Formula 3, Silverstone, 2023

Goethe survives late restart and rain shower for first Formula 3 win

Formula 3

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Oliver Goethe kept his cool after a late race restart and rain shower in the final laps of the Formula 3 feature race at Silverstone to claim his first victory in the category.

He ended a point-less run, which stretched back to his podium finish in the opening round of the season, and led a one-two for Trident with team mate Leonardo Fornaroli. They were joined on the podium by Pepe Marti, who has closed his points deficit to championship leader and nearest rival Gabriel Bortoleto.

Fornaroli had beaten Goethe to pole position by a tenth of a second in qualifying. Behind the Trident duo on the grid, Campos pair Marti and Christian Mansell occupied the second row.

After yesterday’s rain-affected sprint race, the feature event began on a dry track, and Fornaroli got the better start to remain first. Behind, Marti overtook Goethe for second with a lunge down the inside of The Loop. However the move was soon reversed, Goethe retaking second place with a bold move around the outside of Stowe. Behind them Paul Aron rose from sixth on the grid to claim fourth place.

The action was brought to a halt at the end of the opening lap. Luke Browning exited the final corner on the outside of Hugh Barter, but the Williams junior soon found himself running out of room. He ran onto the gravel, which caused a spin and suspension damage to the Hitech car, which stopped on the start-finish straight in front of Browning’s home crowd.

On the lap seven restart, the grid remained initially calm as drivers kept position. But at Luffield, Zak O’Sullivan was pushed onto the gravel as he attempted to go around the outside of Kaylen Frederick. That caused the Prema driver to spin and drop to the back of the order, but he managed to keep going.

Soon after, a battle for the lead developed as Goethe drew within half a second deficit of Fornaroli. With the race leader keeping his team mate behind, others closed in, and by lap 14, fifth-placed Mansell was within two-seconds of Fornaroli. Meanwhile the skies were beginning to darken and rain started to become a serious threat.

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Fornaroli’s lack of pace became most apparent on lap 15, where Goethe overtook him for the lead down the inside of Brooklands, the pole winner offering little resistance to his team mate. Later that lap, it looked as though Aron had overtaken Marti for third on the outside of Stowe, but the Mercedes junior went off-track in the process and was forced to give back the position.

On lap 17 of 22 umbrellas began to go up in the grandstands. The Safety Car appeared again, but unlike the day before it wasn’t in response to the rain. Roberto Faria, running outside of the points, had crashed into the barrier at the exit of Woodcote after racing wheel-to-wheel with Tommy Smith. That ended the race for the PHM driver, who had been penalised earlier for a starting grid infringement.

The rain grew heavier during the Safety Car. Marti reported it being “close to wet tyres”. However, with just three laps remaining none of the front-runners decided to swap their slicks, and only Smith switched tyres, falling to last place.

The race restarted with two laps to go. The front-runners kept position as they fought their twitchy cars around the increasingly slippery circuit. Goethe crossed the line 1.7 seconds ahead of Fornaroli with Marti a further 0.4s behind.

Smith’s gamble came close to paying off. Having resumed in 26th place, he used the superior grip of his tyres to cross the line in 11th place, just 0.039 seconds off the final points scorer, Gregoire Saucy. Between him and the podium finishers were Aron in fourth ahead of Mansell, Bortoleto, Gabriele Mini, Franco Colapinto, Caio Collet and Saucy in 10th.

The race leaves a 39-point gap between points leader Bortoleto and second placed Marti. Mini and Aron jumping up joint-third, 14 points behind the Campos driver.

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Formula 3 Great Britain race two results

16Oliver GoetheTrident
24Leonardo FornaroliTrident
323Pepe MartíCampos
41Paul AronPrema
524Christian MansellCampos
65Gabriel BortoletoTrident
715Gabriele MinìHitech
810Franco ColapintoMP
917Caio ColletVan Amersfoort
108Gregoire SaucyART
1119Tom SmithVan Amersfoort
1214Sebastian MontoyaHitech
139Nikola TsolovART
1411Maxwell EstersonMP
1525Hugh BarterCampos
162Caio ColletMP
1718Rafael VillagomezVan Amersfoort
1826Nikita BedrinJenzer
193Zak O’SullivanPrema
207Kaylen FrederickART
2120Oliver GrayRodin Carlin
2227Taylor BarnardJenzer
2331McKenzy CresswellPHM Racing by Charouz
2429Sophia FloerschPHM Racing by Charouz
2522Ido CohenRodin Carlin
2628Alejandro GarcíaJenzer
DNF30Roberto FariaPHM Racing by Charouz
DNF21Maxwell EstersonRodin Carlin
2912Jonny EdgarMP
DNF16Luke BrowningHitech

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Ed Hardy
In 2019, Ed started working on Formula 1 writing articles during race weekends. Alongside that, he also built up experience in football working on...

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3 comments on “Goethe survives late restart and rain shower for first Formula 3 win”

  1. Yellow Baron
    9th July 2023, 10:35

    Can anyone explain the safety car yesterday? A safety car for rain that’s just began falling? And half the grid was able to stay on slicks. And then no rain related safety car today. What’s going on?

    1. The FIA got scared.
      Just imagine if another driver had been severely injured (or worse) in an F3 car so soon after the last one. Not a good look.

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