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Alex Smolyar Archives - MP Motorsport index.php
Publiée le September 5, 2022 par Lois de Bruin

MP Motorsport wins twice in Zandvoort

3 podiums and leading the championship again

MP Motorsport won twice at their home race, took a podium and regained the lead in the FIA Formula 2 championship. It was long awaited to come back to Zandvoort, with a full home crowd at the track. On Friday, championship leader Felipe Drugovich took pole position, allowing him to start Sunday’s race from first place. Teammate Clément Novalak qualified in 10th position, allowing him to start from first on Saturday. In the F2 and F3 races, the top 10 and top of qualifying are reversed for the first race. Clément finished second, giving him his first podium in his F2 career.

Saturday started well when Caio Collet took the first win of the weekend for the team in the Formula 3 Sprint Race. He started from the fourth position, and due to his fast start, he was soon in the second position. After a few laps, he was able to take the lead of the race and kept it. This was Collet’s second win of the F3 season.

Sunday’s hectic Formula 2 race started early after the Formula 3 race. Drugovich took the lead immediately and didn’t let go, despite several moments when the safety car brought all the cars back together. Felipe Drugovich has a chance to take the championship next week in Monza, as Theo Pourchaire only scored 1 point this weekend. Both podia finish also put the team back on top of the championship standings.

Current F2 driver standings:
P1 Felipe Drugovich – 233 points
P15 Clément Novalak – 36 points
Current F2 team standings:
P1 MP Motorsport – 269 points

Current driver standings:
P8 Caio Collet – 80 points
P9 Alex Smolyar – 74 points
P14 Kush Maini – 31 points
Current team standings:
P4 MP Motorsport – 185 points

ZANDVOORT (NL), 02-04 September 2022: Grand Prix of the Netherlands 2022 at Circuit Zandvoort. Caio Collet #10 MP Motorsport © 2022 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency

Publiée le August 30, 2022 par Lois de Bruin

MP Motorsport has a strong start after the summer break

Formula 2

We’ve had a great comeback from the winter break, with pole for Felipe, a podium and double points for the team!

On Saturday, Felipe started from the 10th position with Clément starting from P16. Both had a great race, Felipe quickly got up to the sixth position in the opening laps. In the 11th lap, the safety car had to come out. With a few other drivers, Felipe immediately changed to soft tyres and ended up behind Clément in P12. With only four laps left, the safety car went back in and Felipe flew through the field. In the final lap he was able to finish fourth. Clément finished in P17.

Clément’s Feature Race went much better compared to the Sprint Race. Within 6 laps he was already driving in the eleventh position, coming from P16. Felipe kept the lead of the race, until he came in for a pit stop. When he came out of the pit stop, he was driving behind Doohan, virtually in P2. He got very close towards the end but due to a virtual safety car in the final laps, he couldn’t close the gap. He took his eight podium finishing second. Clément finished in P10, but due to a post race penalty, he gained another position and scored two points!

Current driver standings:
P1 Felipe Drugovich – 205 points
P15 Clément Novalak – 28 points
Current team standings:
P3 MP Motorsport – 233 points

Francorchamps (BEL), AUG 26 – 28 2022 – Belgium Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Felipe Drugovich #11 MP Motorsport. © 2022 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency

Formula 3

Like in Formula 2, the weekend started great for another Brazilian. Caio got his first pole this season, and the second for the team! On the wet track, Alex qualified in seventh and Kush in P15.

All 3 drivers had a clean start during the Sprint Race on Saturday morning, although the safety car was deployed within the opening laps. After two laps of racing, the safety car came out on track again after a big incident. Fortunately, both drivers were okay and got out of their cars by themselves. Due to the crash the race was red flagged and all cars came back to the pitlane. Alex used the restart of the race to come back on the podium and finished third. Caio managed to get one point by finishing in P10 and Kush finished in P13.

The Feature Race was a tough race for Kush, as he crashed into multiple cars in the first lap. He was penalised for it by receiving a 5-grid penalty during the next round in Zandvoort. Caio received a 5-second penalty during the race, for rejoining the track in an unsafely matter, during a fight in the first few laps on track. This made him drop from third to 6th when he crossed the finish line. Alex scored another few points by finishing 9th.

Both Formula 2 and Formula 3 immediately switch from Spa-Francorchamps to Zandvoort, for the second round of the final triple header.

