Budapest: FIA F3 Races 13 & 14
Jul 23

Budapest: FIA F3 Races 13 & 14

Hungaroring | Hungary

Photo Credits: ©James Gasperotti Photography

2023 FIA F3 | Hungaroring
Mogyorod, Hungary
Round 7 | Races 13 & 14
July 21-23 | 2023

Hungaroring Highlights

Practice: 11th Place
Qualifying Position: 16th Place
Race 1: 12th Place
Race 2: DNF (Rear Wishbone Failure)
Championship: 19th Place

Practice | July 7th: 28th Place

Practice: 11th Place

In Kaylen Frederick’s words:

“Definitely a tricky session as this is a small circuit with 30 circulating cars. Overall, I only actually did two full laps. On the first fast lap, I overtook about a dozen cars during the lap, so my second fast or push lap was really my only push lap. I was reasonably happy with the overall pace. Obviously because I did so few laps, there are some clear places to look for lap time. With some setup improvements, as a team we were in the top five and hopefully come qualifying, the top three. The car felt good so far.”

Qualifying | July 21st

Qualifying: 16th Position

Kaylen placed 16th with a start position of 14th for the Sprint Race following penalties. After a dry and humid Free Practice, conditions changed for Qualifying and the field faced a slippery albeit drying Hungaroring. Keen to get a banker lap in early, drivers set off.

With a dry line beginning to emerge some drivers opted to gamble on the slicks. Running the medium tyres, Caio Collet went almost five seconds quicker than the Italian. A Red Flag brought the session to a pause with 22 minutes on the clock. Once re-started, as the clocked ticked down, so too did the lap times. However, as the new high-degradation medium tyres faded away quickly, few could improve, and O’Sullivan’s time remained untouchable.

Kaylen Frederick:

“Again, a tricky session with 30 drivers on a small track, changing conditions, and short-lived tires! At the beginning, we were popping in decent lap times. At the end, I don’t think we quite had the balance we needed for the conditions. We were relatively quick in Sectors 1 and 3, but in Sector 2, both Grégoire (teammate Saucy) and I were missing the right balance. With an improved mid-sector, times might have placed us in the mix for a reverse grid pole for tomorrow’s Sprint Race, it was close. We just didn’t quite get the car in the right window. Also from my side, I could have adjusted a bit better, but I think everybody could do that when the conditions and tires are always changing.”

“The Sprint Race is going to be an interesting race because of the new medium tire compounds. They like to grain. Everybody’s going to struggle with the graining, so from our side all we can do is deal with it in the best way possible. We need to limit the tyre graining and try to save tyres as much as we can. Some people will try to push early, some people will be saving so it’s going to be a little bit of a mess, but we’ll see what we can capitalize on. You can’t drive around at slow speed for the first few laps as you’ll end up in last, so there’s going to be a compromise.”

Race 9 | July 8th | Saturday Sprint Race

Starting Position: 14th Place
Finish Position: 12th Place

The Sprint Race start was hectic and action packed. Advancing from 14th to 12th in the opening lap, Kaylen was pushed off track by Boya in the chicane and dropped to 17th. Although the FIA introduced the new soft high-degradation tires at Hungary requiring tire management to last the race, Kaylen’s driving style of smooth steering inputs allowed him strong pace and to challenge, even without the aid of DRS as he pulled away from the train of drivers behind him. Kaylen fought back from 17th and advanced to P12. After securing P11, in another scuffle Kaylen went backwards and lost 2 spots. In the closing laps Kaylen made another overtake and finished 12th. Completing a total of 9 overtakes, Kaylen raced well on the new tyres and was looking forward to the Feature Race on the next day.

In Kaylen Frederick’s words:

“The race pretty much went exactly how I thought it would go. Unfortunately, I was involved in a contact on Lap 1 at the chicane, which dropped me back three positions. Then again, right after the restart I got involved in another contact where I lost two more positions. Maybe P10 was available to me if everything went my way, but starting from P14, you always know that it’s not going to be ideal.”

“I think as a team we did a good job and managed the tyres well. A lot of drivers pushed too much at the beginning, some people didn’t push enough, whereas we had a good balance and seemed to manage it well. It was a shame that Nikola (Tsolov) lost places on the restart, but Grégoire and I were moving forward, and Nikola was holding his position in the top ten.”

Race 10 | July 23rd | Sunday Feature Race

Starting Position: 16th Position
Finish Position: DNF (Failed Left Rear Wishbone)

The F3 Feature Race was shortened due to concerns regarding the new FIA high degradation soft tires following Saturday’s sprint race, wherein tires were destroyed and showing cords at race end.

Again making use of his driving style of smooth steering inputs, Kaylen minimized tire wear yet held strong pace and tyre grip. Although Kaylen gained 3 positions by lap 10 and passed teammate Saucy for 13th, the rear wishbone snapped as he was rounding T9 and ended his race. This was a cruel blow as Kaylen was on the hunt, moving forward and with the soft tyres under control. Post race review showed no signs of hitting curbs or suspension damaging incidents.

In Kaylen Frederick’s words again:

“It was going well for us until around Lap 9 or 10. We had a suspension failure that came out of nowhere, even though I didn’t have any contact the whole race. Before that, I’d managed the tyres well and my pace was looking very strong compared to everyone else around us. All the signs were that I could move forward, but unfortunately had to retire.”

“The biggest lesson I take from the weekend was with the first feel for this medium compound throughout a race weekend. We’ve driven with the new generation softs before, but it seemed these mediums are even more prone to graining. Otherwise, there were areas to improve upon in Quali as well as the approach to the weekend. Some aspects went well and some didn’t.”

“As a team we seemed to have a fair amount of pace. During Practice and Qualifying I was quick but couldn’t put all the sectors together. In the races I had clear pace. Although I didn’t have amazing luck with the mechanical failure, the new tyres were working for me and are giving me some confidence heading into Spa next weekend.”

Championship Round-up: 18th Position

Next on the Calendar:

2023 FIA F3 | Round 9 | Races 15 & 16
Stavelot | Belgium
Circuit de Spa-Franchorchamps
July 28th – 30th   
Circuit Length: 7.04 KM | 4.352 Miles

Kaylen Frederick: Up Next – on the Road to Spa-Franchorchamps

“Spa always has been one of my favorite tracks! I’m excited to go there. We’ll be on the same new medium compound again, so we’ll keep chipping away to keep working on all the bits that we’ve been working through this Hungaroring weekend. I had one of my first race wins in Europe there while I was racing in British F3 during my first year racing over in Europe.”

“Spa has such a great flow with high-speed sections, undulations, and significant elevation changes throughout the track. We’ll be aiming to get into the top 10 of the grid in Qualifying to position us for points and then hopefully, we can keep up the same race pace that we had in Hungary. I can’t say enough, I really like the circuit and am looking forward to it.”

About Kaylen Frederick
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