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Race report

F3 Spa: No points for Collet's sprint win amid safety car disruption

No points were awarded after the Formula 3 sprint race at Spa, in which Caio Collet took his first win of 2023, as frequent safety car interruptions caused frustrations.

Caio Collet, Van Amersfoort Racing

An incident-strewn race on a damp track, which as in Hungary was shortened by three laps due to concerns over tyres, saw the safety car run for much of its 12 tours and finished under caution.

As no two consecutive racing laps were completed without disruption, it will not count for points.

This preserves championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto's 42-point advantage despite a first non-finish of the year.

His closest rival Pepe Marti failed to finish but remains second after scoring two points for claiming pole for Sunday's feature race.

Zak O'Sullivan finished fourth but remains third in the standings with no points being awarded. 

Collet, who lined up fourth for Van Amersfoort Racing, took third out of Turn 1 before moving into second before the Kemmel Straight. He then took the lead from Taylor Barnard (Jenzer) at Blanchimont before the first safety car was deployed.

Following two restarts, Collet took his first F3 win since Zandvoort last year, with Barnard securing second for his maiden F3 podium ahead of Prema driver Paul Aron.

With the track still damp from Saturday’s heavy rainfall and with more rain set to fall, poleman Hugh Barter (Campos) led off the line.

Barnard took second from Aron at Turn 1 before the Estonian and Collet fought for third, with Collet emerging ahead.

Caio Collet, Van Amersfoort Racing

Caio Collet, Van Amersfoort Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Barnard then moved into the lead on the Kemmel Straight, with Collet in second ahead of Barter before the Brazilian took the lead at Blanchimont.

The first safety car was then deployed after Sebastian Montoya (Hitech) was tagged by VAR driver Rafael Villagomez, the former stopping on track after Turn 8.

Racing resumed on lap four, with O’Sullivan (Prema) passing team-mate Dino Beganovic for fifth.

But action was again suspended soon after as Gabriele Mini (Hitech) and Campos driver Pepe Marti came together in the fight for 10th at Pouhon, the Alpine Academy member tagging the Spaniard and sending him into a spin, with Mini’s race ended.

Marti then attempted to rejoin but crashed into the side of Rodin Carlin driver Ido Cohen, ending both drivers’ races in an incident which will be investigated by the stewards.

The safety car ended on lap eight with O’Sullivan taking fourth from Jonny Edgar (MP Motorsport) as he locked up at Turn 1, with team-mate Franco Colapinto attempting to repeat the move but staying behind.

Further back, Trident driver Bortoleto made it past Beganovic for ninth, but suffered contact from the Prema rookie. Bortoleto slowed before coming to a stop on track after Radillon having suffered a puncture, prompting yet another safety car.

This led the field across the line as the chequered flag waved, with Collet taking victory from Barnard and Aron.

Title contender O’Sullivan finished fourth, with Edgar fifth and Colapinto sixth. Poleman Barter was seventh ahead of Nikola Tsolov (ART Grand Prix), with Beganovic and Hitech driver Luke Browning rounding off the top 10.

F3 Spa: Race 1 Result (12 laps):

 
 
       
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h Pits Points Retirement Bonus
1 Brazil C. Collet Caio Collet Van Amersfoort Racing 17 12 -       10   1
2
T. Barnard Taylor Barnard Jenzer Motorsport
27 12 +0.500 0.500     9    
3
P. Aron Paul Aron Prema Powerteam
1 12 +0.900 0.400     8    
4 United Kingdom Z. O'Sullivan Zak O'Sullivan Prema Powerteam 3 12 +1.300 0.400     7    
5 United Kingdom J. Edgar Jonny Edgar MP Motorsport 12 12 +1.500 0.200     6    
6 Argentina F. Colapinto Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 10 12 +1.600 0.100     5    
7
H. Barter Hugh Barter Campos Racing
25 12 +2.200 0.600     4    
8
N. Tsolov Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix
9 12 +2.500 0.300     3    
9
D. Beganovic Dino Beganovic Prema Powerteam
2 12 +3.200 0.700     2    
10
L. Browning Luke Browning Hitech Pulse-Eight
16 12 +3.300 0.100     1    
11
L. Fornaroli Leonardo Fornaroli Trident
4 12 +3.500 0.200          
12 Switzerland G. Saucy Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix 8 12 +4.400 0.900          
13
N. Bedrin Nikita Bedrin Jenzer Motorsport
26 12 +4.700 0.300          
14 Germany S. Flörsch Sophia Flörsch PHM Racing by Charouz 29 12 +5.300 0.600          
15 United States K. Frederick Kaylen Frederick ART Grand Prix 7 12 +5.600 0.300          
16
F. Simonazzi Francesco Simonazzi Rodin Carlin
21 12 +6.200 0.600          
17
M. Boya Mari Boya MP Motorsport
11 12 +6.500 0.300          
18
R. Faria Roberto Faria PHM Racing by Charouz
30 12 +7.600 1.100          
19 A. Garcia Alex Garcia Jenzer Motorsport 28 12 +10.300 2.700          
20
T. Smith Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing
19 12 +10.800 0.500   1      
21
C. Mansell Christian Mansell Campos Racing
24 12 +11.800 1.000   1      
22
O. Gray Oliver Gray Rodin Carlin
20 12 +12.600 0.800   1      
23
M. Shin Michael Shin PHM Racing by Charouz
31 12 +13.100 0.500          
24 Mexico R. Villagomez Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 18 12 +18.800 5.700          
dnf
G. Bortoleto Gabriel Bortoleto Trident
5 8 4 laps         Retirement  
dnf
G. Minì Gabriele Minì Hitech Pulse-Eight
15 3 9 laps         Retirement  
dnf
P. Martí Pepe Martí Campos Racing
23 3 9 laps         Retirement  
dnf
O. Goethe Oliver Goethe Trident
6 3 9 laps         Retirement  
dnf Israel I. Cohen Ido Cohen Rodin Carlin 22 3 9 laps         Retirement  
dnf Colombia S. Montoya Sebastian Montoya Hitech Pulse-Eight 14 11           Retirement  

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