Jake Hughes passed FIA Formula 3 Championship leader Logan Sargeant to win race one at Barcelona for the HWA team.
It is a long-awaited first victory in the opening race of a weekend at this level for Hughes, who claimed pole position on his GP3 debut at the same circuit in 2016 but lost out to Charles Leclerc in the race.
Having taken his third straight pole position in qualifying, Sargeant led a train of cars down to Turn 1 at the start, before an off for Bent Viscaal at Turn 5 triggered a safety car.
Hughes made his move on Sargeant at the start of lap seven of 22, going around the outside of Turn 1 and sealing the place on the inside of Turn 2.
He immediately pulled over one second clear to get out of DRS range, but his efforts were quickly nullified by another safety car on lap nine when Frederik Vesti slowed and stopped on track in his Prema car out of a relatively lowly 14th place.
Hughes again made a break at the restart, setting the fastest lap in the process and finishing up 2.388 seconds clear.
Unable to keep up with Hughes, Sargeant instead had to try and fend off Liam Lawson, who took two tentative looks to the inside of Turn 1 before replicating the move Hughes made by going around the outside with less than three laps to go.
Third place was still a good result for Sargeant’s championship hopes after a challenging race for his rival and team-mate Oscar Piastri.
Piastri started fourth but Clement Novalak forced his way past on the exit of Turn 2 on the opening lap, before Piastri retook the place at Turn 10 after the first restart.
He lost ground again on the second restart however, riding the raised kerb exiting the chicane at the end of the lap and running wide. Both Novalak and David Beckmann slipped past to demote Piastri to sixth, with the stewards satisfied with their moves even though they came before the start-finish line.
Theo Pourchaire, Alex Peroni and Richard Verschoor all gained one place after a slow getaway for fifth-placed starter Sebastian Fernandez – who ended up 15th after a scrappy race.
Matteo Nannini battled with Fernandez in the early stages and ended up scoring his and Jenzer Motorsport’s first points of the season in 10th, securing reversed-grid pole position for race two in the process.
Race results (22 laps)
|1||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||38m53.146s|
|2||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||+2.388s|
|7||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||+10.751s|
|8||Alex Peroni||Campos Racing||+12.172s|
|9||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||+12.351s|
|10||Matteo Nannini||Jenzer Motorsport||+12.573s|
|11||Alexander Smolyar||ART Grand Prix||+14.832s|
|13||Enzo Fittipaldi||HWA Racelab||+15.665s|
|14||Jack Doohan||HWA Racelab||+16.445s|
|15||Sebastian Fernandez||ART Grand Prix||+17.282s|
|17||Max Fewtrell||Hitech GP||+18.925s|
|18||Dennis Hauger||Hitech GP||+20.166s|
|21||Lukas Dunner||MP Motorsport||+23.105s|
|22||Roman Stanek||Charouz Racing System||+24.159s|
|23||David Schumacher||Charouz Racing System||+24.496s|
|24||Igor Fraga||Charouz Racing System||+25.776s|
|25||Calan Williams||Jenzer Motorsport||+26.262s|
|26||Federico Malvestiti||Jenzer Motorsport||+32.203s|
|27||Sophia Floersch||Campos Racing||+33.174s|
|28||Alessio Deledda||Campos Racing||+33.711s|
|Ret||Bent Viscaal||MP Motorsport|
|Fastest lap: Hughes, 1m35.862s