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F3: Meguetounif takes maiden victory in Imola feature

Written by Sean McKean

Credit - Formula Motorsport Limited

In Sunday’s feature race, Trident’s Sami Meguetounif that came out on top to secure his maiden FIA F3 victory in Imola. This is Trident’s first victory of the 2024 season.

As it unfolded

Compared to yesterday, the start for this morning’s 22-lap feature race was much cleaner. There were no changes in the top three, as Ramos kept the lead with little initial pressure. Behind the Trident pair, though, sprint race winner Oliver Goethe and championship leader Luke Browning made up a few positions.

Although Ramos got a great start, he couldn’t keep his teammate Leonardo Fornaroli behind, who sailed into the lead on lap three. At the same time, Goethe broke the Trident 1-2-3 to move into third ahead of Sami Meguetounif.

Only two laps later, Goethe managed to get by Ramos while setting the fastest lap of the race – establishing himself as the one to beat.

An unusual occurrence happened on lap six. While defending the lead from Goethe on the main straight, Fornaroli’s engine seemed to cut out for a brief moment. Thankfully for the Italian, it wasn’t a terminal incident – although he dropped to fifth while the Campos driver now inherited the lead.

Laps eight and nine saw the midfield battles shake up. It started when Van Amersfoort’s Tommy Smith went for a spin in turn three. Despite stalling for a brief moment, the Australian was able to continue on. Then, AIX Racing’s Nikita Bedrin suffered a puncture after colliding with Mari Boya, forcing the Italian-Russian driver into the pits.

Also, Noel León received a ten-second time penalty on lap 11 following an incident at Tamburello to open the race. Sat in tenth, this was big for the battle for the final point.

Up front, Santiago Ramos’ tyres appeared to have fallen off, as he lost touch to the DRS of Goethe ahead. Subsequently, Meguetounif – his teammate – smoothly sailed into second position. The Mexican later bled more positions on lap 13, when both Fornaroli and Browning also got by.

On lap 18, Goethe’s comfortable lead was beginning to be challenged, as Frenchman Sami Meguetounif got into DRS range of the Trident ahead. One lap later, Meguetounif took the lead with little challenge from Goethe – the German clearly struggling for grip.

Despite other cars on the podium putting pressure on one another, Meguetounif was able to remain unchallenged to take his maiden FIA Formula 3 victory. Joining him on the podium was sprint race winner Oliver Goethe and Trident teammate Leonardo Fornaroli. Luke Browning finished out in fourth with Prema’s Dino Beganovic in fifth.

Gabriele Minì finished an unusually quiet weekend in sixth followed by teammate Arvid Lindblad in seventh. Santiago Ramos managed to hang onto the points in eighth. Rounding out the top ten were the Campos teammates of Mari Boya and Sebastian Montoya in ninth and tenth.

Provisional Final Classification:

  1. Sami Meguetounif (Trident)

  2. Oliver Goethe (Campos Racing)

  3. Leonardo Fornaroli (Trident)

  4. Luke Browning (Hitech GP)

  5. Dino Beganovic (Prema Racing)

  6. Gabriele Minì (Prema Racing)

  7. Arvid Lindblad (Prema Racing)

  8. Santiago Ramos (Trident)

  9. Mari Boya (Campos Racing)

  10. Sebastian Montoya (Campos Racing)

  11. Tim Tramnitz (MP Motorsport)

  12. Sophia Floersch (Van Amersfoort Racing)

  13. Laurens van Hoepen (ART Grand Prix)

  14. Martinius Stenshorne (Hitech GP)

  15. Kacper Sztuka (MP Motorsport)

  16. Alex Dunne (MP Motorsport)

  17. Matías Zagazeta (Jenzer Motorsport)

  18. Cian Shields (Hitech GP)

  19. Noel León (Van Amersfoort Racing)

  20. Christian Mansell (ART Grand Prix)

  21. Max Esterson (Jenzer Motorsport)

  22. Joshua Dufek (AIX Racing)

  23. Piotr Wiśnicki (Rodin Motorsport)

  24. Charlie Wurz (Jenzer Motorsport)

  25. Joseph Loake (Rodin Motorsport)

  26. Nikola Tsolov (ART Grand Prix)

  27. Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak (AIX Racing)

  28. Tommy Smith (Van Amersfoort Racing)

  29. Callum Voisin (Rodin Motorsport)

  30. Nikita Bedrin (AIX Racing)


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