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F3: Arvid Lindblad wins on debut in Bahrain

Written by Sean McKean

Credit - FIA Formula 3

On Friday evening, Prema’s Arvid Lindblad took the chequered flag in the Bahrain F3 sprint on debut. The Red Bull junior was followed by ART’s Laurens van Hoepen – who also took a podium on debut – and Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli. 

At the start, polesitter van Hoepen was able to briefly keep the lead, but he couldn’t fend off attacks from his ART teammate Nikola Tsolov for long, who took the lead. Polesitter for Saturday’s feature race – Dino Beganovic – had drama off the line too, making contact with Trident’s Santiago Ramos in the opening corners.

Tsolov only kept the lead for so long though. Once DRS was enabled, the Dutchman kept to the rear of his Bulgarian teammate and took the lead back on lap four. Their battling allowed for Jenzer’s Max Esterson to close in – making it a three-way battle for first.

As the top three continued to battle, Fornaroli and Lindblad – who were fourth and fifth respectively – caught up to Esterson. Lindblad was able to get by the American on lap nine, but it took Fornaroli slightly longer, getting by on lap 10 after a mistake by him.

At the halfway point of the race, the battle between van Hoepen and Tsolov raged on with the two constantly exchanging the lead. Tsolov found a rhythm up front, but Lindblad loomed close in both of their mirrors as he took second from van Hoepen on lap 13. Though he put up a better fight than his Dutch teammate, Tsolov wasn’t able to keep the Briton at bay as he took the lead on lap 15.

Lindblad was able to break DRS from the ART pair behind as they continued to battle. Van Hoepen came out on top and broke a gap for second, but Fornaroli was able to get by Tsolov – who now fell to fourth.

Lindblad would ultimately cruise to victory with Prema while van Hoepen settled for second – both drivers experiencing a strong debut race. Fornaroli rounded out the podium in third.

Tsolov took home valuable points in fourth after a hard-fought battle with his teammate. Behind him was Tim Tramnitz, who had quite the quiet race in fifth. Max Esterson also quietly fell back in the field to sixth. Gabriele Minì took his first points of the year in seventh followed closely by Mari Boya in eighth. Rounding out the points were returning driver Oliver Goethe and rookie Sami Meguetounif. 

Tomorrow’s sprint race will see Prema lead the field with Dino Beganovic alongside Hitech’s Luke Browning.


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