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Australia

F3 Bahrain: Bortoleto takes feature win after Mini penalty

Gabriel Bortoleto inherited his maiden Formula 3 feature race win from Gabriele Mini after a penalty and a safety car scuppered the polesitter’s chances.

Gabriel Bortoleto, Trident, leads Gabriele Mini, Hitech GP, Gregoire Saucy, ART Grand Prix

Mark Sutton

Hitech driver Mini was running in third by the end of the first lap, having been passed by Bortoleto (Trident) and Gregoire Saucy (ART) off the line.

He retook second place from Saucy on lap four before passing Bortoleto for the lead on lap 10, but was handed a five-second penalty for a start procedure infringement.

Mini had looked set to retain at least fourth place before a penultimate lap safety car scuppered his chances, eliminating his lead and handing Bortoleto the win.

The Brazilian led a Trident 1-2 from fellow rookie Oliver Goethe, while reigning Formula Regional European champion Dino Beganovic took third for Prema.

An audibly frustrated Mini was relegated to eighth by the penalty, shouting over the radio and hitting his steering wheel after an unlucky race.

Saucy finished fourth, with Luke Browning in fifth for Hitech after a superb race, having charged through the field from 17th place.

Bortoleto had lined up second and took the lead down to Turn 1 as Saucy slotted into second ahead of Mini at Turn 4.

He built a 2.1s lead to Saucy while the ART returnee battled with Mini behind, the Alpine Academy driver finally passing Saucy around the outside of Turn 4 on the fourth lap.

Bortoleto had doubled his lead by lap six before the safety car was deployed, with Tommy Smith having spun his Van Amersfoort Racing car at Turn 8 while Mari Boya (MP Motorsport) had also suffered front wing damage.

It was during the break in action in which a confused Mini was handed his penalty.

Racing resumed on lap 10, with Mini taking the lead at Turns 6 and 7 from Bortoleto as he set about building enough of a gap to retain the lead.

He had broken DRS three laps later as the Prema pair of Zak O’Sullivan and Paul Aron tussled for 11th, the two drivers making contact in their points pursuit.

Goethe passed Saucy for third with seven laps remaining, taking the final podium spot down to Turn 1 as Browning made up yet another place to move into seventh, taking sixth the following lap from Kaylen Frederick.

By the penultimate lap, Saucy had been caught by Beganovic and Browning, with the former making his way through into fourth as Saucy retained fifth.

The safety car was deployed for the second time on the penultimate lap after Smith and Roberto Faria made contact, ending Smith’s race and scuppering Mini’s chances of victory.

Sprint race winner Pepe Marti finished sixth for Campos, with Frederick in seventh. Sebastian Montoya finished ninth for Hitech, with Aron rounding off the top 10.

F3 returns in Melbourne, Australia, from 31 March to 2 April.

F3 Bahrain - Race results:

Cla # Driver Team Gap
1 5 Gabriel Bortoleto
Italy Trident
2 6 Oliver Goethe
Italy Trident 0.800
3 2 Dino Beganovic
Italy Prema Powerteam 1.100
4 8 Switzerland Gregoire Saucy
France ART Grand Prix 1.300
5 16 Luke Browning
Hitech Pulse-Eight 1.600
6 23 Pepe Martí
Spain Campos Racing 1.800
7 7 United States Kaylen Frederick
France ART Grand Prix 2.100
8 15 Gabriele Minì
Hitech Pulse-Eight 4.600
9 14 Colombia Sebastian Montoya
Hitech Pulse-Eight 6.800
10 1 Paul Aron
Italy Prema Powerteam 8.100
11 10 Argentina Franco Colapinto
Netherlands MP Motorsport 9.800
12 3 United Kingdom Zak O'Sullivan
Italy Prema Powerteam 15.800
13 24 Christian Mansell
Spain Campos Racing 18.200
14 17 Brazil Caio Collet
Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 19.200
15 9 Nikola Tsolov
France ART Grand Prix 19.200
16 27 Taylor Barnard
Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 19.600
17 26 Nikita Bedrin
Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 22.000
18 20 Oliver Gray
Rodin Carlin 25.000
19 22 Israel Ido Cohen
Rodin Carlin 25.200
20 18 Mexico Rafael Villagomez
Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 25.600
21 29 Germany Sophia Flörsch
PHM Racing by Charouz 28.400
22 21 Hunter Yeany
Rodin Carlin 35.400
23 12 United Kingdom Jonny Edgar
Netherlands MP Motorsport 36.100
24 31 Piotr Wiśnicki
PHM Racing by Charouz 37.300
25 30 Roberto Faria
PHM Racing by Charouz 45.300
26 25 Hugh Barter
Spain Campos Racing 1'07.500
27 4 Leonardo Fornaroli
Italy Trident
19 Tommy Smith
Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing
28 Alex Garcia
Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport
11 Mari Boya
Netherlands MP Motorsport

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