The Monegasque Ferrari Driver Academy student came away from a wet weekend in Spa-Francorchamps with a couple of useful championship points.
The fifth round of the FIA Formula 3 season ended at Spa-Francorchamps today, with rain affecting proceedings from qualifying right through to the end of the weekend. Arthur failed to pick up as many points as he had hoped for, his car set-up never really suited to the difficult track conditions, but he finished in the top ten in the second and third races
Qualifying. In the session to decide the grid for Race-3, Leclerc was 13th fast, two tenths short of being 12th which would have seen him start the first race from pole. “It was a difficult qualifying,” commented Arthur. “The results we expected didn’t come but I think the overall result didn’t reflect our true potential. On my first set of tyres I didn't find myself in a good position, as I was the last to go out on track and I had to do my quick lap when the rain increased in intensity. On the second set, the traction wasn’t great, but after the first flying lap I felt the track was improving and I was confident that I could get into the top 10. Unfortunately, the session was red flagged because of an accident and my session ended with the 13th fastest time.”
Race-1. The first race of the weekend featured few changes of position. Leclerc took the chequered flag in the same position from which he started. “It was a difficult race and the final result was disappointing,” commented the Monegasque driver. “I lacked a bit of rhythm and I didn't have a real chance to make up places. For the final five laps I had an overheating problem with the engine which meant I couldn’t take any risks to the finish.”
Race-2. Once again, Arthur was unable to get a decent result. He started 13th again and pulled off two nice overtaking moves to finish 10th. “It was an other difficult race,” explained Leclerc. “I struggled quite a bit to maintain the pace, but we had made some changes which improved the handling compared to Race 1. Unfortunately, the Safety Car froze the final phase of the race and it was a shame, as the track was gradually improving and I was counting on making up a few places a bit closer to the chequered flag.”
Race-3. The final race of the weekend was also held in the wet. Leclerc dropped a place on the opening lap, crossing the line in 14th place, mainly due to the much reduced visibility. But, as from the next lap, Leclerc began making progress moving up the order, gradually getting closer to the points positions, managing to take tenth in the closing stages and staying there to the chequered flag.
Zandvoort. After Spa-Francorchamps, the Formula 3 series is back on track almost immediately in the Netherlands, where the Zandvoort circuit hosts the sixth round of the championship next weekend.