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Beganovic explains what caused slow start from pole in F3 feature race

by Ida Wood

Photo: Prema

Dino Beganovic’s pace in FIA Formula 3’s feature race at Bahrain went unrewarded due to a gear selection issue at the start.

The Prema driver qualified on pole, and initially made a competitive launch but then his car slowed as the field headed down Bahrain’s long pit straight and by the end of lap one he was in 29th.

Demonstrating what could have been, Beganovic set the fastest lap as he charged back up the order to 13th place, just 2.989 seconds away from the points-scoring top 10. Afterwards he explained to Formula Scout what caused his race-ruining start.

“For the formation lap start and the start, I had an issue where I could not put it in second gear. We don’t know what the problem is,” said the Ferrari junior.

“I did the start, tried to shift up to second, nothing was happening, we ended up in neutral. Going all the way to turn two with neutral. And then suddenly it just jumps in in second. We don’t know what the problem was, but one thing is for sure: we were really, really fast out there today. Actually incredible speed. Just [like] what we did yesterday when we were alone on track.

“So that’s something very positive to take away. Which also hurts even more because we were so fast. But we win and we lose as a team, so we will just be head down for Melbourne now.”

Beganovic added that selecting second gear “was fine the rest of the race” as “it was just the formation lap and the start it was an issue”. The fact the selection problem occurred on the formation lap presented Beganovic with an opportunity to rectify it before the real start, but that proved unsuccessful.

“I tried to put it in first gear during the formation lap. It was working fine. As soon as I stopped, did the start, it was not working anymore. We need to investigate.”

All three Prema drivers lost positions on lap one, as Gabriele Mini dropped from third to sixth – where he remained for the rest of the race – and Arvid Lindblad lost ninth place but he gained it back on lap two.

Lindblad told Formula Scout he then “had to push the first few laps” and he got into eighth place on lap five. He could not make up further ground as “it was just a bit difficult to pass stuck in the DRS train”.

“It was just the general trend of the race. Didn’t seem that exciting,” the sprint race winner explained. “Yesterday I was really good on the tyres. I had a lot of tyres left the last 10 laps. Which was I think a reason why I was able to make some moves and then pull such a big gap. Whereas today I think I was pretty similar to the others on the tyres so wasn’t really able to make much of a difference at the end.”

Additional on-site reporting by Roger Gascoigne