Josep Maria Marti utilised all his Formula 3 experience to start his sophomore season in style. Battling hard with Williams junior Franco Colapinto, the Campos Racing driver took full advantage of a second Safety Car restart to snatch the lead and drive off to his first victory in the championship.
After starting on reverse grid pole, Colapinto held his advantage off the line and led the majority of the race. Navigating two lengthy Safety Car periods, the MP Motorsport driver put on a sterling defence, firstly from Van Amersfoort Racing’s Caio Collet and then Marti.
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With six laps left, Marti made his move – swooping around the outside of Turn 4 to take the lead. Despite the heat, tyre degradation wasn’t a concern and the Spaniard managed to pull himself out of DRS to win by 1.8s.
Losing out to Marti on the first Safety Car restart, Collet had to settle for third. A fierce fight over fourth ensued, with the PREMA Racing duo of Dino Beganovic and Paul Aron exchanging positions throughout. However, it was ultimately the Ferrari junior of Beganovic who stayed ahead at the chequered flag.
Oliver Goethe made up three places to take sixth, ahead of Gregoire Saucy. Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli achieved points on his F3 debut in eighth, whilst Jonny Edgar and Red Bull junior Sebastian Montoya fought their way into the final points positions, having started 15th and 14th respectively.
Bringing home the win and the point for the fastest lap sees Marti take control of the drivers’ championship, whilst PREMA’s two top five finishes sees them lead the teams’ standings on 13 points.
Alpine junior Gabriele Mini lines up on pole for his first Feature Race on Sunday, with the 23-cap race scheduled to get underway at 1150 local time.
For the full report, results and more news, visit the official F3 website.