Joel repeated yesterday’s forceful rise through the field as the FIA F3 European Championship weekend came to a close at Spa, again taking second place in the final race of the meeting to close to within 26 points of the championship lead.
After Friday’s 12th-to-second Race 2 advancement, Joel provided yet further overtaking action in the Ardennes on Saturday morning – this time from tenth on the grid.
With the improved set-up from yesterday again proving successful, Joel gradually picked off his opponents one by one, starting off with Harrison Newey for P9 at the Bus Stop chicane on lap one.
He shot past Race 2 winner Ferdinand Habsburg at the same spot a lap later, and was then installed in sixth when championship leader Maximilian Günther made contact with Jake Hughes on the Kemmel straight – forcing both to retire.
Following a short safety car period, Joel continued his fightback drive, passing Ralf Aron, Jehan Daruvala, Guan Yu Zhou and finally Callum Ilott as he powered to second place for the second day in succession.
At the flag, Joel was just 2.3 seconds adrift of winner Lando Norris, underlining the improved performance of the Team Motopark package by setting the fastest lap of the race.
Günther’s retirement means Joel leaves the Spa round now just 26 points off the overall FIA F3 European Championship lead, and eight behind second-placed Norris.
“In this race, I was really fast again. I probably even had the quickest car in the field, setting the fastest lap. After the relatively troublesome start to the weekend, it is great that we had a really good car for the last two races and managed to pull off these two podiums. I am very happy with that turnaround, and this race in particular was great fun with a lot of overtaking.”
RESULTS – Race 3