Australian driver Oscar Piastri has officially won the 2020 FIA Formula 3 championship after an enthralling final race.
Representing Perma Racing, Piastri finished the 18-race season just three points ahead of French rival Theo Pourchaire and four points ahead of teammate Logan Sargeant, who claimed second and third respectively.
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During race two at Mugello, the 19-year-old crossed the line in seventh after narrowly crossing the ahead of Venezuela’s Sebastian Fernandez.
Sargeant had a slim chance of winning the F3 championship heading into the final race, but crashed in the opening lap after making contact with Germany’s Lirim Zendeli.
New Zealand driver Liam Lawson won Sunday’s 21-lap reverse-grid race in Italy, but all the attention was on the Aussie teenager.
Piastri even has the AUDACITY to take seventh on the line from Fernandez!#TuscanGP 🇮🇹 #F3 pic.twitter.com/xqUETy5E9s
🏁 TOP TEN (LAP 21/21) 🏁
Smolyar#TuscanGP 🇮🇹 #F3 pic.twitter.com/tGEiVCVHBc
Piastri’s title was in doubt when a DRS system forced him to retire in race one at Mugello, but clinching seventh on Sunday was enough to top the standings.
After the race, Piastri conceded: “I am exhausted, it was tough, the last few weeks have tested me emotionally. I have been consistent throughout the year and keeping my head cool has been the biggest thing for me.’’
Piastri also expressed remorse for his unlucky teammate: “I feel so bad for Logan, so sorry for Logan.”
During the 2020 season, Piastri secured two wins — at races in Speilberg and Barcelona — along with six podium finishes and four fastest laps.
It was an immensely competitive championship, with nine different race winners throughout the season, none achieving the feat more than twice.
🏆 OSCAR PIASTRI IS FORMULA 3 CHAMPION! 🏆#TuscanGP 🇮🇹 #F3 pic.twitter.com/DxmpWXncfX
Piastri has tasted success on the track before — in 2019, the Melbourne phenom won the Formula Renault Eurocup event, winning seven of the 19 races.
Piastri has cemented himself as a future star of motorsport, and will almost certainly make his debut appearance in Formula 2 in the coming years.
“I started racing remote control cars when I was about six, so long before any actual kind of motorsport,” Piastri told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Both my pop and grandad are mechanics and they have always followed motorsport, and my dad’s business was a car tuning company, so he has always been massively into it. It was just unfortunate when he was much younger he didn’t have the funding to do anything serious in motorsport.
“I am the first one in the family to do some racing myself, but the passion has been in the family for quite a long time.”
Australia's Oscar Piastri is the new #F3 champion! 🇦🇺
After a nailbiting title race, the 19-year-old won the championship by just 3 points from Theo Pourchaire, with Logan Sargeant another point back #TuscanGP 🇮🇹 @FIAFormula3 pic.twitter.com/DMNxbTxC0G
FORMULA 3 FINAL DRIVER STANDINGS
1. Oscar Piastri — 164
2. Theo Pourchaire — 161
3. Logan Sargeant — 160
4. Frederik Vesti — 146.5
5. Liam Lawson — 143
6. David Beckmann — 139.5
7. Jake Hughes — 111.5
8. Lirim Zendeli — 104
9. Richard Verschoor — 69
10. Alex Peroni — 64
11. Alexander Smolyar — 59
12. Clement Novalak — 45
13. Bent Viscaal — 40
14. Sebastian Fernandez — 31
15. Enzo Fittipaldi — 27
16. Olli Caldwell — 18
17. Dennis Hauger — 14
18. Matteo Nannini — 11
19. Pierre-Louis Chovet — 5
20. Max Fewtrell — 5
21. Roman Stanek — 3
22. Ben Barnicoat — 1
23. Michael Belov — 1
24. Igor Fraga1 — 1
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