Prema’s Jehan Daruvala controlled the FIA Formula 3 (F3) Championship’s sprint race in Barcleona to score his first win of the 2019 season.
It was a clean start at the front in the sprint F3 race at Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, with front-row starter and Prema’s Jehan Daruvala got into the lead from reverse grid pole-sitter and Trident’s Niko Kari as ART Grand Prix’s Max Fewtrell moved to third.
There was a contact behind though, involving HWA Racelab’s Jake Hughes, Jenzer Motorsport’s Artem Petrov, Sauber Junior Team by Charouz’s Raoul Hyman and Hitech GP’s Yi Yifei with a safety car deployed to clear the debris.
The re-start worked in the favour of Daruvala as the Indian pulled out a good gap to Kari and Fewtrell, who was under pressure from Prema’s Marcus Armstrong with Hitech GP’s Juri Vips in fifth ahead of ART’s Christian Lundgaard and Prema’s Robert Shwartzman.
The race was neutralised soon when Campos Racing’s Alex Peroni and MP Motorsport’s Simo Laaksonen collided on the exit of Turn 1. The Australian was handed a 10 second stop-go penalty for causing the collision.
Meanwhile, there was another incident at the same time when Sauber Junior Team by Charouz’s Fabio Scherer spun while battling with Jenzer’s Andreas Estner. It was another solid re-start from Daruvala as he kept Kari at bay.
As he built a lead in front, Shwartzman took on Lundgaard to take sixth as Armstrong cleared Fewtrell to take third. It wasn’t looking good for the ART drivers as both Lundgaard and Fewtrell continued to drop places.
Both Vips and Shwartzman cleared them to be fourth and fifth respectively as Lundgaard managed to take on Fewtrell as well to be sixth. While Daruvala led Kari, Armstrong started to come under pressure from Vips and Shwartzman.
It wasn’t long for the Ferrari junior to lose out to the Red Bull junior as Vips took third as he then set out in the chase of Kari. It only took couple of laps for the Estonian to catch Kari and pass him to take second with the Finn defending then from Prema duo.
After few laps of trying, Shwartzman managed to take Armstrong for fourth as he then started to chase Kari. At the front though, Daruvala had enough buffer to score the win in the sprint F3 race in Barcelona – his first in the new championship.
The Indian controlled all-through as Vips fought his way to second, while Kari hung on to complete the podium with Shwartzman having to content with fourth and Armstrong fifth. Behind, it were the three ART drivers to complete the points position.
Lundgaard led the way in sixth with David Beckmann clearing Fewtrell for seventh. The Top 10, meanwhile, was then rounded out by Honda junior and Jenzer’s Yuki Tsunoda and Carlin’s Felipe Drugovich as the Japanese led a train of cars.
It also had Sauber Junior Team by Charouz’s Lirim Zendeli, Campos’ Sebastian Fernandez, HWA Racelab’s Bent Viscaal and Carlin’s Logan Sargeant as his teammate Teppei Natori rounded out the Top 15 drivers.
Position 16-24: Pedro Piquet, Liam Lawson, Keyvan Anders, Richard Verschoorn, Devlin Defrancesco, Leonardo Pulcini, Estner, Alessio Deledda and Peroni. DNF: Laaksonen, Scherer, Hughes, Petrov, Hyman, Yifei.