Piastri crowned F3 champion after thrilling finish to the season

Prema’s Oscar Piastri was crowned F3 champion in his rookie season after a thrilling final race of the year saw title rival Logan Sargeant shunted out on the opening lap whilst Theo Pourchaire’s third place finish left him just two points shy of the Australian.

American Sargeant began the day tied on points with his Prema teammate but starting five places ahead of Piastri on the grid, the Floridian was overwhelming favourite to take home his first title with Pourchaire a further nine points adrift.

But those pre-race hopes quickly turned to despair, as he was caught in a sandwich between Sebastian Fernandez and Lirim Zendeli into Turn 2, hitting the latter and ending his title hopes there and then in a plume of gravel.

“Obviously I feel really sorry for Logan, you never want to see that happen to your teammate so that’s what I’m going to tell him when I get back,” said Piastri afterward. “I had a good start and after that I could bide my time a little bit as long as Theo wasn’t too quick.

“There wasn’t actually too much on the radio because Carlo has been speaking to me too much in the last few races so I told him to shut up! But yes, a few laps from the end I got the message that I could hold position and stay where I was, so that was a massive sigh of relief!”

Piastri’s race to title glory was still far from simple, Frenchman Pourchaire carving his way through the pack and into podium position, just a point behind Piastri. But with the Aussie fighting his way past teammate and yesterday’s winner Frederik Vesti and passing Fernandez for seventh at the finish, the title was his, incredibly only four points separating the three contenders at the end.

“I’m exhausted, to be honest,” added Piastri after stepping from the car and talking to Sky Sports. “It was a tough race, and the last few weeks have certainly put me to the test emotionally, so I still can’t really believe we won that thing.

“I think I have been quite consistent over the year and also the way I’ve bounced back from all the setbacks we’ve had, technical issues and other problems to deal with so I think my consistency and keeping my head cool has been the biggest thing. Obviously the beginning of the weekend wasn’t ideal and to finish one spot of reverse grid pole yesterday was pretty frustrating, but that didn’t really matter now, does it?

“To Logan, I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now, man. You never want to see that and I’m sorry it had to end that way, I would have loved to fight to the death. And to Theo, he was very, very good in the second half of the year. In the first half of the year we were joking that some of his wins came with a bit of luck but he definitely proved his worth in the second half, so massive congrats to both of those guys and looking forward to probably racing them again in years to come.”

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.