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Race report
FIA F3 Barcelona

F3 Barcelona: O'Sullivan holds off Browning for second win of 2023

Zak O’Sullivan took his second Formula 3 win of the season in Barcelona, holding off a fierce challenge from fellow Williams junior Luke Browning amid two safety cars.

Zak O'Sullivan, Prema Racing

Prema driver O’Sullivan lined up on pole and despite his Hitech rival getting close to a move at Turn 1, held onto the lead.

The safety car was almost immediately deployed, but O’Sullivan held firm on the restart, with an early jump allowing him to maintain the lead.

Despite several more challenges from Browning and another safety car interruption on lap 16, O’Sullivan was able to build a 1.6s gap to his rookie rival to take his first win since his Melbourne sprint triumph.

Browning finished second for his first F3 podium, with Leonardo Fornaroli (Trident) third taking his second podium in as many weekends after passing ART's Gregoire Saucy when the Frenchman ran wide at Turn 2.

The first safety car came as Rodin Carlin driver Ido Cohen made contact with Rafael Villagomez (Van Amersfoort Racing) at Turn 9, hitting into the wall and ending his race.

Racing resumed on lap five, with O’Sullivan getting the early jump at Turn 12 to escape Browning’s clutches.

Further back, Alpine junior Gabriele Mini (Hitech) had made up five places, taking 13th from Taylor Barnard (Jenzer) before deposing Christian Mansell on the following tour into Turn 7.

Browning continued to pressure O’Sullivan as the laps progressed, trying a move at Turn 1 on lap 10, but was unable to pass.

Second placed Luke Browning, Hitech , race winner Zak O'Sullivan, Prema Racing

Second placed Luke Browning, Hitech , race winner Zak O'Sullivan, Prema Racing

Photo by: Williams

Saucy allowed Prema driver Paul Aron past into fourth on the start-finish straight on lap 14 after running wide, his error then allowing Sebastian Montoya (Hitech) and championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto (Trident) through too as Saucy dropped to seventh.

Montoya and Aron made contact at Turn 2 the following lap, with the Red Bull junior running wide across the gravel and contracting a puncture. Bortoleto then passed the pair to take fourth, the incident set to be investigated after the race.

Prema rookie Dino Beganovic then went off at Turn 10 after also suffering from a puncture, before Mini and Mansell made contact at Turn 2, ending the Campos driver's race and handing Monaco winner Mini a 10 second penalty.

These incidents prompted a second safety car, and as racing resumed on lap 19, O’Sullivan was able to build a convincing gap to Browning, ending the latter's hopes of victory.

Mini made it past Saucy for eighth on the final lap, but was dropped to 21st by his penalty, denting his hopes of taking the championship lead.

Bortoleto took fourth, with Aron fifth ahead of MP Motorsport pair Franco Colapinto and Mari Boya.

Qualifying pacesetter Pepe Marti (Campos) inherited eighth from Mini ahead of starting tomorrow's main race from pole, with Saucy and Barnard completing the top 10.

F3 Barcelona Race Results: 21 laps

Cla Driver Team Gap
1 United Kingdom Zak O'Sullivan Italy Prema Powerteam  
2 Luke Browning Hitech Pulse-Eight 1.600
3 Leonardo Fornaroli Italy Trident 2.300
4 Gabriel Bortoleto Italy Trident 3.100
5 Paul Aron Italy Prema Powerteam 3.600
6 Argentina Franco Colapinto Netherlands MP Motorsport 4.100
7 Mari Boya Netherlands MP Motorsport 5.000
8 Pepe Martí Spain Campos Racing 6.200
9 Switzerland Gregoire Saucy France ART Grand Prix 7.100
10 Taylor Barnard Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 7.800
11 Nikita Bedrin Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 8.400
12 Oliver Goethe Italy Trident 8.800
13 United Kingdom Jonny Edgar Netherlands MP Motorsport 9.500
14 Brazil Caio Collet Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 10.100
15 Nikola Tsolov France ART Grand Prix 11.900
16 United States Kaylen Frederick France ART Grand Prix 12.800
17 Oliver Gray Rodin Carlin 13.500
18 Hunter Yeany Rodin Carlin 14.100
19 Tommy Smith Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 15.200
20 Hugh Barter Spain Campos Racing 15.700
21 Gabriele Minì Hitech Pulse-Eight 15.800
22 Colombia Sebastian Montoya Hitech Pulse-Eight 15.900
23 Germany Sophia Flörsch PHM Racing by Charouz 16.500
24 Alex Garcia Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 16.800
25 Mexico Rafael Villagomez Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 17.200
26 Piotr Wiśnicki PHM Racing by Charouz 18.000
27 Roberto Faria PHM Racing by Charouz 18.300
28 Christian Mansell Spain Campos Racing  
29 Dino Beganovic Italy Prema Powerteam  
30 Israel Ido Cohen Rodin Carlin  

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