Mini holds off Beganovic for first Formula 3 win in Monaco

Formula 3

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Alpine junior driver Gabriele Mini scored the first win of his Formula 3 career at his sixth attempt, chased to the line by Dino Beganovic in Monaco.

Mini did not waste the pole position he earned in style two days earlier, reacting to the lights fractionally earlier than fellow front row starter Beganovic who immediately tucked in behind the Hitech man. The 30-car field largely maintained good order around the first lap, the top six starters holding their places.

Approaching Tabac for the first time, Ido Cohen had team mate Oliver Gray on his inside. Gray allowed his fellow Carlin driver room on the outside, but Cohen drifted wide and smashed the right-hand side of his car into the barrier. A Safety Car deployment was inevitable, and race control duly netralised the field as they approached the chicane on lap two.

At the restart at the end of lap five, Mini fired his engine as they approached Rascasse and sprinted off with Beganovic, Aron, Luke Browning, Caio Collet, Sebastian Montoya and Taylor Barnard. The latter was the fisrt driver in the queue running higher than his starting position, but the stewards soon determined he’d gained those places illegally.

Barnard arrived at Sainte Devote on lap one on the inside of Gabriel Bortoleto and Franco Colapinto. He cut the corner, gaining places from the pair of then. Jenzer advised their driver to give up the two places, but he hadn’t done this by the time the stewards took action, handing down a 10-second penalty.

Beganovic stayed within touching distance of Mini over the opening laps, but the gap between the pair gradually opened up to just over a second. The two dropped Beganovic’s team mate Aron, who was four seconds in arrears by the time the 27-lap race reached half distance and had Browning in close pursuit. Collet further back had Montoya in close pursuit, and the chastened Barnard’s mirrors were filled by the two drivers he’d illegally passed on the first lap.

By lap 17, Montoya was piling pressure on Collet, even swerving towards the inside at the Fairmont Hotel hairpin. Collet was visibly struggling with traction and as the next lap began Montoya drew alongside on his outside into Sainte Devote.

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Collet kept his rival at bay, but Montoya attacked again on the climb up Massenet. Attempting to squeeze alongside on Collet’s left, the pair made contact which left the leading driver with a puncture and broke Montoya’s front wing. While Montoya headed for the pits, Collet skidded into the run-off at Mirabeau.

That promoted Barnard to fifth, with Bortoleto behind expecting to inherit the position once his rival was penalised. The stewards soon announced another penalty, docking Montoya 10 seconds, though it was a worthless sanction with the driver circulating 18 places outside the points after a pit stop for repairs.

As the race entered its final five laps Beganovic drew closer to Mini, bringing the gap between the leaders down to six tenths of a second. The pair were lapping consistently quicker than their pursuers and had built an eight-second lead over Aron.

Beganovic had kept his tyres in good shape and began the final lap just three-tenths of a second behind Mini. But the race-long leader wasn’t about to let the win slip through his fingers, and held on to beat his rival to the chequered flag. Mini capped a fine race by also claiming the fastest lap.

Aron denied Browning the final podium spot by just three-tenths of the second. While the television graphics incorrectly indicated Barnard had miraculously pulled an 11-second lead over Bortoleto, which would have neutralised the effect of his penalty, the gap between them was in fact just 3.7s. Barnard therefore lost three places, to Bortoleto, Colapinto and Zak O’Sullivan, but still claimed points for eighth.

Sprint race winner Josep Maria Marti and Gregoire Saucy completed the points-scoring top 10. Bortoleto remains in the lead of the championship, but Mini’s maximum score today means he moves up to second, 17 points between them.

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Formula 3 Monaco race two results

115Gabriele MinìHitech
22Dino BeganovicPrema
31Paul AronPrema
416Luke BrowningHitech
55Gabriel BortoletoTrident
610Franco ColapintoMP
73Zak O’SullivanPrema
827Taylor BarnardJenzer
923Pepe MartíCampos
108Gregoire SaucyART
119Nikola TsolovART
1226Nikita BedrinJenzer
136Oliver GoetheTrident
1412Jonny EdgarMP
1519Tom SmithVan Amersfoort
1618Caio ColletMP
1724Christian MansellCampos
1811Mari BoyaMP
1920Oliver GrayRodin Carlin
2021Hunter YeanyRodin Carlin
2128Alejandro GarcíaJenzer
2231Piotr WiśnickiPHM Racing by Charouz
2329Sophia FloerschPHM Racing by Charouz
244Leonardo FornaroliTrident
257Kaylen FrederickART
2625Hugh BarterCampos
2730Roberto FariaPHM Racing by Charouz
2814Sebastian MontoyaHitech
2917Caio ColletVan Amersfoort
3022Ido CohenRodin Carlin

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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