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F3: Tsolov wins second race amidst mid-field chaos

Written by Sean McKean

Credit - La Gazette de Monaco

After a hectic race, it was Nikola Tsolov who came out on top to win the Austrian sprint race. It’s the Bulgarian’s second FIA F3 victory – both of which coming in sprints.

As it unfolded

Off the start, Christian Mansell got the jump on polesitter Martinius Stenshorne to take the lead. The two of them battled all the way into Turn 4, in which Nikola Tsolov got by the Hitech driver to take second, subsequently making it an ART 1-2.

Behind them, title contender Dino Beganovic went for a spin by himself in Turn 1. Furthermore, Kacper Sztuka collided with Charlie Wurz out of the same corner – the former having to retire from the event. As a result, the safety car came out.

The restart on Lap 5 calmed things down as Mansell led the way. However, his lead only lasted two more laps, with his teammate Tsolov making the same move around the outside in Turn 4 as he did with Stenshorne on the start.

After taking the lead, Tsolov led a “DRS train,” but the battles never stopped. Sebastian Montoya was hounding Alex Dunne for fourth, and Luke Browning – who started 15th – made his way into the points.

On Lap 15, Mansell decided to attempt a move on his Bulgarian teammate for the lead, but after briefly taking the lead, Tsolov immediately took it back.

One lap later, Mansell attempted again into Turn 4 and managed to take the position. 

While battling for fourth, Dunne and Montoya’s scrap bunched everyone down to tenth together, and it didn’t last long. Firstly, Arvid Lindblad had contact with Sami Meguetounif, resulting in a puncture and putting him out of the race.

But, Sebastian Montoya got the worst end of things. He and Dunne continued to scrap into Turn 4, and a squeeze by the Irishman resulted in a massive collision which put Montoya into the barriers at the end of the straight. The Colombian climbed out unscathed.

With these incidents, the safety car was deployed.

Amongst the chaos behind them, the top three – now of Tsolov, Stenshorne, and Mansell – continued to battle. Tsolov kept the lead, followed by Stenshorne and Mansell.

The final restart also started on the final lap. Without DRS, many positions remained unchanged, thus giving Nikola Tsolov his second win of the season.

Martinius Stenshorne followed behind to take his second podium of the season. Christian Mansell firmly solidifies himself as a championship contender to take third – his third podium in five races. Alex Dunne finishes fourth after the chaotic battle for the position. Rounding out the top five was Laurens van Hoepen.

Gabriele Minì finishes sixth after a last-lap battle with van Hoepen ahead. Oliver Goethe keeps up his points-scoring streak in seventh. Tim Tramnitz finishes eighth. Noel León puts VAR again into the points in ninth. Rounding out the top ten is Sami Meguetounif.

Provisional Classification

  1. Nikola Tsolov (ART Grand Prix) [FL]

  2. Martinius Stenshorne (Hitech GP)

  3. Christian Mansell (ART Grand Prix)

  4. Alex Dunne (MP Motorsport)

  5. Laurens van Hoepen (ART Grand Prix)

  6. Gabriele Minì (Prema Racing)

  7. Oliver Goethe (Campos Racing)

  8. Tim Tramnitz (MP Motorsport)

  9. Noel León (Van Amersfoort Racing)

  10. Sami Meguetounif (Trident)

  11. Luke Browning (Hitech GP)

  12. Leonardo Fornaroli (Trident)

  13. Nikita Bedrin (AIX Racing)

  14. Callum Voisin (Rodin Motorsport)

  15. Dino Beganovic (Prema Racing)

  16. Cian Shields (Hitech GP)

  17. Matías Zagazeta (Jenzer Motorsport)

  18. Max Esterson (Jenzer Motorsport)

  19. Joseph Loake (Rodin Motorsport)

  20. Charlie Wurz (Jenzer Motorsport)

  21. Tommy Smith (Van Amersfoort Racing)

  22. Mari Boya (Campos Racing)

  23. Piotr Wiśnicki (Rodin Motorsport)

  24. Santiago Ramos (Trident)

  25. Joshua Dufek (AIX Racing)

  26. Sophia Floersch (Van Amersfoort Racing)

  27. Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak (AIX Racing)

  28. Arvid Lindblad (Prema Racing) [DNF]

  29. Sebastian Montoya (Campos Racing) [DNF]

  30. Kacper Sztuka (MP Motorsport) [DNF]


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