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F3 Bahrain: Marti takes maiden win in 2023 season opener

Pepe Marti won the first Formula 3 race of the year in the Bahrain reversed grid encounter, passing Franco Colapinto after two safety car interruptions for his maiden series victory.

Josep Maria Marti,  Campos Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Fernando Alonso protégé Marti had a difficult rookie season in 2022, scoring his first points with ninth in the final round at Monza before continuing with Campos Racing for his second season.

The Spaniard lined up second on the reversed grid behind MP Motorsport polesitter Colapinto and stuck with the Argentine throughout the opening stages before making his move on lap 14 around the outside of Turn 4.

Despite Williams Academy driver Colapinto looking close to retaking the lead several times, Marti had preserved his Pirelli tyres better and managed to break DRS by the final lap, crossing the line 1.8s clear.

Colapinto settled for second, with fellow series returnee Caio Collet in third for Van Amersfoort Racing.

At the start, Colapinto held the lead off the line, while Collet snatched second from Marti at Turn 2.

The first safety car came on lap two after Rafael Villagomez went into the barrier on the exit of Turn 4, his VAR machine clipped by Trident driver Gabriel Bortoleto as the pair raced side by side.

Racing resumed on lap seven, with Marti making it back past Collet into second as Prema team-mates Paul Aron and Dino Beganovic tussled behind the leaders.

The yellow flags were almost immediately waved again before a second safety car after Hitech rookie Luke Browning came to a stop at Turn 2, the GB3 champion turned around in the restart tussle.

Podium: Race winner Josep Maria Marti, Campos Racing, second place Franco Colapinto, MP Motorsport, third place Caio Collet, Van Amersfoort Racing

Podium: Race winner Josep Maria Marti, Campos Racing, second place Franco Colapinto, MP Motorsport, third place Caio Collet, Van Amersfoort Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Lap 12 saw the green flags waved once more, with Marti closing in on Colapinto, attempting a move at Turn 4 before backing off.

It was just two laps before he finally made the deciding move, once again swooping around the outside of Turn 4 to secure the lead, with the front two drivers 1.5s clear of third-placed Collet.

The Prema pair continued to tussle further back, with Beganovic making it past Aron at Turn 4 on lap 17 for fourth place.

Reigning Euroformula Open champion Oliver Goethe finished sixth for Trident, with ART Grand Prix’s Gregoire Saucy in seventh and Leonardo Fornaroli (Trident) in eighth.

Jonny Edgar (MP Motorsport) and Hitech rookie Sebastian Montoya rounded off the top 10, the Red Bull junior passing Marti's team-mate Hugh Barter at Turn 1 on the final lap.

F3 Bahrain Race 1 Results (19 laps)

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 Pepe Martí Spain Campos Racing 19    
2 Argentina Franco Colapinto Netherlands MP Motorsport 19 1.8  
3 Brazil Caio Collet Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 19 5.8  
4 Dino Beganovic Italy Prema Powerteam 19 9.0  
5 Paul Aron Italy Prema Powerteam 19 9.8  
6 Oliver Goethe Italy Trident 19 10.6  
7 Switzerland Gregoire Saucy France ART Grand Prix 19 11.1  
8 Leonardo Fornaroli Italy Trident 19 11.7  
9 United Kingdom Jonny Edgar Netherlands MP Motorsport 19 12.3  
10 Colombia Sebastian Montoya Hitech Pulse-Eight 19 12.8  
11 Hugh Barter Spain Campos Racing 19 13.6  
12 Gabriel Bortoleto Italy Trident 19 14.1  
13 United Kingdom Zak O'Sullivan Italy Prema Powerteam 19 14.8  
14 Christian Mansell Spain Campos Racing 19 15.8  
15 Taylor Barnard Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 19 17.4  
16 Mari Boya Netherlands MP Motorsport 19 18.0  
17 Nikita Bedrin Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 19 19.2  
18 Gabriele Minì Hitech Pulse-Eight 19 19.6  
19 Israel Ido Cohen Rodin Carlin 19 23.4  
20 Hunter Yeany Rodin Carlin 19 24.6  
21 Oliver Gray Rodin Carlin 19 25.0  
22 Germany Sophia Flörsch PHM Racing by Charouz 19 25.3  
23 Tommy Smith Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 19 25.9  
24 Roberto Faria PHM Racing by Charouz 19 38.5  
25 Piotr Wiśnicki PHM Racing by Charouz 19 45.2  
26 Nikola Tsolov France ART Grand Prix 19 47.7  
27 Alex Garcia Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 19 1'01.7  
28 United States Kaylen Frederick France ART Grand Prix 19 1'25.3  
  Luke Browning Hitech Pulse-Eight 6 13 laps  
  Mexico Rafael Villagomez Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 1 18 laps  

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