Home Featured Leon wins as Goethe gets penalty after F3 sprint race at Imola

Leon wins as Goethe gets penalty after F3 sprint race at Imola

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Noel Leon claimed the victory in a dramatic end to FIA Formula 3’s sprint race victory at Imola as Oliver Goethe was penalised.

The Van Amersfoort Racing driver had led from lap one, but was overtaken on the final lap by the Campos Racing ace following a virtual safety car period. However, Goethe was soon penalised by the stewards, which awarded the win to the Mexican.

Leon took the lead of the race from MP Motorsport’s Kacper Sztuka around the outside of the first apex of the Tamburello chicane on the opening lap. The Red Bull junior struggled in the opening lap, losing places to teammate Tim Tramnitz at Piratella and Goethe heading into Acque Minerali.

The safety car was deployed before the end of the first lap to recover the Campos Racing car of Mari Boya, who had been spun round by VAR’s Tommy Smith at the Villeneuve chicane. The stewards handed Smith a 10-second time penalty for the incident.

The action resumed at the end of lap three with Hitech GP’s Luke Browning putting pressure on Sztuka for fourth place. Prema’s Dino Beganovic also attempted to overtake ART GP’s Laurens Van Hoepen and succeeded when the latter ran wide at the exit of the Villeneuve chicane. Beganovic’s teammate Gabriele Mini tried to benefit from the situation heading into the Tosa hairpin, but ended up losing a place to Trident’s Sami Meguetounif, who then took seventh place from Van Hoepen.

The safety car was out again on lap five as contact between Jenzer Motorsport’s Charlie Wurz and Rodin Motorsport’s Callum Voisin sent the Briton into the wall at the exit of Tosa. Wurz received a 10s time penalty for the incident.

The third interruption took place straight away as Meguetounif ran into the back of Beganovic heading into the Tamburello chicane. The Frenchman had to retire the car while Beganovic continued without major damage and even passed Browning in that same corner.

On lap 13 of 18, Goethe overtook Tramnitz for second place. Also Mini passed Van Hoepen for seventh, but the Dutchman reclaimed the place later on. A brief fourth safety car period followed as AIX Racing’s Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak stopped on track, but got going again.

Beganovic eventually drove past Sztuka on the penultimate lap. Browning also attempted a move, but he made contact with the rear-left tyre of the Polish at Tosa and lost his front wing, retiring from the race.

The virtual safety car was deployed on the last lap as the cars went by Browning’s car at Tosa, but there was still time for some more action. Goethe overtook Leon at the exit of the Variante Alta chicane as the green flag waved again. However, he was penalised five seconds for an earlier infringement, losing the victory to Leon. Also Tramnitz was handed a five-second time penalty, but he retained the podium.

Conversely, Mini did succeed in overtaking Van Hoepen after the VSC, taking sixth place in the end.

Further down the order, Hitech’s Alex Dunne kept his nose clean and charged from last to 14th place after being disqualified from the qualifying session on Friday.

Race results (18 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Noel Leon Van Amersfoort Racing 34m20.094s
2 Oliver Goethe Campos Racing +4.660s
3 Tim Tramnitz MP Motorsport +6.818s
4 Dino Beganovic Prema +7.926s
5 Kacper Sztuka MP Motorsport +8.472s
6 Gabriele Mini Prema +9.064s
7 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix +9.455s
8 Arvid Lindblad Prema +9.928s
9 Nikita Bedrin AIX Racing +10.489s
10 Santiago Ramos Trident +10.847s
11 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident +11.336s
12 Christian Mansell ART Grand Prix +12.012s
13 Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix +12.610s
14 Alex Dunne MP Motorsport +13.639s
15 Sophia Floersch Van Amersfoort Racing +14.118s
16 Joshua Dufek AIX Racing +15.160s
17 Matias Zagazeta Jenzer Motorsport +18.278s
18 Max Esterson Jenzer Motorsport +18.523s
19 Cian Shields Hitech GP +18.885s
20 Piotr Wisnicki Rodin Motorsport +19.201s
21 Joseph Loake Rodin Motorsport +19.700s
22 Martinius Stenshorne Hitech GP +20.340s
23 Charlie Wurz Jenzer Motorsport +24.683s
24 Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing +30.520s
25 Sebastian Montoya Campos Racing +33.475s
26 Luke Browning Hitech GP +2 laps
Ret Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak AIX Racing
Ret Sami Meguetounif Trident
Ret Callum Voisin Rodin Motorsport
Ret Mari Boya Campos Racing
Fastest lap: Goethe, 1m33.596s

Championship standings
 Browning 37   2 Fornaroli 37   3 Mini 37   4 Beganovic 35   5 Tramnitz 29   6 Lindblad 26   7 van Hoepen 22   8 Goethe 21   9 Mansell 20   10 Boya 17