Monza F3: Vesti wins thriller with late-race move, Sargeant suffers nightmare

Frederik Vesti emerged victorious from a thrilling first FIA Formula 3 race at Monza with a late-race overtake on Theo Pourchaire after charging from ninth on the grid

Monza F3: Vesti wins thriller with late-race move, Sargeant suffers nightmare

A five-place grid penalty for impeding in qualifying cost Pourchaire - one of nine drivers to be penalised - his maiden pole position and dropped him to sixth place on the grid.

He made a quick getaway to move into third place at the end of the opening lap and that became second place when he passed Jenzer Motorsport's Matteo Nannini into the first chicane on the second lap.

Nannini - nephew of 1989 Japanese Grand Prix winner Alessandro - attempted to pass polesitter Liam Lawson at Turn 1 on the opening lap but the Red Bull junior hopped over the kerbs and held onto the lead.

Pourchaire then passed Lawson on lap four to claim the lead, and HWA Racelab's Jake Hughes further demoted Lawson to third place a couple of laps later.

Lawson then made contact with Nannini at the first chicane with the latter retiring with damage. Lawson's pace dropped and reigning Formula Regional European champion Vesti passed him for third place.

Vesti was running into a distant third place but the gap to the leaders Pourchaire and Hughes was reduced when the safety car was required to cover Pourchaire's ART Grand Prix team-mate Sebastian Fernandez on the exit of the Ascari chicane.

26-year-old Hughes was passed by Vesti on the restart and the Prema driver wrestled the lead from long-time race leader Pourchaire into Turn 1 with just three laps to go.

Vesti took the chequered flag to earn his second victory of the season, eight-tenths ahead of 17-year-old Frenchman Pourchaire.

Vesti's team-mate Oscar Piastri catapulted his way from 15th on the grid to take the final place on the podium and the championship lead after a woeful race for ex-points leader Logan Sargeant.

Sargeant dropped from fifth on the grid into the battle for ninth place with Piastri before a tap from Carlin's Clement Novalak grounded him to 26th position.

Trident's David Beckmann maintained his points-finishing streak in fourth place with Hughes and Lawson completing the top six.

His team-mate Lirim Zendeli - the winner of the first race at Spa - took seventh place ahead of Bent Viscaal (MP Motorsport) and Enzo Fittipaldi (HWA Racelab).

Charouz Racing System's Michael Belov nicked the final point and reverse-grid pole position in only his second weekend racing in FIA F3.

Monza F3 - race one results - 22 laps

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Frederik Vesti Prema Racing 38m22.192s
2 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 0.899s
3 Oscar Piastri Prema Racing 5.470s
4 David Beckmann Trident 6.124s
5 Jake Hughes HWA 7.419s
6 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 7.984s
7 Lirim Zendeli Trident 8.692s
8 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport 9.232s
9 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA 12.192s
10 Michael Belov Charouz 15.441s
11 Roman Stanek Charouz 15.755s
12 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP 17.290s
13 Clement Novalak Carlin 18.455s
14 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport 19.185s
15 Cameron Das Carlin 20.283s
16 Alex Peroni Campos Racing 21.026s
17 Jack Doohan HWA 21.862s
18 Pierre-Louis Chovet Hitech GP 21.922s
19 David Schumacher Carlin 27.277s
20 Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix 28.375s
21 Sophia Florsch Campos Racing 28.393s
22 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport 29.057s
23 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing 29.434s
24 Igor Fraga Charouz 34.067s
25 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport 34.500s
26 Logan Sargeant Prema Racing 38.847s
27 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 46.678s
- Sebastian Fernandez ART Grand Prix Retirement
- Olli Caldwell Trident Retirement
- Matteo Nannini Jenzer Motorsport Retirement


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Series FIA F3
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