After a challenging start to the weekend, Bent Viscaal progressed impressively and finished his trip to Hungary with a strong second FIA Formula 3 Championship race at the Hungaroring as he moved from 19th to 10th, demonstrating a number of excellent overtakes on his way to a top-10 finish.
19-year-old Viscaal had a testing first half to his time in Hungary. Due to mechanical issues in Friday’s practice, Bent was on the back foot heading into the all-important qualifying session, where overtaking is renowned for being tough at the Budapest-based circuit.
When qualifying came, Bent improved his time from practice by just under eight-tenths of a second to finish the session in 26th position to set a best time of 1:33.064s. Despite being disappointed with the result, Bent was determined to turn his fortune around to bring home a good result for the team and himself.
Saturday afternoon meant it was time for the Dutchman to head out onto the circuit for the first of two races. Starting from 26th on the grid, Bent pushed hard to improve on his qualifying result. Bent got a good start and set to work by setting strong lap times where, despite saving his tyres, he was setting quicker times than the front-runners of the race. This put him in good stead and he crossed the line in 19th position, making up seven places from where he started.
“The pace we showed today was positive. It is a shame not to have climbed further up the order, but today we showed signs of progress and that is a good thing. Now, the team and I are going to work hard for tomorrow’s second race to get a strong result.”
On Sunday it was time for the F3 field to go racing again, this time, Bent set about a string of spectacular overtakes to get him inside the top-10, narrowly missing out on points by just 2.5 seconds.
On the opening lap, he made up a trio of places in just the first few corners to promote him to 16th. On lap 10 he advanced to 15th before passing another two competitors for 13th. Bent was not finished yet - he went on to overtake two cars on lap 18 and 10th became his before the end of the race. Bent demonstrated nerve and skill as he climbed a brilliant nine places during the 40-minute race.
“The second race in Hungary was certainly better. My performance was strong and the car felt really good so that is a positive to take away. Ultimately, qualifying put us too far behind to score any points this weekend. Despite missing out on the points, we showed progress and we are now heading in the right direction as we head to Spa.”
Bent’s next weekend of F3 competition will take him to the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps over the last weekend of August (30-1 September).