F3 Barcelona

Two podiums in one weekend

With a complete rookie lineup, we arrived for the first round of the Formula 3 season in Barcelona. After having successful tests where both Caio and Victor were the quickest on different days, we were ready to deliver a fight.

Just like Formula 2, Formula 3 started with a new format this season. Friday’s qualifying would determine the grid for Sunday’s Race 3. The lineup for Race 1 would be the top 12 of qualifying reversed. The second race would start with the top 12 of Race 1 reversed.

With a different strategy than the other teams, all 3 drivers made their quickest lap in the final lap of qualifying. Victor moved from P23 to P3, being 0.06 off the time the polesitter had. Caio made it to P10 which meant he started from P3 during Race 1 and Tijmen qualified on P22.

Race 1

After the very good qualifying session, Victor started from P10 and Caio from P3. Tijmen remained on P22 since only the top 12 gets reversed. It was a good first race of the season, with good fights for defending but also gaining positions. Caio lost his podium position after 10 laps, when trying to overtake Edgar for P2, he now found himself on P4. After 15 laps Caio was able to overtake Edgar for P3 on the long straight, which meant he was back on the podium.

In lap 19 the safety car appeared after a car got stuck in the gravel, this also meant it was the end of the race with 2 more laps to go. Victor finished on P9 and Tijmen on P21, both gaining one place. Besides being on the podium, Caio was also the highest classified rookie of the race.

Race 2

Race 2 was, especially after Race 1, very hectic. Victor started from P4, Caio from P10 and Tijmen from P21. The safety car had to come out immediately after the start when two cars ran off in the gravel after a collision in turn 2. After the safety car, Victor lost two positions and was driving on P6. In lap 15, Fittipaldi and Schumacher who were driving on P1 and 2, collided and went off, which got Victor back to P4 and close to the podium. In the meantime was Caio driving on P7 and Tijmen on P18.

After the safety car went in, we started racing again. In lap 21 (of 22) the newest race leaders, Nannini and Hauger, also collided. With 2 more laps to go, Victor was now racing on P2 and very close to P1. In the final lap, he tried to overtake Caldwell, side to side in turn 1, but Victor went wide and couldn’t get towards the first place anymore. Nevertheless, he still set an amazing result for his second race ever in Formula 3. Caio finished on P5, scoring good points for himself and the team. Tijmen had a very good race where he finished P16.

Barcelona (ESP) APR 23-25 2021 – F3 and FRECA championship during the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Spain 2021 at Circuito de Barcelona Cataluyna. Tijmen van der Helm #19 MP Motorsport © 2021 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency

Race 3

On Sunday we raced with the original grid of Friday’s qualifying. This meant Victor of P3, Caio on P10 and Tijmen on P22. It was very warm, especially in the car, but that didn’t hold Victor back. He had a great start and with 4 wide they ran to turn 1, where Victor came out as the second car. Unfortunately, that didn’t last for a long time and Victor quickly found himself in P5. He managed to stay on P5 which got him some good points for both himself and the team.

Caio gained two places during the race and finished P8, also securing good points. Tijmen also gained two positions and finished 20th.

The current driver standings is as followed:

P4 – Victor Martins – 24 points
P6 – Caio Collet – 20 points
P22 – Tijmen van der Helm – 0 points

Team standings:

P3 – MP Motorsport – 44 points

Quotes

“We’ve had points in every race.”

It was a solid weekend. We’ve had points in every race and I got my first podium. I still have a lot of work to do and areas that I need to improve, but overall it was a good first step. We will keep pushing. Thank you everyone for all the support!

— Caio Collet

“We’ve got good results.”

I’ve had a pretty good first weekend in Barcelona. We’ve got good results, especially in Race 2 where I finished 16th, and I learned a lot during all races. I am ready for the next round, in Paul Ricard.

— Tijmen van der Helm

“I’ve learned so many things this weekend.”

What a weekend we had in Barcelona. I’ve learned so many things, I’ve made mistakes and we’ve had a lot of ups and downs. There is a lot of potentials and a lot more to come! On to Paul Ricard!

— Victor Martins