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

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Series FIA F3
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