Home Featured Tsolov claims second FIA F3 win in Austria sprint race

Tsolov claims second FIA F3 win in Austria sprint race

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Nikola Tsolov claimed his second victory of the FIA Formula 3 season after a race-long battle with Christian Mansell in the Red Bull Ring sprint race.

The ART Grand Prix team-mates swapped positions multiple times at the front of the field, only for Hitech GP’s Martinius Stenshorne to split them just before a late safety car period.

There was a one-lap dash to the finish, and action took place further down the field as Tsolov held on to win by 0.6 seconds.

It was Mansell who had the upper hand at the end of lap one. He got the best launch and was running wheel-to-wheel with Stenshorne through the lap. Tsolov made it three-wide, sneaking past Stenshorne before the safety car was brought out as MP Motorsport’s Kacper Sztuka had an incident that left him stopped at the side of the road.

When racing resumed, the top three briefly held position before Tsolov got alongside Mansell and the battle for the lead resumed. Stenshorne was never too far behind but did not engage as Tsolov and Mansell swapped positions multiple times.

Behind them, MP’s Alex Dunne had held onto fourth ahead of Sebastian Montoya, but the Campos Racing driver was working hard to find a way past. The two went side-by-side, but Dunne then pulled away. At one point they made contact, but managed to get away unscathed.

It was not until the closing stages of the race that the battle would be decided. Montoya was on the outside and being squeezed by Dunne when the two made contact, sending Montoya into a spin. He hit the wall, taking him out of the race and bringing out the safety car.

Moments before the safety car was called, Tsolov and Mansell had gone wheel-to-wheel again. This time Stenshorne tried to take advantage of the fight and get involved too, almost reclaiming the race lead. He passed Mansell but stayed behind Tsolov and was second when the safety car appeared.

Despite the incident, Dunne held onto fourth place ahead of ART GP’s Laurens van Hoepen. As Dunne and Montoya battled, a scrum of drivers formed behind them, including van Hoepen, Gabriel Mini, Oliver Goethe and Noel Leon. 

Prema’s Mini pushed through to take sixth ahead of Campos’s Goethe and MP’s Tim Tramnitz.

After a penalty put him 15th on the grid, Hitech’s Luke Browning climbed up to P11, just ahead of championship leader Leonardo Fornaroli. The Trident driver started 24th and enjoyed a strong drive up through the order along with Mari Boya. Fornaroli was running behind Boya at the final safety car, but a mistake for the Campos driver sent him wide and tumbling down the order, allowing Fornaroli to come through and take 12th.

Race results (21 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix 34m24.710s
2 Martinius Stenshorne Hitech GP +0.673s
3 Christian Mansell ART Grand Prix +1.244s
4 Alex Dunne MP Motorsport +1.647ss
5 Lauens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix +3.168s
6 Gabriele Mini Prema +3.496s
7 Oliver Goethe Campos Racing +3.751s
8 Tim Tramnitz MP Motorsport +4.053s
9 Noel Leon Van Amersfoort Racing +4.498s
10 Sami Meguetounif Trident +4.886s
11 Luke Browning Hitech GP +5.258s
12 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident +6.118s
13 Nikita Bedrin AIX Racing +7.077s
14 Callum Voisin Rodin Motorsport +7.634s
15 Dino Beganovic Prema +7.690s
16 Cian Shields Hitech GP +8.318s
17 Matias Zagazeta Jenzer Motorsport +8.617s
18 Max Esterson Jenzer Motorsport +8.726s
19 Joseph Loake Rodin Motorsport +9.162s
20 Charlie Wurz Jenzer Motorsport +9.519s
21 Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing +9.811s
22 Mari Boya Campos Racing +10.759s
23 Piotr Wisnicki Rodin Motorsport +10.976s
24 Santiago Ramos Trident +11.094s
25 Joshua Dufek AIX Racing +11.350s
26 Sophia Floersch Van Amersfoort Racing +11.767s
27 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak AIX Racing +20.645s
Ret Arvid Lindblad Prema
Ret Sebastian Montoya Campos Racing
Ret Kacper Sztuka MP Motorsport
Fastest lap: Tsolov, 1m23.420s

Championship standings
 Fornaroli 84   2 Browning 81   3 Mini 77   4 Lindblad 71   5 Goethe 67   6 Mansell 66   7 Beganovic 65   8 Tramnitx 47   9 Van Hoepen 42   10 Boya 40