Styria F3: Pourchaire wins after Hughes and Lawson tangle

Theo Pourchaire scored a fortunate FIA Formula 3 Championship victory in the second race at the Red Bull Ring after late contact for battling leaders Jake Hughes and Liam Lawson

Styria F3: Pourchaire wins after Hughes and Lawson tangle

A brilliant battle between Hughes and Lawson looked set for a final-lap shootout to decide the win but the pair then tagged in a clumsy Turn 4 collision, forcing them both to retire.

ART Grand Prix driver Pourchaire claimed the early advantage after he blitzed his start from second on the grid to hold the inside line and pass polesitter Hughes on the run to Turn 1.

Despite HWA Racelab pilot Hughes trying to retaliate around the outside for much of the opening lap, 16-year-old Pourchaire retained a cautious lead but could never break the tow.

With DRS activated on lap three, Hughes and third-starting Lawson - who won the sprint race at the Red Bull Ring last weekend - ducked into the slipstream on the run to Turn 4 and both managed to pass the 2019 ADAC F4 champion in the braking zone.

Lawson then held the inside line into the corner, promoting him into first place thanks to an excellent double overtake with Hughes emerging in second.

From there on Turn 4 proved to be the flashpoint, as Hughes retaliated a lap later with DRS to pass and hold a 0.5-second margin at the end of the lap as the top four cars ran clear.

After a couple of aborted attempts on Hughes, Lawson finally made his move at the same corner on lap 11 down the inside in his bid to become the first repeat winner of 2020.

The Hitech driver was then given a period of respite behind the safety car, called when Sophia Florsch spun across the front of Alex Smolyar and smeared her Campos Racing machine down the barrier.

Although Lawson complained the neutralised pace was too slow, he aced the restart to keep Hughes at bay in the first two laps that passed without DRS assistance.

But as it came back into play, Hughes made a quick challenge for the lead into Turn 3 but locked up at the apex as he passed, giving Lawson a superior run to Turn 4 to reclaim the lead.

In what appeared to be a two-horse battle for the eventual spoils, Hughes again used DRS to attempt a pass around the outside of Turn 4.

As Lawson hugged the inside to keep hold of position, he tagged the kerb, which unsettled the car and he slid into the side of Hughes, forcing the Briton out onto the gravel.

Both suffered terminal suspension damage and retired before the next corner, which promoted Pourchaire into an unlikely lead.

As proceedings finished behind the safety car, he scored his first FIA F3 win over Logan Sargeant - who started fifth - and an unlikely podium for David Beckmann from eighth on the grid.

Richard Verschoor ran home fourth ahead of points leader Oscar Piastri.

Styria F3 Race 2 Results - 24 laps

Pos Driver Team
1 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix
2 Logan Sargeant Prema Racing
3 David Beckmann Trident
4 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport
5 Oscar Piastri Prema Racing
6 Olli Caldwell Trident
7 Max Fewtrell Hitech GP
8 Frederik Vesti Prema Racing
9 Sebastian Fernandez ART Grand Prix
10 Lirim Zendeli Trident
11 Alex Peroni Campos Racing
12 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP
13 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA
14 Igor Fraga Charouz
15 Enaam Ahmed Carlin
16 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport
17 David Schumacher Charouz
18 Roman Stanek Charouz
19 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport
20 Jack Doohan HWA
21 Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix
22 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing
23 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport
24 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport
25 Clement Novalak Carlin
- Liam Lawson Hitech GP
- Jake Hughes HWA
- Cameron Das Carlin
- Sophia Florsch Campos Racing
- Matteo Nannini Jenzer Motorsport


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