Theo Pourchaire overcame a dramatic opening corner incident and red flag to clinch consecutive F3 races wins, en route to victory in the opening Hungarian Race.
Pole-sitter, Aleksandr Smolyar made a solid start but Prema’s Logan Sargeant dived down the inside into turn one, sliding over the kerb and causing race ending damage for the Russian.
Calan Williams meanwhile tried to go round the outside but spun across into the inside line, collecting Frederik Vesti and ruining the race of Olli Caldwell who had made a great start from 12th on the grid.
In amidst the chaos, Pourchaire carefully weaved past Sargeant to snatch the lead which he held to the line, winning by 11.9s from Oscar Piastri, who briefly mounted a challenge for the win before fading but clung onto second ahead of Sargeant.
Speaking of his second F3 victory in consecutive races, Pourchaire said; “I am really happy to win my second race in Formula 3 – the second race in a row.”
In the Championship, Piastri now leads Sargeant by 13 points whilst Pourchaire has improved to third in the standings and 19 points off Piastri.Embed from Getty Images
The race began in damp conditions with the field all making slow getaways with Smolyar choosing to enter turn one on the racing line, whilst Sargeant made a lunge down the inside but got on the kerb and slid across into Smolyar whose race ended with damage.
Just behind Smolyar, Williams had taken to the outside line but spun mid corner and slid across into Vesti, taking both drivers out whilst Caldwell came to a near halt as the safety car was deployed whilst both Williams and Vesti’s cars were removed.
On the safety car restart, Lirim Zendeli and Jack Doohan tangled at turn four as they ran wide, with both drivers eventually retiring later on in the race.
Liam Lawson’s engine went up in flames at the start of lap five, dropping oil across turns one and two which eventually brought out the red flag to allow marshals to lay cement dust over the slippery surface.
After a 24 minute delay, the race resumed behind the safety car and once racing resumed, Pourchaire dominated from Piastri who had to fend off a late charge from Prema teammate, Sargeant to secure second and boost his championship hopes.
Max Fewtrell lost two positions on the second safety car restart on lap nine as he conceded seventh to Alex Peroni, only for Enzo Fittipaldi to pass both drivers at turn three and take seventh whilst Richard Verschoor passed Bent Viscaal for fifth at turn 10. after latter ran wide.
Fittipaldi however would receive a drive through penalty on one lap later to ruin his race, whilst Jake Hughes received a stop/go penalty for multiple safety car infringements and Caldwell got a five second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
The race eventually settled into a stable rhythm to the flag with exception of Sebastian Fernandez, who slid from fourth to sixth after being passed by Verschoor and Viscaal mid race.
Fewtrell struggled with steering issues and consequently fell out of the top ten as Peroni, Dennis Hauger, Clement Novalak and David Beckmann rounded out the top ten, completing tomorrow’s reverse grid race as Beckmann begins from pole ahead of Novalak.
Novalak and Fewtrell finished as the highest placed Brits ahead of Enaam Ahmed in 14th, whilst Caldwell and Hughes finished in 21st and 24th positions.
|1||Theo Pourchaire||ART GP||22||1h 03.55.424|
|2||Oscar Piastri||Prema||22||+ 11.920|
|3||Logan Sargeant||Prema||22||+ 14.739|
|4||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||22||+ 17.360|
|5||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||22||+ 18.063|
|6||Sebastian Fernandez||ART GP||22||+ 19.636|
|7||Alex Peroni||Campos||22||+ 21.431|
|8||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||22||+ 21.656|
|9||Clement Novalak||Carlin||22||+ 22.208|
|10||David Beckmann||Trident||22||+ 22.951|
|11||Max Fewtrell||Hitech GP||22||+ 23.428|
|12||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||22||+ 27.298|
|13||Frederico Malvestiti||Jenzer||22||+ 27.972|
|14||Enaam Ahmed||Carlin||22||+ 28.597|
|15||Igor Fraga||Charouz||22||+ 30.883|
|16||David Schumacher||Charouz||22||+ 31.265|
|17||Cameron Das||Carlin||22||+ 34.777|
|18||Sophia Floersch||Campos||22||+ 36.352|
|19||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||22||+ 36.629|
|20||Alessio Deledda||Campos||22||+ 38.432|
|21||Olli Caldwell||Trident||22||+ 44.026|
|22||Matteo Nannini||Jenzer||22||+ 47.482|
|23||Roman Stanek||Charouz||22||+ 49.705|
|24||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||22||+ 62.217|
|25||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab|
|27||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||4||Engine|
|28||Aleksandr Smolyar||ART GP||1||Collision|