Bent Viscaal endured a disappointing weekend in Monza, Italy, as the Dutch racing driver had a weekend to forget at the ‘Temple of Speed’.
Starting the weekend with practice and qualifying on Friday, Bent’s hopes of points in Monza were already reduced as he was one of nineteen drivers to be penalised for driving unnecessarily slowly in qualifying - despite, arguably, having no choice being at the back of the train of cars. This meant Bent started the first race of the weekend from 28th place.
Looking to bounce back from the frustrating qualifying result, Bent wasted little time in making up ground as he made his way from the back of the field. Progressing from 28th on the grid to 24th place on the opening two laps, Bent continued to deliver a focussed and flawless drive and by the halfway point of the race, he was already as high as 21st.
Keeping his head down and staying out of any unnecessary drama, Bent was running 10-places better off in 18th position when the race was concluded behind the safety car after a huge crash for Alex Peroni. Bent was later promoted to 17th after Marcus Armstrong was given a post-race time penalty.
Prior to Sunday’s race, heavy rain fell, making for a wet race despite the sun appearing just before the race start. As the race got underway, Bent was forced to leave the track at turn one to avoid a collision but race control viewed this as an unfair advantage and punished him with a 5-second penalty.
Determined to fight back, Bent made strong progress and looked extremely quick in the difficult conditions as he passed several cars to work his way through from 17th to 13th place.
However, on lap 14, the Dutchman was hit from behind by a rival and spun out. From this point, the race was as good as over for Bent, who was again hit on the final lap and dropped back through the field and eventually finished 27th.
"All in all, it was a disappointing weekend for me. On Saturday, the penalty from qualifying meant I had to start from well down the grid but I made up a lot of places over the course of the race which is always a nice feeling. On Sunday, I was hit and fell well back. After that, the race was over for me. A frustrating weekend and I’ll be looking to bounce back in Sochi."
The motto for this weekend's races in the FIA Formula 3 Championship was "Racing for Anthoine". The teams remembered Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert, who was killed in a crash last weekend, with a logo on their cars. The teams also expressed their support for Juan Manuel Correa, who was seriously injured in the crash in Spa, with the message "Stay strong JM".
Bent now heads for Russia as the final round of the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship takes place in Sochi (27th - 29th September).