Mugello F3: Vesti wins opener with last-lap move on Hughes

Frederik Vesti romped to his third FIA Formula 3 victory of the season at Mugello after overhauling series veteran Jake Hughes on the final lap of the opening race

Mugello F3: Vesti wins opener with last-lap move on Hughes

The first half of the opening race of the season-finale was dominated by a battle between polesitter Lirim Zendeli and HWA Racelab's Jake Hughes.

Hughes, 26, who confirmed on Friday that 2020 will mark his fifth and final year at F3 level, lunged down the inside of Zendeli at the San Donato right-hander on the fifth lap.

The duo made minor contact but Zendeli held onto his lead, before losing it to Hughes at the same corner two laps later when Hughes swept all the way around the outside of the Trident driver.

Zendeli used his superior straightline speed to retake the race lead on the very next lap.

Hughes re-passed Zendeli at half distance and vaulted clear as third-place Vesti - one of six drivers in mathematical contention for the title prior to the weekend - closed onto the back of Zendeli.

Prema's Vesti dispatched Zendeli two laps later to move into second place behind race leader Hughes.

Reigning Formula Regional European champion Vesti overtook Hughes only to lose the lead on the penultimate lap, once again into the opening corner.

Vesti responded by sticking onto the back of Hughes throughout the remainder of that lap and blitzed past Hughes down the start/finish straight to comfortably ease into the race lead.

Vesti clung onto his leading advantage to claim his third race one victory of the season - more than any other driver this season - by three-tenths of a second.

His title-contending Prema team-mates struggled to make much of an impression, but Logan Sargeant was able to draw level with points leader Oscar Piastri ahead of tomorrow's finale.

Sargeant moved into fourth place from fifth on the grid on the opening lap but lost positions to outside title rival Theo Pourchaire and Ferrari junior Enzo Fittipaldi to fall to sixth place at the chequered flag.

Renault junior Piastri started in 16th place but failed to rise into the points paying positions, instead taking 11th place after making minor contact with multiple drivers on the exit of Turn 1.

Pourchaire passed Zendeli for the final place on the podium of the last lap of the race to remain in title contention, nine points adrift of the Prema duo.

HWA's Fittipaldi picked up his best result of the year in fifth place ahead of Sargeant, ART Grand Prix's Alexander Smolyar, David Beckmann (Trident) and ART's Sebastian Fernandez.

The top 10 was completed by Red Bull junior Liam Lawson, who drops out of the title race along with Vesti and Beckmann.

Mugello F3 - race one results - 21 laps

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Frederik Vesti Prema Racing 34m42.873s
2 Jake Hughes HWA 0.324s
3 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 2.369s
4 Lirim Zendeli Trident 4.783s
5 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA 7.815s
6 Logan Sargeant Prema Racing 8.511s
7 Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix 10.540s
8 David Beckmann Trident 11.018s
9 Sebastian Fernandez ART Grand Prix 11.505s
10 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 12.496s
11 Oscar Piastri Prema Racing 13.483s
12 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 15.308s
13 Jack Doohan HWA 19.489s
14 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP 25.862s
15 David Schumacher Carlin 26.311s
16 Matteo Nannini Jenzer Motorsport 26.834s
17 Olli Caldwell Trident 26.900s
18 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport 32.604s
19 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport 33.910s
20 Alex Peroni Campos Racing 35.469s
21 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport 35.509s
22 Sophia Florsch Campos Racing 39.588s
23 Cameron Das Carlin 40.793s
24 Clement Novalak Carlin 48.067s
25 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing 50.078s
26 Roman Stanek Charouz Not running
27 Michael Belov Charouz 1 Lap
- Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport Retirement

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Oscar Piastri 160
2 Logan Sargeant 160
3 Theo Pourchaire 151
4 Frederik Vesti 142.5
5 Liam Lawson 128
6 David Beckmann 127.5
7 Jake Hughes 106.5
8 Lirim Zendeli 104
9 Alex Peroni 64
10 Richard Verschoor 63
11 Alexander Smolyar 58
12 Clement Novalak 45
13 Bent Viscaal 40
14 Sebastian Fernandez 28
15 Enzo Fittipaldi 19
16 Olli Caldwell 18
17 Dennis Hauger 14
18 Matteo Nannini 11
19 Pierre-Louis Chovet 5
20 Max Fewtrell 5
21 Roman Stanek 3
22 Ben Barnicoat 1
23 Michael Belov 1
24 Igor Fraga 1
shares
comments
Zendeli on pole for F3 finale at Mugello, points leader Piastri 16th
Previous article

Zendeli on pole for F3 finale at Mugello, points leader Piastri 16th

Next article

Mugello F3: Piastri wins 2020 title as Lawson dominates season finale

Mugello F3: Piastri wins 2020 title as Lawson dominates season finale
Why the Formula 3 benchmark's 2022 season hinges on qualifying Plus

Why the Formula 3 benchmark's 2022 season hinges on qualifying

Prema Racing has long dominated FIA Formula 3, taking the teams’ title in two of the past three seasons. But its start to 2022 has been trickier than usual, and the answers lie in its qualifying performance

FIA F3
May 27, 2022
How the ultra-tight F3 title fight is taking shape Plus

How the ultra-tight F3 title fight is taking shape

With just five points separating the top five after two rounds, FIA Formula 3 looks set for another thrilling season in 2022. But who stands the best chance of pulling away from that pack, and who are the contenders bubbling under?

FIA F3
May 3, 2022
The F3 newcomer making good on his unusual career path Plus

The F3 newcomer making good on his unusual career path

Joining the FIA Formula 3 grid as a rookie with a team new to the series could prove daunting for most, but then there aren't many drivers who have the extensive experience Franco Colapinto brings from his time racing sportscars. The Argentinian explains how his LMP2 experience is already helping him in 2022

FIA F3
Mar 27, 2022
The British trio hunting for F3 title glory Plus

The British trio hunting for F3 title glory

The 2022 FIA Formula 3 season kicks off this weekend in Bahrain. British trio Zak O’Sullivan, Ollie Bearman and Jonny Edgar have all become proteges of Formula 1 teams, and are talents to watch this year

FIA F3
Mar 18, 2022
How an outsider demolished a rank of F1 juniors Plus

How an outsider demolished a rank of F1 juniors

His career has been a slowburner but Gregoire Saucy trounced a collection of F1 juniors in Formula Regional by Alpine last year, and now he’s preparing to do it again in FIA F3. Here’s how the Swiss caught the world by surprise in 2021 and how he plans to do it all over again

Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021

With a veritable feast of feeder series talent in 2021, FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 produced some of its most exciting racing yet. Although Prema Racing drivers once again dominated the respective series, drivers from other teams also stole the limelight to mark themselves out as stars of the future, or validate their highly-regarded standing

FIA F2
Dec 22, 2021
How Prema continued its dominance of F1's junior ladder in 2021 Plus

How Prema continued its dominance of F1's junior ladder in 2021

Taking three of the four titles and producing two outstanding champions in the process, Prema Racing remained the team to beat in Formula 1's feeder series in 2021. Team boss Rene Rosin reveals the traits that helped Dennis Hauger and Oscar Piastri to come out on top in Formula 3 and Formula 2

FIA F2
Dec 20, 2021
From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back Plus

From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back

After a disastrous 2020 in FIA Formula 3 with Hitech, Dennis Hauger began to doubt himself - with the self-belief he had built through success in junior series evaporating. But after regrouping, he stormed to the F3 title in 2021. Here’s how he did it

FIA F3
Oct 6, 2021