The Ferrari Driver Academy’s Arthur Leclerc came through the field twice after struggling in qualifying.
The Formula 3 season ended today in Sochi. The Russian weekend was affected by bad weather which led to the second race being cancelled, so the cars were only on track on Friday and Sunday. Arthur Leclerc took two seventh places after fighting his way up from 14th on the grid. Leclerc has thus ended his first Formula 3 season in tenth place in the championship, his tally including two wins.
Qualifying. At 5.848 kilometres, Sochi is one of the longest tracks on the calendar, however with 30 cars all out on track for qualifying, the long train of cars meant it was hard to put in a quick lap without encountering traffic. Leclerc was sixth on his first set of new tyres, but dropped to 14th on his second run. “I didn’t get a perfect qualifying,” commented Arthur. “I struggled a bit to get a clear track and that meant I couldn’t put together a good time in all the sectors.”
Race-1. Even though he started from the seventh row of the grid, Leclerc still managed to finish well. He made up three places on the opening lap and then pushed hard to catch the group ahead of him. Once he closed up to them, he pulled off three passing moves to take the chequered flag in seventh place. “The race started well and lap after lap I could run at a good pace which allowed me to make up several places,” said Arthur. “From the start of the season we have known that race pace is our strong point and that was confirmed again here.”
Race-2. The second race of the weekend was also run in the dry. Arthur maintained position at the start and, as in the first race, he gradually up the pace and made up places. As is usual in the final race of the year, there was plenty of aggression on track from all the drivers and Leclerc exploited this situation to his advantage. He managed the race very well, showing that all the work carried out this year had paid off.
Test. With the championship over, the FIA Formula 3 runners will be back on track next for pre-2022 season testing, with the dates to be established in the coming weeks.