Trident’s Gabriel Bortoleto profited from a five-second penalty for Gabrieli Mini to take a maiden Formula 3 victory in the Bahrain feature race.
The two F3 rookies lined up on the front row for the 22-lap encounter, and it was Bortoleto who made the better launch to move alongside Mini and take the lead into the first corner. ART Grand Prix’s Gregoire Saucy then challenged Mini on the run to Turn 4 before relegating the Alpine junior to third.
Mini soon reclaimed second place, driving around the outside of Saucy at Turn 4, with Bortoleto pulling out more than a two-second lead.
That advantage was wiped out by the deployment of the safety car on lap eight, caused by a collision between Mari Boya and Tommy Smith.
At the restart Bortoleto maintained the lead by defending from Mini, who was now carrying a five-second penalty for being out of position on the starting grid. Mini then made a better exit from Turn 4 to snatch the lead through the next two corners.
The pair quickly pulled a gap to Saucy, who lost third on lap 15 to Goethe, who used DRS to move by before Turn 1.
A late incident between Smith and PHM Racing by Charouz’s Roberto Faria resulted in the race finishing behind the safety car, with Bortoleto leading a Trident one-two ahead of Goethe, while Mini was relegated by his penalty – handed out due to his front-left tyre being out of position on the grid – to eighth.
Leonardo Fornaroli ran fifth early on in the third of Trident’s cars ahead of Prema’s Dino Beganovic, who came out on top in three-wide battle through Turn 2 at the start, with the pair swapping positions after the safety car period.
In the closing stages Beganovic held off Hitech GP’s debutant Luke Browning, who had charged up the order from 17th, and then passed Saucy for what would be third place following Mini’s penalty.
Saucy finished fourth ahead of Browning, and sprint race winner Pepe Marti was sixth. Fornaroli lost out in a four-wide battle with Browning, Marti and Paul Aron at Turn 4 during the race, and continued to lose further ground as his tyres went off, eventually pitting with a puncture late on.
ART GP’s Kaylen Frederick was seventh, having been overtaken by Marti in the closing stages. Hitech’s Sebastian Montoya took advantage of contact between Prema pair Aron and Zak O’Sullivan to gain two spots and finish ninth, with MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto and O’Sullivan moving ahead of Aron into 10th and 11th after he was given two penalties.
Further down the order, Carlin’s Ollie Gray had a five-second post-race penalty for track limits abuse.
Jenzer Motorsport’s Alex Garcia retired late on after damaging his suspension on a kerb, while Hugh Barter and Jonny Edgar both were both forced to pit with damage after contact at Turn 1.
Race result (22 laps)
|4||Gregoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||+1.324s|
|5||Luke Browning||Hitech GP||+1.691s|
|6||Pepe Marti||Campos Racing||+1.848s|
|7||Kaylen Frederick||ART Grand Prix||+2.114s|
|8||Gabriele Mini||Hitech GP||+4.600s|
|9||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech GP||+6.814s|
|10||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||+9.834s|
|13||Christian Mansell||Campos Racing||+18.265s|
|14||Caio Collet||Van Amersfoort Racing||+19.202s|
|15||Nikola Tsolov||ART Grand Prix||+19.227s|
|16||Taylor Barnard||Jenzer Motorsport||+19.602s|
|17||Nikita Bedrin||Jenzer Motorsport||+22.022s|
|19||Rafael Villagomez||Van Amersfoort Racing||+25.636s|
|20||Sophia Floersch||PHM by Charouz||+28.433s|
|23||Jonny Edgar||MP Motorsport||+36.182s|
|24||Piotr Wisnicki||PHM by Charouz||+37.365s|
|25||Roberto Faria||PHM by Charouz||+45.304s|
|26||Hugh Barter||Campos Racing||+1m07.515s|
|27||Leonardo Fornaroli||Trident||+1 lap|
|28||Tommy Smith||Van Amersfoort Racing||+2 laps|
|29||Alex Garcia||Jenzer Motorsport||+3 laps|
|Ret||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport|
|Fastest lap: Bortoleto, 1m50.743s