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Race report
FIA F3 Melbourne

F3 Australia: Bortoleto wins back-to-back feature races

Gabriel Bortoleto extended his Formula 3 championship lead after withstanding race-long pressure from Gregoire Saucy to win the feature race in Melbourne.

Gabriel Bortoleto, Trident

From pole, Trident driver Bortoleto didn’t put a wheel wrong over the course of the 23-lap race, holding off ART man Saucy to make it back-to-back feature race victories by 0.596 seconds.

Alpine junior Gabriele Mini led home a long train of battling cars to take the final podium spot for Hitech.

Bortoleto maintained the lead from Saucy and Mini at the start on a relatively calm opening lap of the race, but it wasn’t long before the safety car made its first appearance of the morning owing to two separate incidents.

The first involved Franco Colapinto, who won Saturday’s sprint race on the road only to be disqualified post-race, as the MP Motorsport driver picked up a puncture from contact with Luke Browning exiting Turn 3 and subsequently crashed at Turn 5.

Later round the lap, Mari Boya was involved in a scary incident at the fast Turn 9-10 complex as he launched off the rear wheel of Nikola Tsolov into the gravel and hit the barriers, although Boya was reportedly able to exit his MP car unaided.

When action resumed, the order at the head of the field remained unchanged until a crash for Ido Cohen exiting Turn 3, the result of contact with Rafael Villagomez, produced the second and final caution of the race just after half-distance.

Gabriel Bortoleto, Gregoire Saucy & Gabriele Mini Podium

Gabriel Bortoleto, Gregoire Saucy & Gabriele Mini Podium

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Saucy continued to apply the pressure on Bortoleto but never got close enough to attempt an overtake, falling short of the win by half a second.

Mini was three seconds behind in third, leading home Fornaroli, sprint race winner Zak O’Sullivan (Prema) and Browning (Hitech), who faces a post-race investigation for his early contact with Colapinto.

Mercedes junior Paul Aron grabbed seventh, while the battle for eighth was decided in favour of Aron’s Prema team-mate Dino Beganovic after last-lap contact with Caio Collet.

From 30th and last on the grid, Pepe Marti (Campos) tore through the field to collect two points for ninth, while the final spot in the top 10 went to Taylor Barnard (Jenzer).

Trident’s Oliver Goethe, second in the points heading to Melbourne, finished down in 22nd after picking up a front-right puncture and pitting for a replacement wheel.

Sprint race polesitter Sebastian Montoya (Hitech) was an early retirement after opening-lap contact with Christian Mansell.

With Goethe failing to score all weekend, Bortoleto now leads the championship by 20 points from Saucy, with Beganovic third, 26 off the leader.

F3 Australia - feature race results (23 laps):

Cla Driver Team Gap Interval
1 Gabriel Bortoleto Italy Trident    
2 Switzerland Gregoire Saucy France ART Grand Prix 0.596 0.596
3 Gabriele Minì Hitech Pulse-Eight 3.032 2.436
4 Leonardo Fornaroli Italy Trident 3.216 0.184
5 United Kingdom Zak O'Sullivan Italy Prema Powerteam 3.564 0.348
6 Luke Browning Hitech Pulse-Eight 4.191 0.627
7 Paul Aron Italy Prema Powerteam 4.393 0.202
8 Dino Beganovic Italy Prema Powerteam 8.557 4.164
9 Pepe Martí Spain Campos Racing 8.738 0.181
10 Taylor Barnard Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 13.589 4.851
11 Christian Mansell Spain Campos Racing 14.356 0.767
12 United Kingdom Jonny Edgar Netherlands MP Motorsport 14.928 0.572
13 Tommy Smith Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 15.582 0.654
14 Oliver Gray Rodin Carlin 18.766 3.184
15 Hugh Barter Spain Campos Racing 19.034 0.268
16 Brazil Caio Collet Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 19.426 0.392
17 Hunter Yeany Rodin Carlin 19.645 0.219
18 Germany Sophia Flörsch PHM Racing by Charouz 23.606 3.961
19 Mexico Rafael Villagomez Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 28.676 5.070
20 Alex Garcia Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 30.035 1.359
21 Nikola Tsolov France ART Grand Prix 30.064 0.029
22 Oliver Goethe Italy Trident 56.084 26.020
23 Nikita Bedrin Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 1 Lap 1 Lap
  Israel Ido Cohen Rodin Carlin    
  Roberto Faria PHM Racing by Charouz    
  Piotr Wiśnicki PHM Racing by Charouz    
  United States Kaylen Frederick France ART Grand Prix    
  Argentina Franco Colapinto Netherlands MP Motorsport    
  Mari Boya Netherlands MP Motorsport    
  Colombia Sebastian Montoya Hitech Pulse-Eight    

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