Current driver standings:
P8 Alex Smolyar – 73 points
P8 Caio Collet – 63 points
P13 Kush Maini – 31 points
Current team standings:
P3 MP Motorsport – 167 points

Francorchamps (BEL), AUG 26 – 28 2022 – Belgium Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Alexander Smolyar #11 MP Motorsport © 2022 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency
Publiée le July 10, 2022 par Lois de Bruin

Podium for Caio

Formula 2

It was a mixed weekend for our Formula 2 team. Clément’s weekend started tough when he qualified 20th on Friday. Felipe qualified 5th which is an excellent opportunity to catch important points again this weekend.

He did during the Sprint Race on Saturday. He overtook Verschoor immediately after turn 1 in the opening lap and didn’t give the position away. Clément started from P19 due to penalties for other drivers and had some good moments finishing on P15. The morning of the Feature Race on Sunday was a wet one, and although the sun was shining due to the F2 race, the track was wet when the race started. Clément and Felipe started on wet tyres, as did almost every car in the top 10. Unfortunately, the track dried up very quickly and the slicks were faster. Both our drivers came in for a pit stop to switch to slicks. Felipe finished 13th and Clément 18th. After multiple post-race penalties for other drivers, Felipe finished on P11 and Clément on P17.

Current driver standings:
P1 Felipe Drugovich – 154 points
P16 Clément Novalak – 22 points
Current team standings:
P1 MP Motorsport – 176 points

Spielberg (AUT), JUL 07-10 2022 – Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring. Felipe Drugovich #11, MP Motorsport. © 2022 Klaas Norg / Dutch Photo Agency.

Formula 3

Alex was back in the car after he had to miss the Silverstone round. Qualifying for all three drivers was tough, with 2 minutes to go everyone was improving their times. Unfortunately, due to a red flag, the session was finished early. Because of this, Kush had to start from P26, Alex from P16 and Caio from P12. This meant Caio started the Sprint Race from the reverse pole position. Although Caio didn’t win the race, he finished second and secured important points. Alex was having a brilliant weekend as he scored points in both races! Kush made up quite a lot of positions during the Sprint Race and finished 18th, coming from P26.

It was pouring during the Feature Race, so the race started with a rolling start. The race was going quite well for Caio and Alex, who both made up positions. Caio was driving on P8 and Alex on P11. In the final stages of the race, the safety car had to come out. When it went back in there were only 3 more laps to race. Caio hit the back of Edgar in turn 1, causing Crawford also to fall out of the race. Besides them, Caio also had to retire and received a 5-second penalty for causing a collision. Kush had damage due to the same incident and had to retire the car. Alex finished 8th, and after a few post-race penalties he was classified as 7th.

Formula 3 will be back in Hungary, at the final weekend of July. Formula two will drive in Paul Ricard in two weeks’ time, after taking one week of rest.

Current driver standings:
P8 Caio Collet – 39 points
P9 Alex Smolyar – 34 points
P15 Kush Maini – 17 points
Current team standings:
P5 MP Motorsport – 90 points

Spielberg (AUT), JUL 07-10 2022 – Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring. Alexander Smolyar #11, MP Motorsport. © 2022 Klaas Norg / Dutch Photo Agency.
Publiée le July 3, 2022 par Lois de Bruin

Collecting important championship points

Formula 2

Felipe and the team scored good points in the seventh round of the Formula 2 championship. In the first race on Saturday, due to a rain shower on a very wet track, Felipe finished fifth. Clément started from the seventh position, and with some nice overtaking actions finished 13th.

Sunday’s race had different conditions, being dry and sunny. With a late overtaking move in the final corners of the Silverstone circuit, Felipe gained the fourth position. Clément was doing well, he had a mega opening lap gaining 6 positions, and was on his way to scoring points. Unfortunately, at the end of the race, he finished 13th.

Current driver standings:
P1 Felipe Drugovich – 148 points
P15 Clément Novalak – 22 points
Current team standings:
P1 MP Motorsport – 170 points

Silverstone (UK), JUL 1-3 2022 – British GP 2022 at Silverstone Circuit. Clement Novalak #12 MP Motorsport. © 2022 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency

Formula 3

Unfortunately, Alex Smolyar could not drive this weekend because of problems with the English visa system. Filip Ugran took over his position. Filip hadn’t driven a Formula 3 car for more than half a year, but nevertheless put in a good race on Sunday where he finished 19th. On Saturday, he finished 23rd.

