Silverstone F3: Viscaal wins after last-lap Zendeli pass
Bent Viscaal overcame Lirim Zendeli in a thrilling final lap duel to earn his maiden FIA Formula 3 race win in the second reverse-grid race at Silverstone.
A slow start for reverse-grid polesitter Ben Barnicoat handed 2018 German Formula 4 champion Zendeli the race lead on the opening lap, with MP Motorsport’s Viscaal following in second place.
The safety car was immediately required on the opening lap to recover the stricken cars of Calan Williams (Jenzer) and Viscaal’s teammate Lukas Dunner.
There was also a further incident involving Alex Peroni (Campos), Alexander Smolyar (ART Grand Prix) and David Schumacher (Charouz Racing System), with the latter retiring from the race.
Trident’s Zendeli maintained his advantage as the race restarted and it quickly became a two-way fight for the lead with Viscaal remaining close on Zendeli’s tail.
Viscaal waited until the 20th and final lap to make his move as he dived down the inside of Zendeli at Copse corner to claim the race lead.
Zendeli retaliated by overtaking Viscaal around the outside of Stowe, only for Viscaal to swoop back around the outside of Zendeli on the exit of Vale.
Viscaal, who was denied a maiden win in the reverse-grid race at the Hungaroring following two five-second penalties, edged Zendeli by just over a tenth of a second for his first FIA F3 win and MP’s first since the 2019 Macau Grand Prix.
Single-seater returnee Barnicoat was unable to achieve a dream podium for Carlin, after he retired with a technical issue, having valiantly defended his third position for half of the race.
The final place on the podium instead went the way of Sauber junior Theo Pourchaire, as Liam Lawson ran wide at the penultimate corner and dropped out of podium contention and into fifth place.
Lawson’s final lap off-track excursion promoted Zendeli’s teammate David Beckmann into fourth place, Beckmann beat Lawson to the chequered flag by just 0.019 seconds.
Championship leader Logan Sargeant, who earned his maiden FIA F3 victory and the points lead on Saturday, found himself just outside the top 10 in the early stages after a failed move on his Prema teammate Frederik Vesti.
After recovering to 11th place, he moved across on fellow American driver Cameron Das (Carlin) whilst defending at Copse and the duo collided, giving Sargeant terminal damage.
Sargeant’s title rival and Prema teammate Oscar Piastri, who has struggled with mechanical woes all weekend, recovered from a minor final corner collision with Lawson to take sixth place behind the New Zealander.
HWA’s Jake Hughes edged Formula Regional European champion Vesti for seventh place with Carlin’s Clement Novalak in ninth place.
Hughes’ teammate and Ferrari junior Enzo Fittipaldi earned his first point in FIA F3 in 10th place.
Piastri’s sixth-place finish leaves him just one point adrift of Sargeant in the drivers’ championship.
Silverstone F3 - Sprint race results:
Silverstone F3: Sargeant takes dominant maiden win
Pulcini to make F3 return at Barcelona with Carlin