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Race report
FIA F3 Bahrain

F3 Bahrain: Rookie Marti claims maiden win after Colapinto pass

Pepe Marti took his first Formula 3 win in Bahrain, chasing Franco Colapinto for much of the race and enduring two safety cars before a daring move secured him victory.

Pepe Marti, Campos Racing

The Campos Racing driver, whose previous best finish in the series was ninth at Monza last season, lined up second for the first sprint race of the season behind MP Motorsport polesitter Colapinto.

Marti was close to Colapinto throughout the opening stages and endured two safety car restarts before making his move on lap 14 around the outside of Turn 4.

Despite Williams Academy driver Colapinto looking close to retaking the lead several times, Marti had looked better after his Pirelli tyres and managed to break DRS by the final lap, crossing the line 1.8s ahead of his rival.

Fernando Alonso protege Marti had a difficult rookie season in 2022, but finally clinched his maiden points at the final round in Italy in September before continuing with the Spanish outfit for his second year.

Colapinto settled for second, with fellow series returnee Caio Collet in third for Van Amersfoort Racing.

Colapinto lined up on pole for Saturday’s sprint race and held the lead off the line, while Collet snatched second from Marti at Turn 2.

The first safety car came on lap two after Rafael Villagomez went into the barrier at Turn 4, having been hit by Trident driver Gabriel Bortoleto as the pair raced side-by-side.

Racing resumed on lap seven, with Marti making it back past Collet into second as the Prema pair of Paul Aron and Dino Beganovic tussled behind the leaders.

The yellow flags were almost immediately waved again before a second safety car after Hitech rookie Luke Browning came to a stop at Turn 2, having been caught in the restart tussle.

Lap 12 saw the green flags waved once more, with Marti closing in on Colapinto, attempting a move at Turn 4 before backing off.

It was just two laps before he finally made the decisive move, once again swooping around the outside of Turn 4 to secure the lead, with the leading two drivers 1.5s clear of third-placed Collet.

The Prema pair continued to tussle further back, with Beganovic making it past Aron at Turn 4 on lap 17 for fourth place.

Reigning Euroformula Open champion Oliver Goethe finished sixth for Trident, with ART Grand Prix’s Gregoire Saucy in seventh and Leonardo Fornaroli (Trident) in eighth.

Jonny Edgar (MP Motorsport) and Hitech rookie Sebastian Montoya rounded off the top 10.

F3 Bahrain - Race 1 results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 23 Pepe Martí
Spain Campos Racing
2 10 Argentina Franco Colapinto
Netherlands MP Motorsport 1.8
3 17 Brazil Caio Collet
Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 5.8
4 2 Dino Beganovic
Italy Prema Powerteam 9.0
5 1 Paul Aron
Italy Prema Powerteam 9.8
6 6 Oliver Goethe
Italy Trident 10.6
7 8 Switzerland Gregoire Saucy
France ART Grand Prix 11.1
8 4 Leonardo Fornaroli
Italy Trident 11.7
9 12 United Kingdom Jonny Edgar
Netherlands MP Motorsport 12.3
10 14 Colombia Sebastian Montoya
Hitech Pulse-Eight 12.8
11 25 Hugh Barter
Spain Campos Racing 13.6
12 5 Gabriel Bortoleto
Italy Trident 14.1
13 3 United Kingdom Zak O'Sullivan
Italy Prema Powerteam 14.8
14 24 Christian Mansell
Spain Campos Racing 15.8
15 27 Taylor Barnard
Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 17.4
16 11 Mari Boya
Netherlands MP Motorsport 18.0
17 26 Nikita Bedrin
Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 19.2
18 15 Gabriele Minì
Hitech Pulse-Eight 19.6
19 22 Israel Ido Cohen
Rodin Carlin 23.4
20 21 Hunter Yeany
Rodin Carlin 24.6
21 20 Oliver Gray
Rodin Carlin 25.0
22 29 Germany Sophia Flörsch
PHM Racing by Charouz 25.3
23 19 Tommy Smith
Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 25.9
24 30 Roberto Faria
PHM Racing by Charouz 38.5
25 31 Piotr Wiśnicki
PHM Racing by Charouz 45.2
26 9 Nikola Tsolov
France ART Grand Prix 47.7
27 28 Alex Garcia
Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 1'01.7
28 7 United States Kaylen Frederick
France ART Grand Prix 1'25.3
16 Luke Browning
Hitech Pulse-Eight 13 laps
18 Mexico Rafael Villagomez
Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 18 laps

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