Both races were dry races for Formula 3, compared to Saturday for Formula 2. Caio was on his way to a podium place, but was overtaken on the last lap and finished fourth. Sunday’s race was smoother than Saturday’s race, where he finished outside the points in 11th place. Kush had a good race on Saturday where he finished fourth, but a disappointing Sunday race where he finished 20th behind Filip. After post-race penalties due to track limits, he fell back to P22.

Both the Formula 2 and Formula 3 teams will race next weekend in Spielberg, Austria, where they will once again join the Formula 1 championship.

Current driver standings:
P8 Caio Collet – 30 points
P9 Alex Smolyar – 28 points
P15 Kush Maini – 17 points
Current team standings:
P5 MP Motorsport – 75 points

Silverstone (UK), JUL 1-3 2022 – British GP 2022 at Silverstone Circuit. Kush Maini #12 MP Motorsport © 2022 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency
Publiée le May 24, 2022 par Lois de Bruin

Three times podium!

Formula 2

We had a great weekend in Barcelona, where Felipe Drugovich won two races!

For the first time in the current F2 era, a driver won two races in one weekend. Felipe took the lead right from the start in yesterday’s race, where he started from P4 after receiving a 3-grid penalty for impeding during qualifying. Clément had a solid race, but he lost a few positions due to having a wide moment in the final lap.

The Feature Race was a mega race for both Felipe and Clément. Felipe came from P10 and started on soft tyres. He took everything out of the tyres and pitted at lap 18. Clément started on hard tyres and switched to soft tyres after 24 laps. Within a few laps on fresh hard tyres, Felipe caught Doohan and took the lead of the race. Meanwhile, Clément was driving through the grid to the fifth position. A result with double points for the team, and two wins for Felipe. Felipe is now leading the championship with a 26 point gap. The team is still leading the Team’s Championship!

Current driver standings:
P1 Felipe Drugovich – 86 points
P14 Clément Novalak – 22 points
Current team standings:
P1 MP Motorsport – 108 points

The following Formula 2 race is in the upcoming weekend when they join Formula 1 in Monaco.

Barcelona (ESP), MAY 19 – 22 2022 – Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. Felipe Drugovich #11 MP Motorsport. © 2022 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency

Formula 3

After having a tough round in Imola, our team recovered in Barcelona.

The results started great for Alex on Friday, when he qualified third. Both Alex and Caio were back in the top 10, scoring points in both races. Kush got stuck in traffic during the qualifying session, which led to him starting both races from P22. Immediately in the opening lap of the Sprint Race, Alex had a great fight with Bearman for the sixth position. It was Alex who had more grip and pace so he claimed the position right before the chicane. Both Alex and Caio had more pace than a few cars in front of them, and in the final few laps, Caio overtook Correa for the final podium position. Kush had a solid recovery and finished P17, coming from P22. Alex finished in the points on P6.

The Feature Race was one with multiple safety cars, compared to the Sprint Race. Kush received a 10-second penalty after he collided with Villagomez, whose race finished in the barrier. It was a good race for Alex and Caio, and with a lot of action on track, the top 10 mostly remained the same after the opening laps. Alex finished fourth and Caio seventh.

Current driver standings:
P6 Alex Smolyar – 28 points
P11 Caio Collet – 18 points
P16 Kush Maini – 10 points
Current team standings:
P5 MP Motorsport – 56 points

It will take some weeks before we can see Formula 3 in action again. Their next weekend is Silverstone, which will take place in the first weekend of July.

Barcelona (ESP), MAY 19 – 22 2022 – Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. Caio Collet #10 MP Motorsport © 2022 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency
Publiée le April 28, 2022 par Lois de Bruin

Championship leaders

Formula 2 and 3 were back for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola. It was the first time for both F2 and F3 to drive in Imola. Friday, the first track day of the weekend, started with a lot of rain. F2’s practice session had to be rescheduled, as the track was too wet for the session to continue. Later in the day, Formula 2 was still able to qualify.

F3 Qualifying results:

P9 Caio Collet
P10 Kush Maini
P15 Alex Smolyar

F2 Qualifying results

P12 Felipe Drugovich
P13 Clément Novalak

F3 Sprint Race 1

Kush and Caio started on the second row in the Sprint Race, on P3 and P4. Kush had a good start and took P2, but later in the race, he would get a drive-through penalty for standing outside of the box during the start. Caio also had a good start and was driving behind Kush on P3. It didn’t take long before Caio also overtook Kush for the second position. Alex gained one position during the start and was driving on P14. In the fourth lap, Caio overtook Colapinto for the lead of the race. Kush had to defend a lot, but by the seventh lap, he was overtaken by Hadjar for P3.

