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F3 Bahrain: Lindblad wins on debut in thrilling 2024 opener

Arvid Lindblad secured victory on debut in Formula 3 with a battling display in the Bahrain sprint race.

Arvid Lindblad, Prema Racing

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Rookie Prema driver Lindblad took victory after climbing from fourth on the grid, taking advantage of in-fighting between ART team-mates Laurens van Hoepen and Nikola Tsolov.

Polesitter van Hoepen made a good start but dropped back on fellow front-row starter Tsolov and ART team-mate at Turn 2. But further back, it was disaster for Saturday’s pole man Dino Beganovic, who was forced to pit with a puncture at the end of lap one following Turn 1 contact with Trident driver Santiago Ramos.

As the 19-lap sprint appeared to be settling into a rhythm, the lead pair began to battle, switching places twice on lap four. This allowed Max Esterson to make it a three-way battle at the front, closing to within a second of the duo and regaining the DRS advantage.

Luke Browning made early ground to progress from 11th to ninth but found himself stuck in a DRS train behind Christian Mansell (ART) and Sami Meguetounif (Trident). On lap six, however, Browning forced the matter with a breathtaking move around the outside of Turn 4 to pass both drivers and progress to seventh.

But this move was subsequently looked at by the stewards and, as Browning was judged to have gained an advantage by driving off the track and over the Turn 4 kerbs, he was handed a 10-second penalty. At the time the penalty was awarded, Browning would have dropped to P20.

Lap seven saw yellow flags fly for the first time as Joseph Loake lost the rear of his Rodin-entered car at Turn 4, with those around him doing well to avoid contact.

Having dropped off the lead pair who were now working together, Esterson fell into the clutches or Lindblad, with the Prema driver lunging to the inside of Turn 1 to promote himself into a podium position.

As Lindblad closed on the leaders, the ART pair resumed their battle, with van Hoepen retaking the lead into Turn 1 before Tsolov quickly came back on the Dutchman. Into Turn 8, Lindblad showed a nose, something he repeated again into Turns 1 and 4 at the end or a pair of DRS zones.

Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse Eight

Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse Eight

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

An error from van Hoepen at Turn 11 on lap 13 saw the ART driver run wide and drop behind Red Bull-backed Lindblad, with the battle at the front now joined by Tim Tramnitz (MP Motorsport).

At the start of lap 15, Lindblad made his move for the lead. This position, however, was held only until Turn 4 as Tsolov made the most of DRS to pull ahead once more.

Lindblad repeated the move on lap 16 but was this time able to retain the position through the following DRS zone. With this, focus switched to the battle for the final podium position, with Fornaroli growing impatient in fourth.

Lindblad quickly established a two-second lead and, with three laps remaining, the fight for second involved nine drivers.

As Browning dropped down the order to ninth on the penultimate lap, Fornaroli put himself on the podium with a Turn 4 move on Tsolov.

Lindblad took the chequered flag with a margin of over five seconds, from van Hoepen who managed to hold Fornaroli behind in third. Browning’s penalty eventually dropped him from ninth to 15th.

Lindblad will start Saturday’s feature race from ninth, with Beganovic and Browning sharing the front row.

F3 Bahrain - Sprint race results

   
1
 - 
4
   
   
1
 - 
2
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h Pits Points Retirement Bonus
1
A. Lindblad Prema Powerteam
3 19

-

      10    
2
L. Van ART Grand Prix
24 19

+5.400

5.4

5.400     9   1
3
L. Fornaroli Trident
4 19

+5.500

5.5

0.100     8    
4
N. Tsolov ART Grand Prix
25 19

+6.700

6.7

1.200     7    
5
T. Tramnitz MP Motorsport
7 19

+6.900

6.9

0.200     6    
6
M. Esterson Jenzer Motorsport
18 19

+8.400

8.4

1.500     5    
7
G. Minì Prema Powerteam
2 19

+8.400

8.4

0.000     4    
8
M. Boya Campos Racing
12 19

+9.100

9.1

0.700     3    
9
O. Goethe Campos Racing
10 19

+9.900

9.9

0.800     2    
10
S. Meguetounif Trident
5 19

+11.200

11.2

1.300     1    
11
M. Stenshorne Hitech Pulse-Eight
15 19

+12.500

12.5

1.300          
12
A. Dunne MP Motorsport
9 19

+13.000

13.0

0.500          
13
N. Bedrin PHM AIX Racing
27 19

+14.900

14.9

1.900          
14
C. Mansell ART Grand Prix
23 19

+19.200

19.2

4.300          
15
L. Browning Hitech Pulse-Eight
14 19

+19.500

19.5

0.300          
16
T. Inthraphuvasak PHM AIX Racing
26 19

+19.700

19.7

0.200          
17
C. Voisin Rodin Motorsport
29 19

+21.100

21.1

1.400          
18 Colombia S. Montoya Campos Racing 11 19

+22.900

22.9

1.800          
19
C. Wurz Jenzer Motorsport
17 19

+24.600

24.6

1.700          
20
N. León Van Amersfoort Racing
20 19

+25.100

25.1

0.500          
21
K. Sztuka MP Motorsport
8 19

+26.600

26.6

1.500          
22
S. Ramos Trident
6 19

+27.300

27.3

0.700          
23 Germany S. Flörsch Van Amersfoort Racing 21 19

+28.100

28.1

0.800          
24
J. Dufek PHM AIX Racing
28 19

+37.800

37.8

9.700          
25
P. Wiśnicki Rodin Motorsport
30 19

+38.200

38.2

0.400          
26
C. Shields Hitech Pulse-Eight
16 19

+40.000

40.0

1.800          
27
J. Loake Rodin Motorsport
31 19

+40.700

40.7

0.700          
28
T. Smith Van Amersfoort Racing
22 19

+1'00.400

1'00.4

19.700          
29
D. Beganovic Prema Powerteam
1 19

+1'30.000

1'30.0

29.600         2
dnf
M. Zagazeta Jenzer Motorsport
19 15

4 laps

        Retirement  

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