F3: Colapinto holds off Bearman in Monza Sprint Race to set up 6-way title showdown
Franco Colapinto was victorious in the Formula 3 Sprint Race at Monza as the championship contenders endured mixed fortunes, teeing up a final race showdown between six drivers.
Oliver Bearman drove a measured race from seventh on the grid to secure a podium finish in P2 to lift himself to third in the championship. Caio Collet rounded out the podium for MP Motorsport.
Current points leader Victor Martins had contact with title rival Arthur Leclerc on the opening lap, sending the Alpine Academy driver into the gravel at Curva Grande and down to 27th. He recovered to secure a solitary point in P10 but miraculously extended his advantage to six points over Isack Hadjar.
Hadjar failed to score following contact with Kush Maini halfway through the race. The Red Bull junior was forced to stop for a new front wing and emerged scoreless. He remains second in the standings on 121 points ahead of the Feature Race.
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Bearman’s race included some stand-out moves, including a double overtake into Turn 1 on Collet and Jonny Edgar with a handful of laps to go. The Ferrari Academy driver now sits third in the drivers’ championship on 114 points heading into Sunday’s decider.
PREMA Racing team mate Jak Crawford fell out of contention for the title after finishing seventh, one place ahead of Leclerc who made it back to P8 following his opening lap contact with Martins at Curva Grande. The Monegasque is now on 104 points and sixth in the standings.
The Tridents of Zane Maloney and Roman Stanek remain in the title hunt too, now tied on 109 points apiece.
Maloney secured fourth in the Sprint Race while the Czech racer ended up outside of the points in 12th.
PREMA Racing and Trident will fight it out for teams’ honours on Sunday. PREMA’s lead over their rivals was extended to 49 points following the Sprint Race.
For more on the F3 Feature Race in Zandvoort, check out the full report on the official Formula 3 website.