Arthur Leclerc secured his second Formula 3 win of the season in race 1, as the Monegasque fended off challenges from Logan Sargeant in round 6 of the championship at Zandvoort.
Championship leader and PREMA Racing driver Dennis Hauger, who qualified first started twelfth on the grid, with Campos Racing’s Amaury Cordeel starting in reverse pole for race 1.
There was a change in leading car at the opening lap itself, as Leclerc went round the outside to take an early lead in an impressive display from the Monegasque driver. Charouz Racing’s Logan Sargeant also made it past Cordeel, going into P2.
ART Grand Prix’s Alexander Smolyar and Cordeel touched, causing the latter to spin into the gravel, bringing out the yellow flags, and warranting an investigation into the incident from the stewards.
The interval at the top started to decrease as Sargeant started to close the 0.4-second gap to Leclerc in P1. In more bad news for Smolyar, the Russian was shown the black and orange flag for a broken front wing, in addition to being penalized with a 10 second stop and go penalty for causing a collision, wrapping up both during the same pit entry.
Leclerc had a tense moment in Lap 7, locking up on the main straight while defending from Sargeant, narrowly retaining his track position for the time being in what proved to be a difficult session for the PREMA driver.
More investigations were underway after ART’s Juan Manuel Correa and HWA RACELAB’s Oliver Rasmussen touch in lap 8, in what was starting to be a busy day for the stewards
Lap 9 saw a massive DRS train separating the top six by three seconds, which was led by Leclerc, making overtaking even more difficult at Zandvoort. Race 1 went from bad to worse for Trident’s David Schumacher, who went wide and lost valuable track positions.
Sargeant continued to chase race leader Leclerc, closing the gap to just 0.3 seconds by lap 13. Meanwhile, teammate Dennis Hauger attempted to overtake MP Motorsport’s Victor Martins but ran into the gravel dropping down to P9 behind Trident’s Clement Novalak.
The safety car was brought on after an incident involving Jonathan Hoggard hitting the wall at Turn 1, effectively retiring from the race. Hunter Yeany also got trapped in the gravel after a puncture due to contact with Hoggard, with both drivers safely out.
The safety car came in at the end of Lap 20, and the session was green-flagged, once again resuming racing with Leclerc holding onto his lead at the restart as Hauger finally moved up to P8, ahead of Martins and Novalak, after going side by side with the former.
Olli Caldwell finally went into the top 10, overtaking Novalak in what proved to be a good race for PREMA Racing overall, as Leclerc secured his second win of the season and Hauger gained valuable points for the championship.
The top 10 classification after Race 1 is as follows:
|1||Arthur Leclerc||PREMA Racing||39:02.034|
|2||Logan Sargeant||Charouz Racing||+0.945|
|3||Ayumu Iwasa||HITECH Grand Prix||+1.555|
|4||Jak Crawford||HITECH Grand Prix||+2.479|
|5||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||+2.789|
|7||Dennis Hauger||PREMA Racing||+3.807|
|8||Victor Martins||MP Motorsport||+4.324|
|9||Frederik Vesti||ART Grand Prix||+7.094|
|10||Olli Caldwell||PREMA Racing||+7.370|