Pepe Martí scores points-paying finish at Monza’s FIA F3 season finale

The Spaniard made it into the points at Monza’s Temple of Speed by finishing ninth on Saturday. Vidales and Yeany experienced a bad luck weekend in Italy

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Campos Racing extended its streak of finishes into the points in the 2022 FIA Formula 3 Championship season thanks to Pepe Martí. It is important to underline that the Spanish-based racing team has scored points in all but two rounds with the youngest driver line-up in the field. Martí completed a strong weekend at Monza and, after a positive qualifying session, he secured a ninth place in his Campos Racing-run Dallara F3. Unfortunately, neither David Vidales nor Hunter Yeany, the latter who was making his comeback after his wrist injury in Spielberg, had the chance to fight for similar results as they got involved in different racing incidents throughout the weekend of the season finale.

The drivers got their first taste of Monza on Friday morning. Vidales made a strong start to the weekend by scoring the 5th-fastest lap time in free practice session. The Spaniard clocked a lap of 1m45.126s after completing 17 laps around the Monza track. His fellow countryman Martí posted a personal best time of 1m45.868s and American Yeany, on his comeback from injury, set a time of 1m48.823s. Qualifying took place in the afternoon with the drivers of Campos Racing aiming at the top-12 places to secure a good starting position on Saturday’s reverse grid. Vidales spearheaded the charge for Campos Racing in the first half of the session but in the closing moments Martí scored a lap of 1m38.182s to make into the top-ten. Vidales couldn’t lower his lap of 1m38.673s and Yeany, who went off track at T1 in the closing moments of the session, was also forced to start from the back with his time of 1m39.105s.

Saturday’s sprint race, consisting of 18 laps, saw Martí starting from third place on the reverse grid. Unfortunately, Vidales, who lined up in 17th place, couldn’t even make the start of the race due to a all-of-a-sudden technical issue. When the lights went out, Martí remained in third place avoiding any clash at T1. Further adrift, Yeany had moved up to 16th. Martí’s pace in the early stages was pretty strong as he even scored the fastest lap time of 1m39.760s on lap 3. The safety car came out shortly after when Zak O’Sullivan locked up and crashed into the wall. On lap 8, the green flag waved and the field headed into the first chicane with Martí trying to pass Caio Collet for second. Unfortunately, Jonny Edgar took advantage to move past Martí. Then, the Spaniard got caught in a close battle with the likes of Oliver Bearman, Arthur Leclerc or Jak Crawford. Finally, Martí took the checkered flag in ninth place securing his first points of the season. Yeany ended up in 24th place as he was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop. The American still posted a lap under 1m40s proving his strong pace at Monza.

On Sunday, Martí would start from 10th on the grid with both Vidales and Yeany further adrift. Vidales’ race came to a very early end when a clash with Rafael Villagomez left both drivers out of the race at Lesmo. Martí had moved up to ninth when the safety car was deployed to clear the track after the incident on the opening lap. At the restart, the Spaniard had a lively battle with Collet and Franco Colapinto for the top-ten. But he finally had to make a pit stop and dropped down the order. With five laps to go, Brad Benavides and Kush Maini had a massive impact and the race was immediately red-flagged. The race wasn’t resumed. Yeany finished in 17th place and Martí, after the unscheduled pit stop, ended up in 26th place.

A collective test day of the FIA Formula 3 Championship is scheduled in Jerez on 21-23 September.