F3: Bortoleto promoted to maiden victory after Mini penalised in Bahrain Feature Race
Gabriele Bortoleto brought home his maiden Formula 3 victory on his debut weekend during what was a dramatic conclusion to the first Feature Race of the 2023 season in Bahrain.
Race leader Gabriele Mini received time penalty at the halfway mark and tried to drive off into the distance, but a Safety Car on the penultimate lap shattered his hopes of victory.
With the field bunched up, the five seconds awarded for incorrect positioning in his grid sent the Alpine junior tumbling down from first to eighth, gifting the 25 points available to Bortoleto.
The Brazilian spearheaded a one-two finish for Trident as Oliver Goethe took second, whilst Ferrari Academy’s Dino Beganovic brought home a podium on his first F3 weekend.
Gregoire Saucy claimed fourth, with Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Luke Browning a man on a mission en route to fifth. Having started down in P17, the British driver put in a storming performance to reach the top five ahead of Sprint Race winner Josep Maria Marti.
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Kaylen Frederick finished seventh for ART Grand Prix, ahead of Mini, as Red Bull junior Sebastian Montoya put on another rapid fight back into the points in ninth.
Williams’ Franco Colapinto claimed the final point in 10th after PREMA Racing’s Paul Aron received a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
As things stand, Bortoleto leads the drivers’ championship ahead of Goethe on 26 points, whilst two top four finishes gives Beganovic third. Trident head the Teams’ Standings, 24 points clear of PREMA Racing.
F3 returns at the end of the month when the championship makes its debut in Australia. Round 2 gets underway in Melbourne on March 31 - April 2.
For an in-depth report from the F3 Feature Race in Sakhir, visit the official championship website.