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FIA F3 Monza

Martins thought of Hamilton's 2021 F1 season finale after Monza F3 red flag

Victor Martins says he was thinking about Lewis Hamilton’s 2021 Formula 1 season finale when the final FIA Formula 3 race of the season was red-flagged.

Victor Martins, ART Grand Prix

The ART driver, who was crowned champion after the feature race, was handed a penalty for exceeding track limits as the race was prematurely ended.

He had been running in third behind fellow title contenders Zane Maloney and Oliver Bearman, and looked set to clinch the crown prior to a red flag, brought out for contact between Kush Maini and Brad Benavides.

Martins' penalty demoted him to fifth behind William Alatalo, only for the Jenzer driver to also be penalised and promote Martins back up to fourth.

There was some confusion over who would be champion, with a narrow gap between Martins, Maloney and Bearman.

Asked how he felt when the race was red-flagged with five laps remaining, Martins told Motorsport.com: “What went through my head was like please, I don’t want the same thing that happened to Lewis Hamilton last year.”

The Alpine Academy member said after the standings were settled that he is now able to recognise his achievement.

“Now I can feel a bit the happiness, the achievement that I have done," said the Frenchman.

“It was a bit hard at the end of the race with all the panic at the end with the penalties, all the track limits that were showing up on the TV, but in the end it’s done.

“It’s been an incredible season, it’s been just so intense throughout the whole year, up and down all the time – mistakes, then getting back to the top, doing the job.

“I did the job this weekend, it was just about getting out of trouble, but it feels good.”

Despite benefitting from Alatalo’s penalty, Martins says he didn’t feel “lucky,” adding: “To be honest, lucky, I don’t know, because I don’t feel I got lucky to win the championship.

“I did the job, we did the job with the team, and it’s how we need to think.”

Martins finished the season with 139 points, five ahead of Maloney and seven clear of third-placed Bearman.

Prema sealed the teams’ championship, with 355 points to Trident’s 301.

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