In the 9th lap, the safety car was deployed after two separate incidents in the same and final corner. Caio had a good restart of the race, but Kush was immediately put under pressure by Martins who overtook him. Not quickly after that, we got another safety car. With 3 laps to go, the grid raced again and Caio kept the lead. In the meantime, Alex had driven himself towards P10, coming from P15. In the final lap of the race, Caio was overtaken by Colapinto for the lead of the race. When defending, Caio crashed with Hadjar and couldn’t continue. An absolute heartbreak for both Caio and the team. Alex drove a very decent race and finished 9th, Kush finished 20th due to his penalty.

IMOLA (ITA), APR 21-24 2022 – Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Caio Collet #10 MP Motorsport © 2022 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency

F2 Sprint Race

Felipe had a mega start and made up 6 positions in the first lap. Clément had an unfortunate start, as Beckmann spun in front of him and he couldn’t avoid him. He had to come in for a new front wing, which brought him to the back of the grid on P20. In the 9th lap, Felipe overtook Boschung for the sixth position. Boschung had a problem and parked his car not much later next to the track.

Felipe was stuck in a battle for P4 in the final laps with 2 other drivers. On lap 24, he overtook Sargeant for the fifth position and made up 7 positions in the race. These points were very important for the championship, as Felipe kept the lead on Saturday.

Imola (ITA) APR 22-24 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Clément Novalak #12 MP Motorsport © 2022 Frits van Eldik / Dutch Photo Agency

F3 Feature Race

Right before the race was about to start, some rain fell down and the track was declared wet. Caio and Alex both started on wet tyres, while Kush started the race on slicks. The strategy worked out perfectly for Caio and Alex, who started on P9 and P15. Within a few corners, Caio took the lead in the race and Alex was driving on P3. Both had much more grip than the other drivers in the top 10. Unfortunately, the strategy couldn’t be fully used as the safety car had to be deployed by the second lap. Caio and Alex came into the pits to change to slicks and ended at the back of the grid. Kush was still driving within the points on P9.

The track quickly started to dry up, so bringing Caio and Alex in for slicks was a good decision. Caio and Alex we’re quickly driving on P20 and P22. By the 7th lap, the safety car had to be deployed again. Kush was driving on P6 when the race restarted and had a very decent race overall! Caio and Alex both overtook a lot of cars and finished on P13 and 15. But it’s Kush who got his first points of the season by finishing 6th. After post-race penalties, he was promoted to P5.

Current driver standings:
P12 Alex Smolyar – 11 points
P13 Kush Maini – 10 points
P16 Caio Collet – 4 points

Current team standings:
P5 MP Motorsport – 25 points

IMOLA (ITA), APR 21-24 2022 – Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Alex Smolyar #11 MP Motorsport © 2022 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency

F2 Feature Race

Felipe started on medium tyres and Clément on softs. They both had a good start, but after an incident during the start between Doohan and Hauger, the safety car was deployed. Felipe was driving on P6 and Clément on P12. Both made up positions, and quickly gained another position when Vips crashed. The safety car was deployed again, and Clément came in for a pitstop to switch to mediums. By lap 15, Felipe was driving on P4 and Clément on P14.

Nissany crashed into the wall by the pitlane on lap 21. A virtual safety car was deployed and the pitlane was closed, as it was full of debris. Felipe still hadn’t pitted by the 27th lap and was hoping for another safety car to the end of the race. Clément was now driving on P8 with only 4 more laps to go, going towards his first points! The safety car came in the final laps, but it was deployed as a virtual safety car. In Formula 2 you aren’t allowed to pit under a VSC. When Felipe passed the pitlane, the full safety car was deployed and therefore he couldn’t gain an advantage from it. In the end, he finished 10th, and still scored a point. Clément finished 4th and was finally rewarded with points this season! Due to both cars scoring points, the team is now leading the championship for the first time in F2’s history. A mega job from the team.

Current driver standings:
P2 Felipe Drugovich – 50 points
P15 Clément Novalak – 12 points
Current team standings:
P1 MP Motorsport – 62 points

The next Formula 2 and Formula 3 round is in Barcelona, on 20-22 May.

Publiée le March 21, 2022 par Lois de Bruin

The first race of the calendar!

That’s it! We have kicked off the new 2022 calendar with the first round, in Bahrain. Both Formula 2 and Formula 3 are driving together on the same tracks again, supporting Formula 1. The qualifying session for F3 was a busy one. Alex was setting a very fast lap but unfortunately, he was hindered in the final sector and couldn’t finish it. Kush set a lap together which was good for P3, but as he missed the weighbridge moment during the session, he had to start both races from the pitlane.

