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Williams junior Colapinto gets F3 win in mixed conditions at Silverstone

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Franco Colapinto won for MP Motorsport in a rain-hit FIA Formula 3 sprint race at Silverstone. 

The field lined up on the grid under some light rain, yet all but Gregorie Saucy started on slick tyres. That seemed to be the right strategy, with the track remaining relatively dry until a short shower midway through the race.  

Many eventually pitted, but it was the slick-shod Colapinto who won out in the end. 

Sebastian Montoya controlled the first half of the race. After starting from reversed-grid pole, he managed to stay ahead of the battling Taylor Barnard and Colapinto. The pair stayed close behind Montoya, with Luke Browning not far behind. 

Before anybody could challenge Montoya, the rain began to fall more heavily and the safety car was brought out. Six drivers further down the order dived into the pits, with Dino Beganovic leading the switch. The following lap another eight drivers decided to move to wet-weather tyres, including Browning. 

When racing resumed, the top 10 drivers were on slick tyres, with Beganovic in 11th place and seeking to move up.

The first action of the restart came from the two frontrunners, however. Barnard tapped the back of Montoya’s car, sending Montoya spinning and dropping both down the order.  

Colapinto was promoted to the front of the field. By this point, the rain had cleared and the track was already beginning to dry. Colapinto pulled away and won be 3.730 seconds over points leader Gabriel Bortoleto. 

Barnard had held onto third after the contact with Montoya, but then suffered a puncture. Christian Mansell was promoted onto the podium, and came under attack from Caio Collet in the race’s closing stages.  

Collet was ninth at the restart, and briefly dropped back behind the wet-shod Ralf Aron. Drivers with those tyres had a good restart and began to surge forward, but it wasn’t long before it became clear that slicks were the better option. Collet moved back past Aron as the wet tyres fell away and closed in on Mansell late on. 

He didn’t quite have enough to find a way past Mansell, who scored his maiden series podium. 

Gabriele Mini finished fifth ahead of Hugh Barter and Leonardo Fornaroli. 

Montoya recovered to eighth from 18th after his spin, ahead of Ido Cohen and Pepe Marti, the only driver on wet tyres to score.

Race result (18 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 37m17.100s
2 Gabriel Bortoleto Trident +3.730s
3 Christian Mansell Campos Racing +5.840s
4 Caio Collet Van Amersfoort Racing +6.243s
5 Gabriele Mini Hitech GP +14.554s
6 Hugh Barter Campos Racing +17.495s
7 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident +19.601s
8 Sebastian Montoya Hitech GP +23.634s
9 Ido Cohen Carlin +42.079s
10 Pepe Marti Campos Racing +52.727s
11 Alex Garcia Jenzer Motorsport +52.817s
12 Paul Aron Prema +53.389s
13 Dino Beganovic Prema +54.288s
14 Luke Browning Hitech GP +54.842s
15 Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix +55.953s
16 Zak O’Sullivan Prema +57.494s
17 Oliver Goethe Trident +58.394s
18 Nikita Bedrin Jenzer Motorsport +1m01.489s
19 Sophia Floersch PHM by Charouz +1m07.775s
20 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing +1m08.865s
21 Mari Boya MP Motorsport +1m11.077s
22 Ollie Gray Carlin +1m11.642s
23 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix +1m11.791s
24 Kaylen Frederick ART Grand Prix +1m13.999s
25 McKenzy Cresswell PHM by Charouz +1m14.957s
26 Max Esterson Carlin +1m16.445s
27 Roberto Faria PHM by Charouz +1m27.004s
28 Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing +1m31.965s
29 Jonny Edgar MP Motorsport +1m43.046s
30 Taylor Barnard Jenzer Motorsport +1m50.622s
Fastest lap: Aron, 1m48.510s

Championship standings
Bortoleto 120   2 Marti 76   3 Beganovic 75   4 O’Sullivan 73   5 Mini 71   6 Colapinto 70   7 Aron 65   8 Saucy 49   9 Fornaroli 42   10 Collet 40