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F3 Bahrain: Williams junior Browning takes maiden win in feature race

Williams junior Luke Browning took his first Formula 3 victory in confident style in Bahrain after another disaster for Dino Beganovic.

Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse-Eight, 1st position, on the podium

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Browning got his F3 season off to the best of starts, leading from start to finish to take the full 25 points after absorbing pressure from Christian Mansell throughout.

Beganovic’s miserable start to the season continued as his Prema-run car failed to launch from pole position and dropped him to the back of the field, adding to the pain of a scoreless sprint due to a lap one puncture.

As the Swedish driver lost ground, Browning was free to head into the first corner with an unchallenged lead. Making the most of this, the Hitech driver quickly pulled clear of DRS range as the chasing pack engaged in a fierce battle.

Beganovic eventually recovered to 13th and left Bahrain without a point to his name.

Another driver that endured a difficult start was Campos driver Mari Boya, who suffered a puncture in an incident involving ART team-mate Laurens van Hoepen. Compounding this misery, the Spaniard was then handed a five-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane.

The early beneficiaries of these problems were Sami Meguetounif (Trident) and Christian Mansell (ART), with the drivers who had started fourth and fifth respectively climbing to second and third.

These positions switched in Mansell’s favour on lap five, as both drivers locked up into Turn 10 and the Australian slid down the inside.

Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse-Eight, Sami Meguetounif, Trident

Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse-Eight, Sami Meguetounif, Trident

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

As drivers settled into the race, Browning saw his lead erode and by lap 10 of 22, he led a DRS train of 11 cars, with his margin to Mansell just half a second.

Lap 17 saw gaps begin to appear with the top four pulling two-seconds clear of the chasing pack.

This came after concern from Browning as his engine tone changed significantly, something which was initially feared to be a lost engine cylinder. However, it transpired that a broken piece of heat shielding was to blame for the change, and not anything more sinister.

With five laps of the 22 remaining, Browning began to push once again but he was unable to shake Mansell from his gearbox. This push split the lead group into two packs, with Meguetounif and Tim Tramnitz (MP Motorsport) dropping back.

Keen to fire fresh life into his own push for the race win, Tramnitz dove to the inside at Turn 1, taking the final podium position from his Trident rival.

But there was no grandstand finale, as Browning cruised to the chequered flag from Mansell and Tramnitz.

Sprint race winner Arvid Lindblad added further points to his early haul, finishing eighth.

The result puts Browning at the top of the standings by four points from Tramnitz. Mansell, Lindblad and Leonardo Fornaroli complete the top five.

F3 Bahrain - Feature race results

   
1
 - 
4
   
   
1
 - 
2
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h Pits Points Retirement Bonus
1
L. Browning Hitech Pulse-Eight
14 22

-

           
2
C. Mansell ART Grand Prix
23 22

+1.200

1.2

1.200          
3
T. Tramnitz MP Motorsport
7 22

+2.400

2.4

1.200          
4
S. Meguetounif Trident
5 22

+5.600

5.6

3.200          
5
S. Ramos Trident
6 22

+6.900

6.9

1.300          
6
G. Minì Prema Powerteam
2 22

+8.200

8.2

1.300          
7
L. Fornaroli Trident
4 22

+8.800

8.8

0.600          
8
A. Lindblad Prema Powerteam
3 22

+9.500

9.5

0.700          
9
A. Dunne MP Motorsport
9 22

+16.600

16.6

7.100          
10
O. Goethe Campos Racing
10 22

+17.000

17.0

0.400          
11
N. Tsolov ART Grand Prix
25 22

+18.000

18.0

1.000          
12
N. León Van Amersfoort Racing
20 22

+19.400

19.4

1.400          
13
D. Beganovic Prema Powerteam
1 22

+20.000

20.0

0.600          
14
M. Stenshorne Hitech Pulse-Eight
15 22

+21.700

21.7

1.700          
15
L. Van ART Grand Prix
24 22

+22.600

22.6

0.900          
16
C. Wurz Jenzer Motorsport
17 22

+23.100

23.1

0.500          
17 Colombia S. Montoya Campos Racing 11 22

+23.600

23.6

0.500          
18
N. Bedrin PHM AIX Racing
27 22

+29.900

29.9

6.300          
19
M. Zagazeta Jenzer Motorsport
19 22

+30.800

30.8

0.900          
20
T. Inthraphuvasak PHM AIX Racing
26 22

+34.400

34.4

3.600          
21
C. Voisin Rodin Motorsport
29 22

+35.800

35.8

1.400          
22
T. Smith Van Amersfoort Racing
22 22

+37.400

37.4

1.600          
23
J. Loake Rodin Motorsport
31 22

+41.100

41.1

3.700          
24
M. Esterson Jenzer Motorsport
18 22

+42.300

42.3

1.200          
25
P. Wiśnicki Rodin Motorsport
30 22

+52.300

52.3

10.000          
26
C. Shields Hitech Pulse-Eight
16 22

+53.900

53.9

1.600          
27
J. Dufek PHM AIX Racing
28 22

+59.900

59.9

6.000          
28
K. Sztuka MP Motorsport
8 22

+1'03.800

1'03.8

3.900          
29
M. Boya Campos Racing
12 22

+1'28.200

1'28.2

24.400          
dnf Germany S. Flörsch Van Amersfoort Racing 21 21

1 lap

        Retirement  

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