F3 Qualifying results:

P8 Alex Smolyar
P13 Caio Collet
PL Kush Maini

The F2 weekend started great with a P1 and P4 for Felipe and Clément in the practice session, with only a 1 second between the top 13. Felipe set the tenth fastest time in the qualifying session, meaning he would start from pole position in the Sprint Race.

F2 Qualifying results

P10 Felipe Drugovich
P18 Clément Novalak

F3 Sprint Race 1

Alex started the Sprint Race from P5, due to the penalty Kush received, Caio started from P12. Alex had a good start and was quickly attacking for P4, but Maloney took that opportunity to overtake Alex for P5. Caio gained two positions in the first three opening laps. By lap 6, Kush was already driving on P18. He had gained 12 positions in the first 6 laps.

Caio was in a fight with Leclerc and Vidales for P9. In lap 9, Caio overtook Vidales for P8. With only 5 laps left, Alex was driving on P5 and Kush made it to P15. Alex overtook O’Sullivan for P4 and in the final 2 laps, Alex managed to overtake Maloney and gained himself a podium place. Caio finished on P7 and Kush on P15. Good points for the team, and a promising start for Kush!

SAKHIR (BH), 17-20 March 2022: Gulf Air Bahrain Grandprix at Bahrain International Circuit. Alex Smolyar #11 MP Motorsport © 2022 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency

F2 Sprint Race

Felipe started from pole but had a difficult start, and fell back to P6. Clément had a good start, where he gained 4 positions and found himself back on P14. In lap 4, Armstrong was spun around which brought out the safety car. Felipe took back P5 during the restart when the safety car went in again. He immediately fought with Lawson for P4, but went wide and had to lift.

With 10 laps to go, Clément was driving on P12, gaining 6 positions. Clément and Hughes collided in lap 16, Hughes had to retire and Clément needed to visit the pitlane for a new front wing. This brought him back to the back of the grid, and he received a 10-second penalty for the collision. Felipe finished the race on P5, and Clément on P19.

SAKHIR (BH), 17-20 March 2022: Gulf Air Bahrain Grandprix at Bahrain International Circuit. Clement Novalak #12 MP Motorsport. © 2022 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency

F3 Feature Race

The Feature Race seemed to start well for both Alex and Caio. However, in the opening lap, Maloney went slow. Ciao had to leave the track to avoid hitting him. When he re-entered the track, he hit a kerb and his car jumped in the air. Unfortunately, his suspension broke and after only one lap his race was finished.

The safety car had to come out which was good for Kush. During the restart, Alex drove to P3. By lap 9, Kush made it to P21. Alex was fighting with Correa, but due to a small collision with Stanek, he had damaged his floor. Alex dropped back to P6. Alex and Hadjar were battling wheel to wheel when Alex touched the rear tyre of Hadjar. Hadjar was left with a puncture, and Alex received a 10-second penalty. Kush was driving on P21 and fighting with 4 cars. In the end, he finished on P17. Alex finished as 8th, but due to the penalty, he dropped down to P23.

Sakhir (BAH) Mar 17-20, 2022 – Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit. Kush Maini #12 MP Motorsport © 2022 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency

F2 Feature Race

Both Clément and Felipe started the Feature Race on the hard tyres. Felipe lost a few places during the start, finding himself on P15, right in front of Clément who drove on P16. It didn’t take long before the team brought Felipe in to switch to soft tyres, as those were working better on track. Felipe was one of the first in lap 10 who came in for a pit stop, it brought him back on track on P19. Clément was now driving on P13. In lap 14, Clément tumbled down the order due to an engine failure and had to retire.

The strategy was working out for Felipe, as by lap 15 he was driving on P8, as he also set the fastest lap. By lap 17, Felipe was driving on P2 but was overtaken by Pourchaire who had fresher tyres. By lap 25, Felipe was mostly taking care of his tyres and lasting them as long as possible. He was driving on P4 when the safety car came out on lap 27. While the cars were following the safety car, there were two separate incidents in the pitlane, which resulted in a closed pitlane for all drivers. There were two laps left when the safety car went in, Felipe lost two positions and finished on P6. Coming from P10 and having 20 laps old soft tyres, the points were well deserved.

Formula 2 is back next weekend, in Jeddah. Formula 3’s next round is in Imola on 22-24 April, when it joins F2 again.