Gabriel Bortoleto converted pole position to make it two feature race victories out of two in FIA Formula 3 at Albert Park, holding off Gregoire Saucy for the entire race.
At the start, Bortoleto got a clean getaway from pole position to jump into the lead with Saucy and Mini settling into second and third behind. Back in the pack, Sebastian Montoya made contact with Christian Mansell as the pair battled on the approach to turn 11, sending Montoya down the escape road an into retirement.
On the second lap, Williams junior driver and disqualified sprint race winner Franco Colapinto suffered a puncture while battling for seventh place with Luke Browning into turn three. The MP Motorsport driver lost control of his damaged car through the right kink of turn five, crashing into the barrier and coming to a rest on the exit with a large part of barrier dislodged on the racing surface. As the Safety Car was deployed, Mari Boya clipped Nikola Tsolov’s ART approaching the fast chicane, knocking him briefly into the air and into the outside barriers.
As the two accidents were cleared, Kaylen Frederick ran into the rear of Tsolov under the Safety Car at turn three, breaking his suspension and forcing him into retirement. Despite the additional accident, Frederick was able to pull well off the track and did not delay the restart of the race, which eventually resumed at the start of lap six.
Borteloto led away from Saucy, Mini, Leonardo Fornaroli in fourth and Zak O’Sullivan in fifth. At the end of the first green flag lap, Piotr Wisnicki spun at the final corner after clipping the grass on the entry, his car pointing backwards across the circuit. Fortunately, Wisnicki managed to pull his own car out of the barrier and into the pit lane, negating any need for a second Safety Car.
Ido Cohen was the next driver to find the wall on lap 12, courtesy of contact with Rafael Vilagomez at turn three. With Cohen’s car stricken on the exit of the corner, the Safety Car was deployed again. As marshals cleared the Carlin, Villagomez was handed a ten second time penalty for being deemed responsible for putting it into the wall to start with.
The race resumed with eight laps remaining on lap 23. Bortoleto successfully held the lead for a second consecutive restart, sitting seven tenths of a second ahead of Saucy by the end of the first green flag lap. However, Saucy soon picked up the pace, lowering the fastest lap of the race on the next lap and beginning to close the lap to the leader.
Saucy managed to get within half a second of the leader in the closing laps but could not find an opportunity to attack Bortoleto even with the benefit of DRS. Heading into the final lap, Saucy was only six tenths of a second away, but not matter what he did to try and pressure Bortoleto, the leader held firm over the last lap to take the chequered flag an claim a lights-to-flag victory.
Mini completed the podium, two seconds behind the leading pair, with Fornaroli in fourth and O’Sullivan in fifth. Browning claimed sixth to split the three Prema drivers with Paul Aron and Dino Beganovic in eighth after final lap contact at turn 11 with Caio Collet, which dropped the Van Amersfoort driver down to 16th. Pepe Marti recovered from the back of the grid to finish ninth, with Taylor Barnard taking the final point in tenth.
Bortoleto’s win naturally sees him extend his own championship lead, holding an advantage of 21 points over Saucy, who moves into second place. Formula 3 will next race at Imola during the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix weekend.
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Formula 3 Australia race two results
|13||19||Tom Smith||Van Amersfoort|
|14||20||Oliver Gray||Rodin Carlin|
|17||21||Hunter Yeany||Rodin Carlin|
|18||29||Sophia Floersch||PHM Racing by Charouz|
|19||18||Rafael Villagomez||Van Amersfoort|
|24||22||Ido Cohen||Rodin Carlin|
|25||30||Roberto Faria||PHM Racing by Charouz|
|26||31||Piotr Wiśnicki||PHM Racing by Charouz|
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