Victor Martins took his first FIA Formula 3 Championship win of the season at the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday, coming home ahead of Arthur Leclerc in the Feature Race.
Isaac Hadjar won Saturday’s Sprint Race after Prema Racing‘s Oliver Bearman crossed the line first but received a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits.
Franco Colapinto started on pole after Friday’s Qualifying session, alongside Roman Stanek.
The front two made it through the first sector intact, with Victor Martins just behind, with Juan Manuel Correa harassing Zane Maloney out of Turn 3.
Francesco Pizzi, Kaylen Frederick and Maloney all stopped on track throughout the first lap, with Maloney jumping out of his smoking Trident after spinning Pizzi in the middle sector.
The safety car was scrambled, as Caio Collet bumped his way back into the pits with suspension damage after bouncing off the kerbs. Frederick was able to join the back of the queue in his Hitech Grand Prix car.
Sprint Race polesitter Zak O’Sullivan had bounced over the kerbs at Turn 6/7, in turn bouncing off Bearman’s sidepod as Collet and Maloney collided, but both British drivers were able to continue.
Alexander Smolyar ran fourth at the restart, having finished third in Saturday’s Sprint Race, as Martins mugged Roman Stanek into Turn 1 after Colapinto suffered wheelspin as he tried to break the tow.
Stanek suffered his second right-rear puncture in as many races on the way out of Turn 10 on Lap 5 after squeezing Smolyar onto the exit kerb. The Czech driver pulled off to the left while Nazim Azman stopped on track, scrambling the Virtual Safety Car.
Arthur Leclerc continued his habit of qualifying down in the midfield and coming back to the front in the race, moving up from 13th on the grid to fifth by the end of Lap 7 after overtaking Hadjar and David Vidales.
Gregoire Saucy got past Vidales next, while his ART Grand Prix team-mates ran second and fourth.
Meanwhile, Enzo Trulli suffered a puncture and front wing damage to his Carlin, boxing and dropping to the back on Lap 9.
Hadjar was the next to suffer a puncture from Smolyar, dashing his chances of leaving Bahrain at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings.
Leclerc, Jak Crawford, Niko Kari and Kush Maini were the big movers of the first half of the race, each moving up ten places from the start.
Bearman got past Rafael Villagomez (Van Amersfoort Racing) at the final corner on Lap 12 to get back into the top ten.
William Alatalo moved into seventh after a long battle with Vidales, with seventh through 21st separated by just seven seconds after 14 laps.
Victor Martins went on the attack on Lap 15, dancing around Colapinto in the first sector to hold the Argentine driver off into Turn 4.
Just moments later, Vidales sent one down the inside of Alatalo at Turn 1, getting past the Jenzer Motorsport car to get back into seventh.
Colapinto began to struggle and fall into the clutches of Leclerc, prompting questions of whether he had over-exerted his tyres in the early stages, as O’Sullivan did on Saturday before he slipped back to sixth.
Leclerc made plenty of moves into Turn 13 throughout the weekend, but got past Colapinto into Turn 1 on Lap 18 to get into second place.
Colapinto continued to struggle with his tyres, and received a five-second time penalty for track limits as he defended third from Saucy’s ART.
Bearman got past Smolyar to take sixth place, but the pair were too far back to benefit from Colapinto’s penalty.
FIA Formula 3 Feature Race – Bahrain International Circuit
|1||7||Victor Martins||FRA||ART Grand Prix||23 laps|
|2||4||Arthur Leclerc||MON||Prema Racing||+1.5s|
|3||8||Gregoire Saucy||SUI||ART Grand Prix||+6.8s|
|4||9||Juan Manuel Correa||USA||ART Grand Prix||+9.0s|
|5||29||Franco Colapinto||ARG||Van Amersfoort Racing||+11.1s|
|6||6||Oliver Bearman||GBR||Prema Racing||+14.5s|
|7||5||Jak Crawford||USA||Prema Racing||+18.7s|
|8||20||David Vidales||SPA||Campos Racing||+23.0s|
|9||25||William Alatalo||FIN||Jenzer Motorsport||+23.6s|
|10||17||Kaylen Frederick||USA||Hitech Grand Prix||+23.8s|
|12||30||Rafael Villagomez||MEX||Van Amersfoort Racing||+28.2s|
|13||22||Josep Maria Marti||SPA||Campos Racing||+30.1s|
|14||21||Hunter Yeany||USA||Campos Racing||+33.2s|
|15||24||Niko Kari||FIN||Jenzer Motorsport||+35.0s|
|16||23||Ido Cohen||ISR||Jenzer Motorsport||+35.0s|
|17||12||Kush Maini||IND||MP Motorsport||+35.1s|
|18||31||Reece Ushijima||USA||Van Amersfoort Racing||+35.7s|
|20||15||Ayrton Simmons||GBR||Charouz Racing System||+36.7s|
|23||11||Alexander Smolyar||FIA||MP Motorsport||+38.7s|
|24||14||Laszlo Toth||HUN||Charouz Racing System||+39.9s|
|25||18||Isack Hadjar||FRA||Hitech Grand Prix||+49.7s|
|27||19||Nazim Azman||MAL||Hitech Grand Prix||DNF (damage)|
|28||16||Francesco Pizzi||ITA||Charouz Racing System||DNF (damage)|
|29||10||Caio Collet||BRA||MP Motorsport||DNF (damage)|
|30||3||Zane Maloney||BAR||Trident||DNF (mechanical)|