Prema Racing’s Oscar Piastri cruised to a dominant rookie victory at F3’s season opening Race One in Austria, leading teammate Logan Sargeant home for an one-two finish.
Pole-sitter, Sebastian Fernandez made a slow start as Lirim Zendeli seized the lead ahead of a fast starting Piastri, who squeezed Fernandez into a spin as he tried to make a move round the outside of the first corner.
Fernandez subsequently pitted and retired with damage as Piastri then charged pass Zendeli round the outside of turn three to snatch the lead, before cruising to a dominant victory without any challenge.
Speaking of the collision with Fernandez post race, Piastri said; “It was very scary at Turn 1 at the start and I thought that it was going to be race over 10 seconds into my debut, but thankfully I got through that and made a good move on Lirim into Turn 3.”
Zendeli found himself leading a nine car fight for second in the early stages, fending off Sargeant who attempted a move on lap five into turn four, only to run wide on exit and allow Zendeli back through.
Sargeant eventually got his reward just one lap later at the exact same corner but with Campos’ Alex Peroni following through to demote Zendeli down to fourth, before Frederik Vesti then eventually got past to condemn Zendeli to a fifth-placed finish.
Liam Lawson meanwhile made the only other pass within the top ten afterwards as he snatched sixth from Trident’s David Beckmann, as the top ten then held position to the checked flag despite Vesti pushing Peroni to the end for third.
Rookie, Clement Novalak mounted a solid drive to fend off MP Motorsport’s Bent Viscaal to take the final point in tenth, which puts him on reverse pole for tomorrow’s race ahead of ART rookie, Aleksandr Smolyar.
Elsewhere, Alessio Deledda found himself slapped with a 10s stop and go penalty after a member of Campos’ personnel was caught tending to his car after the 15s signal to move off the grid.
Great Britain’s Jake Hughes didn’t even make the start as he pulled into the pits at end of formation lap with an left-rear tyre issue
|2||Logan Sargeant||Prema||24||+ 1.671|
|3||Alex Peroni*||Campos||24||+ 3.017|
|4||Frederik Vesti||Prema||24||+ 4.002|
|5||Lirim Zendeli||Trident||24||+ 7.496|
|6||Liam Lawson||Hitech||24||+ 10.818|
|7||David Beckmann||Trident||24||+ 12.862|
|8||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||24||+ 13.800|
|9||Aleksandr Smolyar||ART GP||24||+ 14.194|
|10||Clement Novalak||Carlin||24||+ 14.558|
|11||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||24||+ 15.477|
|12||Max Fewtrell||Hitech||24||+ 22.398|
|13||Theo Pouchaire||ART GP||24||+ 22.921|
|14||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||24||+ 25.218|
|15||Dennis Hauger||Hitech||24||+ 26.634|
|16||Igor Fraga||Charouz||24||+ 27.131|
|17||Roman Stanek||Charouz||24||+ 27.587|
|18||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||24||+ 27.874|
|19||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer||24||+ 29.229|
|20||Olli Caldwell||Trident||24||+ 29.599|
|21||Calan Williams||Jenzer||24||+ 29.930|
|22||Cameron Das||Carlin||24||+ 30.365|
|24||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||24||+ 31.123|
|25||David Schumacher||Charouz||24||+ 35.204|
|26||Sophia Florsch||Campos||24||+ 35.838|
|27||Matteo Nannini||Jenzer||24||+ 36.354|
|28||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||24||+ 37.545|
|29||Alessio Deledda||Campos||23||+ 1 lap|
|30||Sebastian Fernandez||ART GP||1||Damage|
- Peroni took an additional point for fastest lap (1m 21.602)