An amazing start from third on the grid and perfect race management saw Arthur Leclerc win the first FIA Formula 3 race of the weekend at the Zandvoort circuit.
Arthur Leclerc made a textbook start off the second row of the grid, which formed the basis of his win today at Zandvoort, in the sixth round of the FIA Formula 3 championship. When the lights went out, Leclerc immediately pulled ahead of the two drivers on the front row as he went round the outside going into Tarzan corner. On the inside, Logan Sargeant held firm, but Arthur went round the outside in a daring move.
Managing. Once in the lead, Leclerc managed what was a very difficult race, with his pursuers always on his tail, partly due to the use of the DRS. Leclerc dealt with this difficult challenge for lap after lap, running a fast pace with one eye always on the mirrors. The Safety Car came out from the 16th to 20th lap and Arthur held firm at the restart, accelerating at the start of the straight to maintain the lead going into Tarzan. Four laps later and he could breathe more easily as the chequered flag came out for his second win of the season.
Happiness. “I am very very happy,” said a clearly emotional Arthur. “Qualifying had not gone that well and tenth did not reflect our real potential after I made a mistake on the final flying lap. But today, it all came good, the start was perfect, but it was a hard race, with Sargeant putting me under pressure right to the end. I struggled a bit with the pace overall, but even if it wasn’t a perfect race in terms of performance, we still secured a very important result. I am pleased and excited to have won in front of this crowd as there’s a really incredible atmosphere here in Zandvoort.”
Race-2. The second race of the Dutch weekend saw Leclerc start from twelfth on the grid, thanks to the regulation that sees the top twelve finishers from the first race line up in reverse order. At the start, Arthur moved up to eleventh, in a relatively straightforward move at the intimidating Tarzan corner. It was a different story five laps later at the restart following a Safety Car period as the field was bunched up going into the first corner. Leclerc managed to avoid various collisions going on around him, but lost one place. The order then remained unchanged until another safety car on lap 20, which left a two lap sprint for the flag during which Leclerc kept out of the chaos to move up to seventh, which is where he finished. The third and final race in Zandvoort takes place tomorrow, when Leclerc will start from tenth.