Home Featured Bortoleto wins F3’s Bahrain feature race after Mini gets penalty

Bortoleto wins F3’s Bahrain feature race after Mini gets penalty

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

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)

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Gabriel Bortoleto Trident 44m33.107s
2 Oliver Goethe Trident +0.869s
3 Dino Beganovic Prema +1.109s
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
11 Zak O’Sullivan Prema +15.831s
12 Paul Aron Prema +18.181s
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
18 Ido Cohen Caelin +25.202s
19 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +25.636s
20 Sophia Floersch PHM by Charouz +28.433s
21 Ollie Gray Carlin +30.088s
22 Hunter Yeany Carlin +35.461s
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

Championship standings
1 Bortoleto 26   2 Goethe 23   3 Beganovic 22   4 Marti 19   5 Saucy 16   6 Colapinto 10   7 Browning 10   8 Collet 8   9 Aron 6   10 Frederick 6