Its the last race of the 2023 Formula 3 season and with the championship decided after qualifying the rest of the championship places were still open it almost half the grid and i the race had a theme to day it would be 'all or nothing'
Formula 3 Sprint Race
Writer @ F1 Journal
Sprint Race- Dry
The Final race of the FIA Formula 3 Championship and Bortoleto comes into the weekend able to win the championship in Qualifying if his closest Championship rival Paul Aron doesn't get Pole today and take to 2 points your get for Pole, also the fight for 2nd is very tight with just 19 points between 2nd and 7th with 37 points available this weekend.
The cars got underway with 16 minutes on the clock but the traffic from all 30 cars on track made getting a lap of Monza right and fast much much harder than it should have been.
Goethe, Aron and Mini managed to hook a fast laps when it counted. Just in time for the 2nd Red flag to be brought out by Boya who spun into the barrier at the last corner ( turn 11) with just 6 minutes to go. The Race Director chose not to restart the session and Goethe took the top spot, followed by the only man who could take the championship from Bortoleto(ended the session in 6th), Paul Aron. But to do so Aron needs to score all of the 37 points available at Monza . It sounds impossible but we have to remember 1/ this is F3 & 2 this is Monza!!!
Writer @ F1 Journal
Sophia Floersch became the first women to collect points in Formula 3 world championship after finishing 7th in Formula 3’s Spa Francorchmps feature race.
The German driver is currently the only female in the series and stands 22nd out of 34 drivers with only one round left of the 2023 season. Floersch is one of three drivers racing for German racing team, PHM Racing, her points have helped them move up to 9th in the team standings.
This historic finish comes after the 22-year-old was stripped of her points finish at the beginning of this month. Floersch finished p9 in the round 6 feature race in Spielberg only to be disqualified due to front wing illegalities. The PHM no.29 front wings endplates were found to only be 67.5mm and 67.3mm above the reference plane, breaching the technical regulations that state in Art. 4.3.13 “No part of the front wing endplate may be less than 70 mm above the reference plane and more than 80mm above the reference plane”.
Sophia known as a trailblazer and inspiration for women in motorsport was announced as an Alpine Academy driver at the beginning of the 2023 season. After taking two years out of formula racing, she returned as part of PHM Racing.
Floersch previously told CNN “I think as a woman, a struggle you have is to find people to give you money for it…to find companies who believe in you, who trust you to beat the man and to get the same chances and possibilities”.
Sophia Floersch has made this incredible come back to Formula 3 after surviving what could have been a life ending crash in her previous stint in the series back in 2018, when it was a European championship. At 17 years old Sophia was sent airborne after making contact with fellow driver Jehan Daruvala, throwing her over the barriers at 171 mph during the Macau Grand Prix. The crash resulted in Floersch being rushed to hospital with a fractured spine, she was put through 11 hours of spinal cord surgery.
Just four months, 106 days, after her crash the German was back in a single seat racing, in Formula Regional with Van Amersfoort racing. She ended the season 7th in the standings after consistently getting points at every race.
The following year, 2019, Floersch was back in Macau with Formula 3. Sophia joined HWA seemingly unfazed by the crash, her race was only cut short due to mechanical failures. She was then signed by Campos Racing for the 2020 season adding another ‘first’ to her name as she became the first woman to race in the championship since the merger of GP3 and European F3. However, the season didn’t go to plan as several mechanical problems resulted her finishing 29th out of 35 drivers.
Floersch after a disappointing stint in F3 made her debut in endurance racing in 2020. For the next two years she would race in the 24 hours of Le Mans – LMP2 alongside Beitske Visser and Tatiana Calderon as part of an all-female team and the European Le Mans Series. Competing with Richard Mille Racing and Algarve Pro racing.
Laureus world sports award – ‘Comeback of the year’
In 2020, Sophia Floersch won the Laureus world sports award for ‘Comeback of the year’, coming out on top of her fellow nominees that included And Murray (Tennis), Christian Lealifano (Rugby) and Kawhi Leonard (Basketball). The award has previously been won by Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Michael Phelps. She is the only German and the second Auto racing athlete to have won this prestigious award.
Sophia Floersch only seems to get more determined as she said at the ceremony: “It was a hard time, but I always had the goal to come back in a racecar…Thanks to the Academy for letting me win it and hopefully I'm going to be here in some years again as a Sportswoman of the Year”.
writer @ F1 Journal
Saturday Catch Up
Sunday Feature Race Round Up
The feature race started on a wet track and after the start had been delayed the Safety car lead the pack around the formation lap for a rolling start. If Championship leader Bortoleto finished the race with a 40 point lead minimum he would wrap up the Championship today at Spa.
The primary strategy was thought to the dry tyre but 8 very brave drivers donned the wet tyres to start the race and boy was that the right choice.
Drivers Championship Standings After Spa
Aron- 106 -38
Marti- 105 -37
Colapinto- 100 -44
Marti went to go around the outside of Mini when Mini out brakes himself and sent both drivers into a spin, this ended Mini's race but Marti managed to keep the car going, but when he tried to rejoin the track he did so into the path of a totally unsuspecting Cohen and the 2 collided HARD bringing out safety car number 2 and ending his championship chances. Thankfully both drivers where unhurt and Marti was very apologetic to the innocent Cohen . At the same time Goethe was hit from behind and suffered rear suspension damage and also retired. During the safety car period Villagomez was given a 10 second penalty for the incident with Montoya, championship contender O'Sullivan was under investigation for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, and Female driver Sophie Floersh was up to 14th from 24th.
The safety car ended for the cars to start lap 8 and Collet went early and held his lead, Edgar in 4th out braked himself into turn 1 and handed the place to O'Sullivan and news came that Mansell was under investigation for a safety car infringement. Just 1 lap later Safety car number 3 was brought out for championship leader Bortoleto's ailing car pulling over on the side of the start of the Kemmel Straight after being hit from behind by Beganovic going into turn 1 causing suspension damage that meant he could not continue and would score no points in his effort to win the F3 title this weekend at Spa. At the same time driver Shin in his MP motorsport car also spun at le Combes confirming the call for the 3rd safety car .
The race ended under safety car conditions and Collet lead the grid home to win the Sprint Race at Spa, with Zak O'Sullivan the only title contender to score points today taking him closer to Bortoleto in the championship by 7 much needed points to keep the championship fight alive to Monza.
After the race several drivers were handed penalties
O'Sullivan 5 second penalty meaning he drops from 4th -15th and no points
Beganovic was handed a 10 second penalty moving him from 9th- 22nd
Mini took a 10 second penalty for the contact with Marti that was converted to a grid penalty for Sundays feature race.
Smith took a 10 second penalty dropping him from 20th to 24th
Final Sprint Result
1-COL 2- BAR
23-VIL(+10 sec penalty)
After such an exciting race we cant wait to watch the Feature race tomorrow morning.
Writer @ F1 Journal