F3: Mini makes magic with textbook victory in Monaco Feature Race
Gabriele Mini wrote his name into the Formula 3 history books, as the Alpine junior claimed his maiden win with a textbook lights-to-flag performance in the Monaco Feature Race.
Starting from pole, the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver kept Ferrari junior Dino Beganovic at bay off the line and put together a measured and mature drive. Looking untroubled all the way to the chequered flag, Mini maximised his day with the bonus point for fastest lap.
Meanwhile, Paul Aron gave it his all to defend third place from Luke Browning to secure a double podium finish for PREMA Racing, despite the British Williams junior clawing up close to the Mercedes junior in the latter stages.
A Safety Car restart on Lap 6 put Mini under pressure, after Ido Cohen found the barriers at Turn 12 whilst battling with Rodin Carlin teammate Oliver Gray. Yet Mini showed no signs of nervous, flooring it early out of Rascasse to leave Beganovic behind.
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Hitech Pulse-Eight had been on course for three top six finishes, but Sebastian Montoya tagged Caio Collet’s rear tyre in the run up the hill. This left the Red Bull junior with a broken front wing and 10-second time penalty for causing a collision, whilst Collet retired.
This promoted Gabriel Bortoleto to fifth ahead of Franco Colapinto, Zak O’Sullivan and Taylor Barnard, who received a 10-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage at the opening corner. Sprint Race winner Josep Maria Marti and Gregoire Saucy completed the top 10.
Bortoleto retains his hold on the Drivers’ Championship by 17 points to Mini, as F3 heads to Barcelona next weekend from June 2-4.