Home Featured Colapinto victorious in stop-start F3 sprint race in Melbourne

Colapinto victorious in stop-start F3 sprint race in Melbourne

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto won a safety car-riddled first FIA Formula 3 race at Albert Park in Melbourne. 

Four safety cars periods disrupted running during the 20-lap reversed-grid sprint race, which ended behind the safety car. Colapinto managed to avoid the chaos and cruise past Sebastian Montoya just before the second safety car period, taking the lead and eventually the win while Montoya slipped back to third.

Luke Browning was the driver on Montoya’s tail in the first half of the race. Browning pushed hard, forcing Montoya to defend, but a trip over the kerbs sent the chasing Hitech GP driver airborne and seemed to damage the car. 

As Browning slipped backwards, Colapinto took second before a strong move on Montoya put him in the lead, just before the safety car was brought out. 

Racing had already been paused on lap one when Oliver Goethe ran into the gravel with a puncture, sustained during contact with Browning. Ido Cohen entered the gravel to cause the second interruption, as after battling with Hugh Barter he hit the wall at Turn 8, damaging the right-hand side of his car and then sliding into the gravel. 

Colapinto was untouchable on the following restart and pulled away from Montoya until the safety car was brought out again on lap 13 after Tommy Smith ran wide at the final corner and hit the wall. 

Again, Colapinto got a good restart when racing resumed, while Montoya came under pressure from Zak O’Sullivan. 

As Colapinto pulled away, the two behind ran side by side, allowing Paul Aron and Dino Beganovic to close onto the back of them. O’Sullivan was able to find a way around the outside of Montoya to take second, and Montoya stayed on his tail but could not find a way back through. 

O’Sullivan had no time to close the gap to Colapinto before the safety car was brought out for a fourth and final time after Alex Garcia found the barriers. 

Just outside the podium, Paul Aron took fourth after a hard-fought battle with Beganovic who was forced wide, allowing Gabriele Mini through to take fifth. Gabriel Bortoleto was battling Beganovic after that, but the safety car brought an end to the fight and he had to settle for seventh.

After his trip over the kerbs, Browning slipped back down the order with an apparent issue with the car. He was then handed a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision, dropping him from 11th to 20th.

Sprint race result (20 laps)

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 42m05.614s
2 Zak O’Sullivan Prema +0.484s
3 Sebastian Montoya Hitech GP +0.703s
4 Paul Aron Prema +1.077s
5 Gariele Mini Hitech GP +1.262s
6 Dino Beganovic Prema +1.853s
7 Gabiel Bortoleto Trident +2.026s
8 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident +2.453s
9 Mari Boya MP Motorsport +3.476s
10 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix +3.982s
11 Jonny Edgar MP Motorsport +6.026s
12 Christian Mansell Campos Racing +7.811s
13 Kaylen Frederick ART Grand Prix +8.807s
14 Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix +9.300s
15 Taylor Barnard Jenzer Motorsport +10.397s
16 Pepe Marti Campos Racing +11.493s
17 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +13.509s
18 Nikita Bedrin Jenzer Motorsport +13.620s
19 Sophia Floersch PHM by Charouz +14.186s
20 Luke Browning Hitech GP +15.196s
21 Roberto Faria PHM by Charouz +16.297s
22 Hugh Barter Campos Racing +16.816s
23 Ollie Gray Carlin +18.146s
24 Caio Collet Van Amersfoort Racing +19.286s
25 Hunter Yeany Carlin +20.465s
26 Piotr Wisnicki PHM by Charouz +21.029s
Ret Alex Garcia Jenzer Motorsport
Ret Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Ido Cohen Carlin
Ret Oliver Goethe Trident
Fastest lap: Colapinto, 1m34.270s

Championship standings
1 Bortoleto 32   2 Beganovic 27   3 Goethe 23   4 Colapinto 21   5 Marti 19   6 Saucy 17   7 Aron 13   8 Mini 12   9 Montoya 11   10 Browning 10