FIA Formula 3 kicked off the racing at the Italian Grand Prix with an enthralling race, by the end of which Frederik Vesti took his second win of the year as Logan Sargeant lost the championship lead.
Vesti started ninth and showed off sublime overtaking skills to reach third on the road, but he was multiple seconds back from the leading pair at the time of Théo Pourchaire and Jake Hughes. But he was saved by a safety car as Sebastián Fernández spun and got stuck in the gravel trap at the Ascari chicane. “Thank You Baby!” the Dane exclaimed on the radio.
Now on the tail of the leaders, Vesti got to work, passing Hughes instantly after the restart before biding his time behind Pourchaire, making his move with three laps to go.
Pourchaire himself drove a stunning race; having started sixth after a five-place penalty robbed him of his first F3 pole, he scythed his way through the pack and looked comfortable in the lead when it was Hughes behind him. But Vesti had just a little too much for the Frenchman and he had to settle for second.
The big news however is that there is a new championship leader with just three races to go. Oscar Piastri was arguably driver of the day as he rose from fifteenth on the grid to third. To make his day even better, his title rival Sargeant was hit into a spin by Clément Novalak and he dropped all the way down to twenty-sixth. Novalak was given a ten second penalty for the incident.
Just off the podium, David Beckmann picked his battles superbly to finish fourth ahead of Hughes and Liam Lawson who was in the thick of the action from the very start.
Lirim Zendeli kept his nose clean and finished seventh as a result while there was all kinds of penalties behind him. Bent Viscaal was classified eighth and it should have been Roman Stanek next, but the youngest driver in the field ran wide at the final corner on the final lap and got slapped with a penalty as a result.
That, coupled with Novalak’s penalty, meant that Enzo Fittipaldi finished in ninth after a drive even better than Piastri’s after the Brazilian stalled at the start. He beat Michael Belov who took his first point and reverse grid pole on his second F3 race weekend.
|1||Frederik Vesti||PREMA||22 Laps|
|5||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||+7.419|
|6||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||+7.984|
|8||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport||+9.232|
|9||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||+12.192|
|12||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||+16.862|
|13||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||+17.290|
|15||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||+19.185|
|18||Pierre-Louis Chovet||Hitech GP||+21.922|
|27||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||+46.678|
|28||Sebastián Fernández||ART||DNF (Crash)|
|29||Olli Caldwell||Trident||DNF (Contact)|
|30||Matteo Nannini||Jenzer||DNF (Contact)|