Hitech’s Liam Lawson survived a late fight from Richard Verschoor to clinch victory in a dramatic F3 Austrian reverse race.
Lawson made a good start to get himself up past Verschoor into third before gradually easing his way into the lead, passing pole-sitter Clement Novalak then David Beckmann to seize the lead on lap seven.
Victory then was assured after surviving a Virtual Safety Car period followed by an actual safety car, with Verschoor failing to snatch the lead and victory upon the Safety Car restart as Novalak settled for third.
Speaking post-race, Lawson said that he felt ‘lucky’ to benefit from the safety car period, saying; “I think that I actually got lucky with the safety car because without it, I think it would have been tough to keep him behind with DRS.”
Lawson also admitted that his qualifying still needs work “because that is one thing we struggled with this weekend and it put us on the back foot.”
Novalak in fact got the initial perfect start off the line to lead from Beckmann who got a great start from fourth, with Lawson getting the jump on Verschoor to settle into third in the opening stages.
Yesterday’s runner-up Logan Sargeant endured a miserable race after Prema teammate, Oscar Piastri accidentally squeezed Bent Viscaal into the American, puncturing one of his rear tyres to end his chances of points.
Beckmann displaced Novalak as race leader with a brilliant late braking move into turn four on lap four, who then lost second to Lawson after running wide when attempting a repass for the lead on the following lap.
Lawson then quickly put Beckmann under pressure and was duly rewarded on alp seven with a late braking move in the same spot where Beckmann had taken the lead from Novalak.
Beckmann soon lost second place after Novalak managed to get past the Trident driver on lap 10 into turn three.
Alex Peroni caused a Virtual Safety Car soon afterwards when he retired on the run to turn four with a mechanical issue, which was rescinded one lap later with Verschoor getting the better start as he snatched third from Beckmann into turn four.
Verschoor eventually took Novalak for second just three laps later with a lunge up the inside of the Carlin driver into turn three, prior to Roman Stanek causing a safety car when he smashed into polystyrene out of the final corner and dispersed it across the track.
ART GP’s Theo Pourchaire experienced a scary moment when unlike other drivers venturing through the pits, he accidentally went round the final corner but luckily he was driving slow enough for marshals to move quickly out of the way before he got close to the scene.
Everyone eventually manged to hold onto position upon the restart with exception of Viscaal who slipped out of the top ten after Enzo Fittipaldi and Max Fewtrell passed the German for the final point paying positions in ninth and tenth respectively.
Jake Hughes meanwhile produced a stunning drive to recover from 28th place to 12th at the flag.
|2||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||24||+ 0.417|
|3||Clement Novalak||Carlin||24||+ 1.302|
|4||David Beckmann||Trident||24||+ 1.639|
|5||Lirim Zendeli||Trident||24||+ 2.232|
|6||Frederik Vesti||Prema||24||+ 2.836|
|7||Aleksandr Smolyar||ART GP||24||+ 3.090|
|8||Oscar Piastri*||Prema||24||+ 3.451|
|9||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||24||+ 4.090|
|10||Max Fewtrell||Hitech||24||+ 4.580|
|11||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||24||+ 4.975|
|12||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||24||+ 5.437|
|13||Sebastian Fernandez||ART GP||24||+ 6.206|
|14||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||24||+ 7.109|
|15||David Schumacher||Charouz||24||+ 8.499|
|16||Sophia Florsch||Campos||24||+ 9.159|
|17||Calan Williams||Jenzer||24||+ 9.491|
|18||Matteo Nannini||Jenzer||24||+ 9.864|
|19||Olli Caldwell||Trident||24||+ 10.949|
|20||Alessio Deledda||Campos||24||+ 11.388|
|21||Frederico Malvestiti||Jenzer||24||+ 12.050|
|22||Dennis Hauger||Hitech||24||+ 12.445|
|23||Roman Stanek||Charouz||24||+ 13.189|
|24||Enaam Ahmed||Carlin||24||+ 18.137|
|25||Igor Fraga||Charouz||24||+ 30.838|
|26||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||24||+ 40.237|
|27||Logan Sargeant||Prema||23||+ 1 lap|
|28||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||16||+ 8 laps|
- Oscar Piastri set fastest lap of 1m 21.513