Jehan Daruvala managed two safety car restarts to win the first FIA Formula 3 sprint race of the season at Barcelona.
The Prema driver snatched the race lead from poleman Niko Kari off the line, but came back under pressure from the Trident driver after an early safety car period.
Four cars were wiped out of the race on the opening lap. As the field came through the first sequence of corners Yifei Ye, Artem Petrov, Jake Hughes and Raoul Hyman came together and put the race under the safety car until lap six of 22.
On the restart, Kari immediately challenged Daruvala for the race lead, but the Prema driver held onto the position. He was beginning to pull away from the rest of the field when another safety car ? this time to recover Fabio Scherer and Simo Laakonen, who had been retired in separate incidents ? neutralised the field.
This time, Kari couldn?t stay with Daruvala on the restart, instead finding himself under pressure from those behind him.
Through the second half of the race, Daruvala continued to pull away from the battle for second, amassing a 2.121s gap before the chequered flag.
Hitech GP’s Juri Vips enjoyed the second half of the race, passing Max Fewtrell and Marcus Armstrong in quick succession before closing the gap to Kari. He took second from the Finn using DRS down the pit straight, and set about closing the gap to Daruvala. He ran out of laps before he could seriously dent the Prema driver?s advantage.
Robert Shwartzman kept the pressure on Kari in the final laps, but Kari put up a strong defence to take third, ahead of the championship leader and his Prema team-mate Armstrong.
Christian Lundgaard took sixth ahead of David Beckmann and Fewtrell, who continued to fall backwards in the closing stages of the race. Yuki Tsunoda and Felipe Drugovich completed the top 10.
Race results (22 laps)
|2||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||+2.121s|
|6||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||+5.721s|
|7||David Beckmann||ART Grand Prix||+9.453s|
|8||Max Fewtrell||ART Grand Prix||+13.914s|
|9||Yuki Tsunoda||Jenzer Motorsport||+15.897s|
|11||Lirim Zendeli||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||+17.135s|
|12||Sebastian Fernandez||Campos Racing||+17.740s|
|13||Bent Viscaal||HWA Racelab||+18.155s|
|17||Liam Lawson||MP Motorsport||+22.570s|
|18||Keyvan Andres||HWA Racelab||+24.456s|
|19||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||+24.832s|
|21||Leonardo Pulcini||Hitech GP||+31.4s|
|22||Andreas Estner||Jenzer Motorsport||+33.8s|
|23||Alessio Deledda||Campos Racing||+38.7|
|24||Alex Peroni||Campos Racing||+47.5s|
|Ret||Simo Laaksonen||MP Motorsport|
|Ret||Fabio Scherer||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz|
|Ret||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab|
|Ret||Artem Petrov||Jenzer Motorsport|
|Ret||Raoul Hyman||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz|
|Ret||Yifei Ye||Hitech GP|
|Fastest lap: Daruvala, 1m34.711s