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Race report

F3 Imola: Stanek claims maiden victory with late Bearman pass

Roman Stanek clinched his first series victory in a chaotic FIA Formula 3 feature race at Imola, snatching the lead from Ollie Bearman on the penultimate lap.

Podium: race winner Roman Stanek, Trident, second place Jak Crawford, Prema Powerteam, third place Isack Hadjar, Hitech GP

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

A much interrupted race featured three safety cars and multiple lead changes before Trident driver Stanek passed Bearman’s Prema-run car on the main straight to thrust himself back into title contention following two non-scores in Bahrain.

Stanek held his second position off the line, then briefly took the lead from team-mate and polesitter Zane Maloney before the Barbadian took charge of the race as those who had made early progress on wet tyres faded away.

Stanek then inherited the lead from his team-mate after 2019 British Formula 4 champion Maloney spun on the second safety car restart, but his grip on the top spot was brief as reigning German and Italian F4 champion Bearman got the better jump and swept ahead into Tamburello.

But the Czech 18-year-old wasn't to be denied and kept close to the leader before passing him on the penultimate lap to take his first win in his third season of F3.

Jak Crawford repeated Stanek's move on Bearman to take second place on the final lap, with Isack Hadjar (Hitech) capitalising on a clash between Bearman and Gregoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix) at the first Rivazza further around the lap to take third as Bearman dropped to fourth.

A drying track led much of the field opt for slick tyres, but several drivers risked taking wets in a bid to make an early jump up the order.

One of these, MP Motorsport’s Caio Collet, charged through from ninth on the grid to lead by the end of lap one, but his advantage was short-lived thanks to the arrival of a safety car on lap two.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Reece Ushijima and Brad Benavides (Carlin) crashed at the exit of Turn 1, while Charouz Racing System driver Francesco Pizzi also went off into the gravel.

This prompted Collet to swap over to slicks, with race one winner Franco Colapinto (VAR) and MP Motorsport’s Alexander Smolyar following suit.

Caio Collet led early on wets before bailing for slicks

Caio Collet led early on wets before bailing for slicks

Photo by: Dutch Photo Agency

Racing resumed on lap five, with Maloney getting a good getaway, while wet-shod Pepe Marti moved into second by passing Bearman and Stanek in quick succession.

The Campos Racing driver also passed Maloney on lap 6, while team-mate Hunter Yeany moved up to third, but both pitted for slicks on the following lap with slicks clearly the way to go.

Following contact with Rafael Villagomez’s left rear wheel, Benavides ended his eventful race for good and crashed to bring out the second safety car.

Maloney led the field to the restart on lap 11, but spun on the approach to Rivazza as he prepared to release the field, with Bearman then passing Stanek for the lead.

With Maloney's car beached, the safety car was required again, after which Bearman made his bid to escape from Stanek and set a fastest lap on lap 15. But the Ferrari junior couldn't make a decisive gap and Stanek replied with a fastest lap of his own four tours later before finally making it past.

Crawford was next to pass Bearman into Turn 1 on the final lap, securing his second podium of the weekend after finishing third in race one, before Saucy's move around the outside of Rivazza caused Bearman to get sideways and make contact with the reigning Formula Renault European by Alpine champion.

As Hadjar scampered through to third, Bearman recovered to cross the line in fourth while the incident ended Saucy’s race.

Bearman's team-mate Arthur Leclerc, who started in 21st after a crash with Enzo Trulli in qualifying, charged through the field to finish fifth, putting him level on points with pre-race championship leader Victor Martins - who finished out of the points in 11th.

Stanek's win puts him just a single point off the lead, with Crawford and Hadjar two and three points back respectively.

Kush Maini was sixth after an eventful first race, with Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan recovering from a race one crash to take seventh ahead of fellow previous GB3 champion Kaylen Frederick in eighth. David Vidales and Ido Cohen completed the points scorers.

FIA F3 Imola Race 2 results - 24 laps

Cla Driver Team Time Gap
1 Czech Republic Roman Staněk Italy Trident 45'37.829  
2 Jak Crawford Italy Prema Powerteam 45'38.483 0.654
3 Isack Hadjar United Kingdom HitechGP 45'42.076 4.247
4 Oliver Bearman Italy Prema Powerteam 45'42.557 4.728
5 Monaco Arthur Leclerc Italy Prema Powerteam 45'44.344 6.515
6 India Kush Maini Netherlands MP Motorsport 45'50.395 12.566
7 United Kingdom Zak O'Sullivan Carlin 45'51.114 13.285
8 United States Kaylen Frederick United Kingdom HitechGP 45'52.118 14.289
9 Spain David Vidales Spain Campos Racing 45'52.774 14.945
10 Israel Ido Cohen Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 45'53.275 15.446
11 France Victor Martins France ART Grand Prix 45'53.722 15.893
12 Finland William Alatalo Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 45'54.442 16.613
13 Brazil Caio Collet Netherlands MP Motorsport 45'56.416 18.587
14 Germany David Schumacher Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 45'56.677 18.848
15 Russian Federation Alexander Smolyar Netherlands MP Motorsport 45'58.879 21.050
16 Pepe Martí Spain Campos Racing 45'59.798 21.969
17 Hunter Yeany Spain Campos Racing 46'00.792 22.963
18 Reece Ushijima Van Amersfoort Racing 46'05.533 27.704
19 Malaysia Nazim Azman United Kingdom HitechGP 46'06.590 28.761
20 Mexico Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 46'08.235 30.406
21 Italy Federico Malvestiti Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 46'10.203 32.374
22 Argentina Franco Colapinto Van Amersfoort Racing 46'50.395 1'12.566
23 Switzerland Gregoire Saucy France ART Grand Prix 44'05.246 1 Lap
24 Italy Enzo Trulli Carlin 46'09.677 1 Lap
25 Hungary László Tóth Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 46'28.933 3 Laps
  Barbados Zane Maloney Italy Trident 15 laps  
  United States Brad Benavides Carlin 18 laps  
  Denmark Oliver Rasmussen Italy Trident 19 laps  
  Italy Francesco Pizzi Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 23 laps  

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