Pierre-Louis Chovet dominated the final race of round two of the Asian Formula 3 season at Yas Marina Circuit, while Guanyu Zhou stormed from the back to fifth.
Pre-race championship leader Zhou stalled from second on the grid, while Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema team-mate Dino Beganovic and Evans GP’s Patrik Pasma collided at Turn 1 on the opening lap.
A few corners later the safety car was required when Evans GP’s Casper Stevenson and Irina Sidorkova and Pinnacle Motorsport’s Alessio Deledda became entangled.
After a delay of over 10 minutes, the race resumed with Chovet leading Formula 2 driver Jehan Daruvala (Mumbai Falcons), Isack Hadjar (Evans GP) and Ayumu Iwasa (Hitech GP).
Pinnacle’s Chovet used his fresh set of tyres to break away from the chasing pack. The Frenchman was able to pull a lead of 2.352 seconds over Daruvala on the first lap under green flag conditions.
That margin was extended to 7.921s by the time Chovet took the chequered flag, and Daruvala claimed his fourth podium in six races to vault into the championship lead.
Hadjar spent the entirety of the race staring at the back of the Daruvala for the second successive race. He still picked up his third podium of the weekend in third , one place ahead of his 2020 French F4 rival Iwasa, who picked up his best F3 result yet in fourth.
Alpine Formula 1 junior Zhou made the most of his fresh tyres to pick off half the grid on his way back into the points positions, including a stunning move around the outside of the notoriously-tough defender Roy Nissany.
He passed Nissany’s team-mate Reece Ushijima on the final lap to move into fifth place and limit the points loss to his Formula 2 rival Daruvala.
DAMS F2 driver Nissany took seventh place ahead of team-mate Roman Stanek, Motorscape’s Roberto Faria and BlackArts Racing’s Cem Bolukbasi who was able to maintain his 100% points-scoring record in 10th.
Beganovic and Pasma recovered to finish in 11th and 12th places respectively.
The third round of the 2021 Asian F3 championship will kick off tomorrow with practice, qualifying and race one at Yas Marina.
Race results (14 laps)
|1||Pierre-Louis Chovet||Pinnacle Motorsport||31m06.116s|
|2||Jehan Daruvala||Mumbai Falcons||+7.921s|
|3||Isack Hadjar||Evans GP||+8.400s|
|4||Ayumu Iwasa||Hitech GP||+11.797s|
|5||Guanyu Zhou||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||+16.219s|
|6||Reece Ushijima||Hitech GP||+18.265s|
|7||Roy Nissany||Hitech GP||+19.095s|
|8||Roman Stanek||Hitech GP||+20.539s|
|10||Cem Bolukbasi||BlackArts Racing||+23.166s|
|11||Dino Beganovic||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||+24.231s|
|12||Patrik Pasma||Evans GP||+25.636s|
|13||Lorenzo Fluxa||BlackArts Racing||+27.327s|
|14||Alexandre Bardinon||Pinnacle Motorsport||+29.213s|
|15||Amna Al Qubaisi||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||+32.153s|
|16||Rafael Villagomez||BlackArts Racing||+33.321s|
|17||Kush Maini||Mumbai Falcons||+40.935s|
|18||Matthias Luethen||Pinnacle Motorsport||+58.866s|
|Ret||Irina Sidorkova||Evans GP|
|Ret||Alessio Deledda||Pinnacle Motorsport|
|Ret||Casper Stevenson||Evans GP|
|Fastest lap: Chovet, 1m54.789s