GP||21||+ 13.564|
|9||Frederik Vesti||Prema||21||+ 14.980|
|10||Aleksandr Smolyar||ART GP||21||+ 19.400|
|11||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||21||+ 20.684|
|12||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||21||+ 21.712|
|13||Alex Peroni||Campos||21||+ 22.235|
|14||Clement Novalak||Carlin||21||+ 22.785|
|15||Matteo Nannini||Jenzer||21||+ 23.256|
|16||Olli Caldwell||Trident||21||+ 23.443|
|17||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||21||+ 26.133|
|18||Roman Stanek||Charouz||21||+ 29.076|
|19||David Schumacher||Carlin||21||+ 30.841|
|20||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||21||+ 30.930|
|21||Calan Williams||Jenzer||21||+ 32.210|
|22||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer||21||+ 34.316|
|23||Michael Belov||Charouz||21||+ 34.803|
|24||Sophia Floersch||Campos||21||+ 35.284|
|25||Cameron Das||Carlin||21||+ 37.734|
|26||Alessio Deledda||Campos||21||+ 55.484|