Styria F3: Vesti dominates shortened rain-hit race

Reigning Formula Regional European champion Frederik Vesti dominated the first FIA Formula 3 Championship race of the weekend, which was prematurely ended just after half distance

Styria F3: Vesti dominates shortened rain-hit race

An increasingly wet Red Bull Ring meant the race was red flagged and not re-started with 10 laps to go.

Vesti maintained his race lead from his first F3 pole position on the opening lap, while Trident's Lirim Zendeli had charged from sixth on the grid to second by Turn 1.

Zendeli pressured Prema's Vesti on the run to Turn 3 on the first lap, but Vesti resisted and remained relatively unchallenged for the remainder of the race.

The first incident in the rain-soaked race came when Formula Renault Eurocup graduate Aleksandr Smolyar spun on the exit of the final corner and brought out the virtual safety car on the fourth lap of the race.

His ART Grand Prix-run car was recovered and the race resumed, only for a full safety car to be required three laps later when Carlin's Clement Novalak picked up a rear-left puncture and was left facing backwards at the last corner.

Novalak was able to drive back to the pits and the race had two more laps of green flag running before the safety car was required once more.

Roman Stanek was beached in the gravel at the penultimate corner while ART's Sebastian Fernandez was sent spinning into the barriers a few moments later after contact with Enaam Ahmed (Carlin).

The race was red-flagged while under this third safety car period due to the worsening weather conditions and the results were counted from the lap prior to half distance.

This meant series rookie Vesti earned his maiden FIA F3 victory and Zendeli claimed his first-ever podium in the series.

David Beckmann took his first podium in the championship since it was re-branded from GP3, while Prema's Oscar Piastri claimed fourth place.

Beckmann's Trident team-mate Caldwell passed last weekend's race one victor Piastri at the final re-start to initially demote the 2019 Eurocup champion to fifth place.

However due to the red flag, the results were backdated to the lap prior to Caldwell's overtake, meaning he had to settle for fifth place.

MP Motorsport's Richard Verschoor was another to fall foul of this, as he was running in sixth place when the red flag was called, but dropped to seventh place in the final classification.

This promoted Prema driver Logan Sargeant into sixth place ahead of Verschoor and last Sunday's sprint race winner Liam Lawson, who took eighth place.

Reigning German Formula 4 champion Theo Pourchaire earned his first points in the series in ninth place with HWA Racelab's Jake Hughes claiming the final point and reverse-grid pole for tomorrow's race.

Styria F3 Race 1 Results - 11 laps

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Frederik Vesti Prema Racing 19m29.657s
2 Lirim Zendeli Trident 0.626s
3 David Beckmann Trident 0.918s
4 Oscar Piastri Prema Racing 1.698s
5 Olli Caldwell Trident 2.087s
6 Logan Sargeant Prema Racing 2.551s
7 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 2.999s
8 Liam Lawson Hitech GP 3.406s
9 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 4.031s
10 Jake Hughes HWA 4.436s
11 Alex Peroni Campos Racing 4.982s
12 David Schumacher Charouz 5.676s
13 Sebastian Fernandez ART Grand Prix 6.074s
14 Max Fewtrell Hitech GP 6.366s
15 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA 6.771s
16 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport 7.260s
17 Roman Stanek Charouz 7.876s
18 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP 8.631s
19 Enaam Ahmed Carlin 9.319s
20 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport 9.783s
21 Sophia Florsch Campos Racing 10.731s
22 Jack Doohan HWA 11.186s
23 Matteo Nannini Jenzer Motorsport 11.815s
24 Cameron Das Carlin 13.078s
25 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport 13.531s
26 Igor Fraga Charouz 13.834s
27 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing 15.189s
28 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport 15.687s
29 Clement Novalak Carlin 1 Lap
- Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix Retirement

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