F3: O’Sullivan inherits Sprint win after Colapinto disqualification
Zak O’Sullivan is a winner for the first time in FIA Formula 3, victorious in the Melbourne Sprint Race, but only after post-race drama. Franco Colapinto had crossed the line in first after controlling a chaotic race on track but lost the win due to a technical infringement.
Both he and his MP Motorsport team mates were disqualified post-race after stewards found that the team had made illegal modifications to bodywork that contravened the technical regulations. As a result, Colapinto, Mari Boya and Jonny Edgar were disqualified in the hours after the race had finished.
O’Sullivan made what turned out to be the race-winning move in the final moments. The PREMA Racing and Williams Academy driver overtook reverse grid pole-sitter Sebastian Montoya at Turn 11 on Lap 19 of 20.
Montoya had been leading and fighting with Hitech Pulse-Eight team mate Luke Browning in the opening laps. A mistake from Browning on Lap 6 at Turn 9 sent him airborne and down to fifth.
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The error allowed Williams Academy man Colapinto to close up to Montoya and the fight for the lead. Following two Safety Cars, Browning fell further down the order after the second restart, as Ferrari Academy driver Dino Beganovic relegated him out of the top five.
Another Safety Car on Lap 13 came after home man Tommy Smith damaged his Van Amersfoort Racing car out of the final corner. Colapinto handled the restart capably and was leading comfortably while the podium fight livened up in the final laps.
O’Sullivan made his move on Montoya to take second, passing the Red Bull junior around the outside of Turn 11 just before the fourth and final Safety Car. The move turned out to be for victory following Colapinto’s post-race disqualification.
For more on the race, head to the Official FIA Formula 3 website.