Hot on the heels of his Silverstone success, Colapinto arrived at the Hungarian GP circuit aiming to continue the success streak he’s been maintaining since Monaco. The Argentinian finished seven times within the top 10 in the past 8 races, including a win and a further podium finish.
After a hot and dry practice session on Friday morning, the Qualifying was held on a damp track, putting the drivers to the challenge. Avoiding the drama in the early stages, Colapinto put in a stunning lap once the session went back to green after a brief red flag phase. With a 1:31.626 lap time, he secured a second-row start for Sunday’s race.
The Argentinean lined up in P9 on the grid for Saturday’s reverse grid race in the searing summer heat. He got off to a fine start, moving up to eighth place by the end of the opening lap.
It didn’t take long for him to reel in Tsolov and on lap 3 he overtook the ART driver with a spectacular move into Turn 2.
An incident in Lap 14 brought the Safety Car on track, bunching up the pack. The race went back to green for the final three laps.
Following a perfectly timed restart, Colapinto maintained his position, keeping his tyres alive and crossed the line in seventh, claiming his fourth consecutive Top 10 finish.
Due to the extreme tyre degradation in the Sprint Race, the stewards decided to shorten the length of the Feature Race from 24 to 19 laps.
Franco was quick off the line from P4, having to defend from Goethe. The German driver won the duel into Turn 1 but by the exit of Turn 2 Colapinto regained P4.
He then launched an attack on third-placed Fornaroli and by lap 9 he closed the gap on the Italian and overtook him with a clean move on the inside of Turn 1, securing the final podium position.
He managed to hang onto P3, claiming his fourth podium finish of the season. With a total of 19 points collected in Budapest, Colapinto maintains P6 in the championship, closing the gap on the competition. He is only 8 points behind second-placed O’Sullivan and 51 points behind the championship leader with two rounds to go and 78 points up for grabs
“It was a decent weekend. The tyre degradation was really bad, so it was all about keeping them alive while still trying to move forward. I think I found the balance. I am happy with the podium in the Feature Race and the 19 points we collected this weekend. Our goal is to stay consistent and do the best we can in these last few race weeks and we’ve been doing that so far. The car was competitive this weekend thanks to MP Motorsport’s hard work and we are looking good for the final two rounds of the season.”
Jamie Campbell-Walter, Managing Director Bullet Sports Management:
“Franco has been performing exceptionally well during the entire season, especially in the second half. He continues to push his team and car to the limit and deliver no matter what the circumstances are. He has closed his gap to the championship contenders and has a good chance to finish high up in the championship if he keeps up the hard work and stays consistent.“
The FIA Formula 3 season continues next weekend (27-30 July) with the penultimate round at Spa-Francorchamps.