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Race Report

Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2022

Circuit: Sakhir (Bahrain), Length 5.412 km, 18th - 20th March 2022, Rounds 1 & 2

Ido Cohen (ISR), Niko Kari (FIN), William Alatalo (FIN)

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Alatalo shines at the FIA F3 season start in Bahrain

The FIA F3 Championship, as had also been planned for 2020, took place at the season opener in the FIA F1 program of the 2022 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. In 2020 the race had been canceled due to the pandemic, now it took place, following the three official test days here in early March. It was immediately apparent how close together the top-class field of 30 vehicles was.


Race One Qualifying

Friday, 18/03/22, 16.30 – 17.00, Weather: Sunny, 23°C

On Friday morning, free practice got down to business. Our drivers were quite excited and achieved the following places: Niko P18, William P21, Ido P27.
Qualifying started not much later. Luckily the wind wasn't quite as strong as in the previous days, but there was still a lot of sand on the track. William was in great shape, clocking a fastest sector time and briefly appearing in 6th place. But his lap time was canceled because he had exceeded the track limits at one point. In the end he reached 18th place on the grid. Ido was 15th with the first set of tyres, but he wasn't able to improve further with the second set. He reached 22nd place. Niko was placed 25th in this first qualifying session of the new season.
This season, two FIA F3 races will be held per race weekend. The starting grid for race 1 (sprint race, 40 minutes) is based on the reversed 12 first positions of the qualifying session. Race 2 on Sunday (feature race, 45 minutes) takes place according to the exact result in qualifying. These constellations promise exciting races!

Race One Grid
1st Zak O’Sullivan (GB) Carlin  
2nd Oliver Bearman (GB) Prema  
3rd David Vidales (E) Campos  
17th William Alatalo (FIN) Jenzer Motorsport  
21st Ido Cohen (ISR) Jenzer Motorsport  
24th Niko Kari (FIN) Jenzer Motorsport  

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FIA F3 Championship

Race One (Sprint-Race, 40 Minutes)

Saturday, 19/03/22, 12.45, Weather: Sunny, 21°C

The first race of the new season started in bright sunshine and accompanied by a moderate Bahrain breeze. William got off to a good start and already moved up several positions on the first lap. After that, he skilfully worked his way up the field, lap by lap. Halfway through the race, William found himself in 11th place, just shy of the desirable top ten and first points. Gradually, however, he began to feel the tires deteriorate and as a result he was no longer able to attack as he would have liked. William crossed the finish line in an excellent 11th place which also gave him a very good starting position for Sunday's race. Ido also started very well and immediately made up places. He fought for positions in an exciting race and made it up to a very good 14th place, which he safely brought accross the finish line. Niko begun the race from further behind. After the start he was a bit trapped and could not move freely immediately. After a few laps he found his rhythm and made overtaking his business. As he had just worked his way up to 17th place, his rear wheel was clipped by a competitor, causing a flat rear tire on Niko’s car. He picked up a new wheel in the pits and rejoined the race in 28th place. In the end he reached the finish line in 26th place.

Results Race One
1st Isack Hadjar (F) Hitech 37:30.285  
2nd Oliver Bearman (GB) Prema Gap 1.589
3rd Alexander Smolyar (RUS) MP Motorsport Gap 3.593
11th William Alatalo (FIN) Jenzer Motorsport    
14th Ido Cohen (ISR) Jenzer Motorsport    
26th Niko Kari (FIN) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Zane Maloney (BB) in 1:51.231

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Race Two Grid
1st Franco Colapinto (ARG) Van Amersfoort 1:46.249
2nd Roman Stanek (CZ) Trident 1:46.314
3rd Gregoire Saucy (CH) ART 1:46.322
17th William Alatalo (FIN) Jenzer Motorsport 1:47.159
21st Ido Cohen (ISR) Jenzer Motorsport 1:47.444
24th Niko Kari (FIN) Jenzer Motorsport 1:47.646

© Dutch Photo Agency

FIA F3 Championship

Race Two (Feature Race, 45 Minutes)

Sunday, 20/03/22, 11.45, Weather: Sunny, 26°C

The feature race of the FIA F3 Championship started under a crystal blue sky and in hot temperatures. There were a few accidents on the dusty track and the safety car had to be deployed. William had a good start and was now excelling in 11th place. Ido got away well, but suffered a hit when there was a contact with a competitor, which affected the set-up of his vehicle from then on. He was in 16th place. Niko moved up to 23rd place. At the restart there was another accident and the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) came into action. After that, William managed to work his way up the field. He soon appeared in the top ten. William managed to gain 10 places overall and was up in 7th place. But now he felt the tyre degradation and had to adjust to the new situation. As a result, he slipped back to 10th place. In the end he managed to hold on to the position with regular lap times. When a competitor fell back in the last lap, this meant that William finished in a superb 9th place and collected his first points! Niko managed to improve his position until even in the last corner of the race which brought him up into 15th place. With a slightly damaged vehicle, Ido managed a steady race amd to keep 16th place to the finish line. After the race, Yeany received a penalty, which meant that Niko and Ido moved up one place each.

Results Race Two
1st Victor Martins (F) ART 46:47.389  
2nd Arthur Leclerc (MC) Prema Gap 1.543
3rd Gregoire Saucy (CH) ART Gap 6.812
9th William Alatalo (FIN) Jenzer Motorsport    
14th Niko Kari (FIN) Jenzer Motorsport    
15th Ido Cohen (ISR) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Roman Stanek (CZE) in 1:51.634

Further official test days will take place on 5th/6th April in Jerez (E), and on 15th/16th April in Barcelona (E) in Europe before the second race event of the season is held in Imola (I) on the weekend of April 24th.


Championship standings after 2 out of 18 races:

1st Victor Martins (F), 25 points; 2nd Arthur Leclerc (F), 24 points; 3rd Oliver Bearman (GB), 17 points; 4th Gregoire Saucy (CH), 15 points; 5th Juan Manauel Correa (USA), 14 points; 6th Franco Colapinto (ARG), 12 points; 15th William Alatalo (FIN), 2 points

Ido Cohen (ISR)

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Niko Kari (FIN)

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William Alatalo (FIN)

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2022 FIA F3 Championship

17-20 March 2022 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix Sakhir (BHR)
21-24 April 2022 Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Imola (I)
19-22 May 2022 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Barceolan (E)
30-03 July 2022 Formula 1 British Grand Prix Silverstone (GB)
07-10 July 2022 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix RedBull Ring (A)
28-31 July 2022 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix Budapest (HU)
25-28 August 2022 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps (B)
01-04 September 2022 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort (NL)
08-11 September 2022 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix Monza (I)


For more information: