Felix Rosenqvist led from start to finish to win an entertaining race one of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship round at the Autodromo Nazionale de Monza on Saturday.
The Swedish driver controlled the race from the front, with the Prema Powerteam driver surviving a safety car and a clash with Mücke Motorsport driver Mikkel Jensen to take his third win of the season, although behind Rosenqvist there were many incidents and overtaking manoeuvres.
The safety car was called on the opening lap when Markus Pommer appeared to stall his Motopark machine on the grid and unsighted, Artur Janosz on debut for EuroInternational collided with the German driver. EuroInternational had already seen its second car withdrawn from the event with Facu Regalia dropping out of the seat.
On the restart, Rosenqvist held the lead from Mücke Motorsport’s Santino Ferrucci, while Lance Stroll of Prema Powerteam held onto third ahead of Jensen and Jake Dennis in a third Prema entry.
Jensen found a way past Stroll for third, and then capitalised on a mistake by Ferrucci to move into second, and made one attempt to pass Rosenqvist for the lead that ultimately saw the Danish driver clip the rear of the Swede’s car, ripping a hole in the front wing but not enough to warrant a pit stop to replace it.
Ferrucci would lose third place to Dennis a few laps later, and whilst attempting to retake the position, hit the Briton’s car and broke his suspension, ending what was a very strong race up to that point for the American.
At the chequered flag, the top three were covered by just 1.529s, with fourth placed Antonio Giovinazzi a few seconds further back. The Italian driver managed to climb into the fourth position on the final lap, hitting and passing Stroll at the first chicane, and then passing Charles Leclerc and Raoul Hyman. Van Amersfoort Racing’s Leclerc also got by Team West-Tec F3’s Hyman on the run to the flag, but the young South African secured his first points of the season for sixth place.
Pietro Fittipaldi was an excellent seventh for Fortec Motorsports, two weeks after breaking a bone in his hand in a crash during qualifying in Pau, with the young Brazilian finishing ahead of Carlin’s George Russell and Prema Powerteam’s Brandon Maisano.
Stroll’s last lap clash with Giovinazzi left him outside the points, with the final point going to Van Amersfoort Racing’s Arjun Maini.
The race saw a number of incidents, with Dorian Boccolacci, Sam MacLeod, Kang Ling, Sergio Sette Camara, Matt Solomon, Julio Moreno, Maximilian Günther, Fabian Schiller, Nabil Jeffri and Mahaveer Raghunathan all retiring.
It was particularly bad for the Motopark team, with all five of its drivers being involved in incidents during the race which will leave them extremely busy for race two later in the day.
Monza Race 1 Result
|1||1||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Prema Powerteam||36m09.669s|
|2||27||Mikkel Jensen||DEN||Mucke Motorsport||+1.131s|
|3||2||Jake Dennis||GBR||Prema Powerteam||+1.529s|
|4||3||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+5.265s|
|5||7||Charles Leclerc||MON||Van Amersfoort Racing||+5.316s|
|6||38||Raoul Hyman||RSA||Team West-Tec F3||+5.693s|
|7||12||Pietro Fittipaldi||BRZ||Fortec Motorsports||+6.056s|
|9||24||Brandon Maisano||FRA||Prema Powerteam||+7.492s|
|10||29||Arjun Maini||IND||Van Amersfoort Racing||+13.755s|
|11||25||Lance Stroll||CAN||Prema Powerteam||+15.540s|
|12||26||Ryan Tveter||USA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+17.412s|
|13||4||Gustavo Menezes||USA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+19.691s|
|14||31||Hongwei Cao||CHN||Fortec Motorsports||+24.927s|
|15||6||Michele Beretta||ITA||Mucke Motorsport||+25.446s|
|16||14||Matt Rao||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||+26.480s|
|18||8||Alessio Lorandi||ITA||Van Amersfoort Racing||+42.686s|
|19||18||Nicolas Pohler||GER||Double R Racing||+46.855s|
|21||21||Alexander Albon||THA||Signature||+1 Lap|
|RET||33||Mahaveer Raghunathan||IND||Motopark||14 Laps|
|RET||5||Santino Ferrucci||USA||Mucke Motorsport||12 Laps|
|RET||22||Nabil Jeffri||MAY||Motopark||11 Laps|
|RET||11||Fabian Schiller||GER||Team West-Tec F3||10 Laps|
|RET||28||Maximilian Gunther||GER||Mucke Motorsport||4 Laps|
|RET||17||Julio Moreno||ECU||Threebond with T-Sport||4 Laps|
|RET||19||Matt Solomon||HKG||Double R Racing||3 Laps|
|RET||23||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||Motopark||3 Laps|
|RET||35||Kang Ling||CHN||Mucke Motorsport||3 Laps|
|RET||36||Sam MacLeod||GBR||Motopark||2 Laps|
|RET||20||Dorian Boccolacci||FRA||Signature||2 Laps|
|RET||34||Markus Pommer||GER||Motopark||1 Lap|
|RET||15||Artur Janosz||POL||EuroInternational||0 Laps|