Pau Grand Prix: Antonio Giovinazzi wins GP title with F3 victory

Antonio Giovinazzi took victory in a gripping Pau Grand Prix after a suspected suspension problem struck long-time race leader Jake Dennis in the final laps

Pau Grand Prix: Antonio Giovinazzi wins GP title with F3 victory

Italian Giovinazzi therefore extended his lead in the Formula 3 European Championship, with the Carlin-run Jagonya Ayam protege stretching his run to nine podium finishes out of nine this season.

Giovinazzi hounded the Prema Powerteam car of Racing Steps-backed Dennis during the early laps, before the 2012 McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award winner began to pull away.

But going into the final third of the race Giovinazzi began to slash the gap as Dennis started to struggle with his steering, particularly on left-handers.

On the 24th lap of 28, Giovinazzi ran side by side with Dennis through almost half the lap, before Dennis finally ran wide at the left-hander just after the Foch chicane and conceded the lead.

"It's an amazing sensation for me to win the Pau Grand Prix," said Giovinazzi.

"At first I was driving really safely, but then after about 15 laps I began to push a bit more.

"It was really hard to overtake Jake; it was very tight - I didn't want to crash."

Maximilian Gunther fended off Charles Leclerc throughout the race in the battle for third place, and now the respective Mucke Motorsport and Van Amersfoort Racing machines moved up to challenge Dennis.

They improved to second and third on the following lap when Dennis ran wide at Pont Oscar, F3 rookie Gunther scoring his maiden podium in the category.

Dennis then strenuously tried to defend from Prema team-mate Lance Stroll, this allowing Alessio Lorandi, Arjun Maini and Felix Rosenqvist to all catch up.

Stroll got around the outside of Dennis at Pont Oscar on the penultimate lap to take fourth, while Lorandi got boxed in, allowing Maini through to claim fifth and Rosenqvist sixth.

The next group caught Dennis with a lap to go, with George Russell squeezing through for eighth.

As Sam MacLeod attempted to follow suit, he ran out of room at the Lycee hairpin and skittered out of the points, meaning Mikkel Jensen and Santino Ferrucci completed the scorers.

Stroll had been involved in an early battle with Maini and Alex Albon, clearing both on the same lap before Albon lost three laps in the pits with an electronics problem.

Simultaneously, Markus Pommer gave up his early fifth place with a drive-through penalty for being out of position on the grid.

The race featured only one safety car, which was caused on the drag up the hill on the opening lap when Kang Ling clambered over the rear of Tatiana Calderon and rode scarily along on the back of the Colombian's car before crashing back onto the track.

RACE THREE RESULT

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Antonio Giovinazzi Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 28 35m56.242s
2 Maximilian Guenther KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 28 1.945s
3 Charles Leclerc Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 28 2.411s
4 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 28 13.499s
5 Arjun Maini Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 28 15.116s
6 Felix Rosenqvist Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 28 16.264s
7 Alessio Lorandi Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Volkswagen 28 17.551s
8 George Russell Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 28 25.696s
9 Mikkel Jensen KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 28 27.096s
10 Santino Ferrucci KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 28 27.689s
11 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 28 31.043s
12 Sam MacLeod Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 28 34.593s
13 Matt Solomon Double R Racing Dallara/Mercedes 28 35.109s
14 Dorian Boccolacci Signature Dallara/Volkswagen 28 35.500s
15 Nabil Jeffri Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 28 36.864s
16 Callum Ilott Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 28 37.513s
17 Ryan Tveter Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 28 41.704s
18 Fabian Schiller Team West-Tec F3 Dallara/Mercedes 28 42.551s
19 Matt Rao Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 28 42.920s
20 Markus Pommer Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 28 43.603s
21 Brandon Maisano Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 28 45.194s
22 Nicolas Pohler Double R Racing Dallara/Mercedes 28 51.158s
23 Jake Dennis Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 28 52.592s
24 Martin Cao Fortec Motorsports Dallara/Mercedes 28 52.847s
25 Gustav Malja EuroInternational Dallara/Mercedes 28 54.262s
26 Raoul Hyman Team West-Tec F3 Dallara/Mercedes 28 1m07.675s
- Alexander Albon Signature Dallara/Volkswagen 25 Retirement
- Michele Beretta KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 13 Retirement
- Gustavo Menezes Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 4 Retirement
- Tatiana Calderon Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0 Retirement
- Kang Ling KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 0 Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Antonio Giovinazzi 164
2 Charles Leclerc 149
3 Felix Rosenqvist 110
4 Jake Dennis 96
5 Maximilian Guenther 64
6 George Russell 57
7 Lance Stroll 51
8 Alexander Albon 50
9 Mikkel Jensen 28
10 Gustavo Menezes 26
11 Markus Pommer 26
12 Arjun Maini 22
13 Brandon Maisano 20
14 Callum Ilott 14
15 Alessio Lorandi 14

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European F3 Pau: Jake Dennis wins again in race two

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