It looked as though Robert Shwartzman had claimed his third victory with PREMA Racing in the FIA Formula 3 Championship but a penalty handed the win to Jake Hughes.
Shwartzman was penalised for causing a collision with team-mate Marcus Armstrong after the Kiwi overtook him on the final lap for the lead and the former made contact with the rear of Armstrong.
This punctured Armstrong’s tyre and sent him tumbling down the order, Shwartzman held onto the lead to cross the line first but was handed a five second penalty which demoted him to third.
As a result Hughes claimed his maiden F3 race victory with Jehan Daruvala second and Shwartzman third.
The start of the race was not as positive for Hughes who was starting from second but failed in his attempts to pass reverse grid pole-sitter Lirim Zendeli.
It was heartbreak for Pedro Piquet, who had been hoping to claim his first F3 victory, as he lost control of his car going into the first turn putting him to the back of the field. The Brazilian recovered to finish in fifteenth.
Positions were swapping all over the place on the first lap with top seven positions constantly changing hands, with Armstrong getting himself up to third from sixth behind Zendeli and Hughes.
Shwartzman added himself to the mix with Jüri Vips and Richard Verschoor behind in fifth and sixth.
The next few laps passed in a calm fashion, that was until Armstrong challenged for the lead going three-wide with Zendeli and Hughes with there being no room for errors by any of them.
A fourth car joined the battle as Shwartzman pulled off a shrewd manoeuvre to snatch second as Hughes took control of the race.
Hughes’ time at the front did not last for long as Shwartzman beat him at the top of the hill, the Briton’s car unable to match the power of the PREMA.
A lap later, Hughes was in third as Armstrong followed his team-mate through to hand PREMA a prospective one-two finish.
The third PREMA of Daruvala was running in sixth, attempting to pass Zendeli when a mistake allowed Leonardo Pulcini to capitalise and seize the place.
Daruvala recovered to pass both of them and close in on Max Fewtrell in fourth place.
A virtual safety car, brought a brief stoppage to the action after Alex Peroni lost the rear under braking and ran into the back of his Campos team-mate Sebastian Fernandez.
With two laps to go, the action was back underway Armstrong restarted his pursuit of Shwartzman.
The fight went down to the final lap when Armstrong found his opportunity to dart down the the side of the Russian.
Shwartzman swerved too close and caught the back of Armstrong’s tyre, sending the New Zealander into the gravel.
Armstrong, crossed the line down in nineteenth. Shwartzman, meanwhile, maintained control of his PREMA to retain the lead and cross the line first despite a damaged front wing to narrowly finish ahead of Hughes.
The incident between the two PREMA’s was quickly placed under investigation with the Russian being handed a five second penalty for causing the collision which put him back to third.
Having picked his way through the field, this meant Daruvala found himself in second and extending his championship advantage over Shwartzman.
The championship, will now take a two week break with the action resuming at Silverstone with the teams hoping to bring the gap to PREMA.
Ye Yifei will take a grid penalty there as result of a collision with Bent Viscaal and will drop five places for the first race.
2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship: Red Bull Ring – Sprint Race
|1||Jake Hughes||GBR||HWA RACELAB||34:47.494|
|2||Jehan Daruvala||IND||PREMA Racing||+4.727|
|3||Robert Shwartzman||RUS||PREMA Racing||+4.850|
|4||Max Fewtrell||GBR||ART Grand Prix||+5.079|
|5||Leonardo Pulcini||ITA||Hitech Grand Prix||+5.666|
|6||Jüri Vips||EST||Hitech Grand Prix||+6.086|
|7||Lirim Zendeli||DEU||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||+6.705|
|10||David Beckmann||DEU||ART Grand Prix||+10.172|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||JPN||Jenzer Motorsport||+10.716|
|12||Richard Verschoor||NLD||MP Motorsport||+12.370|
|13||Keyvan Andres||IRN||HWA RACELAB||+14.315|
|14||Felipe Drugovich||BRA||Carlin Buzz Racing||+14.746|
|16||Raoul Hyman||GBR||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||+15.703|
|17||Christian Lundgaard||DNK||ART Grand Prix||+15.972|
|18||Simo Laaksonen||FIN||MP Motorsport||+19.677|
|19||Marcus Armstrong||NZL||PREMA Racing||+19.863|
|20||Andreas Estner||DEU||Jenzer Motorsport||+22.026|
|21||Giorgio Carrara||CHE||Jenzer Motorsport||+23.867|
|22||Teppei Natori||JPN||Carlin Buzz Racing||+24.660|
|23||Fabio Scherer||CHE||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||+25.232|
|24||Alessio Deledda||ITA||Campos Racing||+30.984|
|25||Liam Lawson||NZL||MP Motorsport||+1 Lap|
|26||Logan Sargeant||USA||Carlin Buzz Racing||+3 Laps|
|27||Sebastian Fernandez||ESP||Campos Racing||DNF|
|28||Alex Peroni||AUS||Campos Racing||DNF|
|29||Bent Viscaal||NLD||HWA RACELAB||DNF|
|30||Ye Yifei||CHI||Hitech Grand Prix||DNF|