Lundgaard Wins on Track but Penalty Hands Shwartzman Victory in Inaugural F3 Race

by Chloe Hewitt

Robert Shwartzman took the honours of being the first driver to win in the FIA Formula 3 Championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

He was joined on the podium by Christian Lundgaard and his PREMA Racing team-mate Marcus Armstrong.

However, Shwartzman did not lead a single lap on track and claimed the victory following a five second penalty to Lundgaard.

Fabio Scherer had to start from the pits after suffering a puncture on the formation lap.

An investigation between Scherer and Keynan Andres for an incident which may have led to the puncture will take place after the race.

The early favourite for the title this year, Leonardo Pulcini, was unable to get away from the grid – telling his team that he could not engage first gear.

At the front of the grid Lundgaard, got the better of pole-sitter Shwartzman to storm into the lead.

In the first race of the championship, there was some teething problems as expected with none of the drivers having DRS available but this issue was resolved.

Heading into the sixth lap, the Dane held a two second lead over the chasing Shwartzman who had team-mate Armstrong behind him.

Raoul Hyman became the first driver of the season to be penalised for leaving the track at Turn 2 and not returning in a safe manner – and was slapped with a five second penalty.

Red Bull Junior Team member Vips was making a move through the field, and put himself into sixth with a move on Jehan Daruvala.

A Virtual Safety Car period was deployed after Alessio Deledda span and beached his Campos Racing machine in the gravel.

Richard Verschoor, had been seen passing both Alex Peroni and Logan Sargeant but the VSC may have already been out.

The incident was investigated by the stewards, with them handing the Dutchman a 20 second penalty.

On lap eighteen, after two laps under the VSC racing resumed with five laps to go.

Out front, Lundgaard was asserting his authority in the latter stages by putting in fastest laps to extend his lead.

In third place, Armstrong found David Beckmann closing in on him in the latter stages which prompted his team to remind him to not lose his head.

Daruvala, took sixth place back off of Vips but the Estonian took the position back instantly.

Lundgaard crossed the line in first, put received a five second penalty for a VSC infringement – demoting him to second.

This meant Shwartzman was the race winner, with Armstrong him third.

Beckmann was fourth, with Max Fewtrell in fifth.

Vips ended up in sixth, Daruvala in seventh.

Niko Kari, who had started in twelfth place recovered to eighth to start on reverse grid pole tomorrow.

Simo Laaksonen and Yuki Tsunoda completed the top ten.

 

 

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