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Race report
FIA F3 Melbourne

F3 Australia: Bortoleto wins back-to-back feature races

Gabriel Bortoleto extended his Formula 3 championship lead after withstanding race-long pressure from Gregoire Saucy to win the feature race in Melbourne.

Gabriel Bortoleto, Trident

From pole, Trident driver Bortoleto didn’t put a wheel wrong over the course of the 23-lap race, holding off ART man Saucy to make it back-to-back feature race victories by 0.596 seconds.

Alpine junior Gabriele Mini led home a long train of battling cars to take the final podium spot for Hitech.

Bortoleto maintained the lead from Saucy and Mini at the start on a relatively calm opening lap of the race, but it wasn’t long before the safety car made its first appearance of the morning owing to two separate incidents.

The first involved Franco Colapinto, who won Saturday’s sprint race on the road only to be disqualified post-race, as the MP Motorsport driver picked up a puncture from contact with Luke Browning exiting Turn 3 and subsequently crashed at Turn 5.

Later round the lap, Mari Boya was involved in a scary incident at the fast Turn 9-10 complex as he launched off the rear wheel of Nikola Tsolov into the gravel and hit the barriers, although Boya was reportedly able to exit his MP car unaided.

When action resumed, the order at the head of the field remained unchanged until a crash for Ido Cohen exiting Turn 3, the result of contact with Rafael Villagomez, produced the second and final caution of the race just after half-distance.

Bortoleto again led comfortably when the race went back to green, as he and Saucy - who set the fastest lap - began to break away from third-placed Mini, who in turn was having to defend from Bortoleto’s Trident team-mate Leonardo Fornaroli.

Saucy continued to apply the pressure on Bortoleto but never got close enough to attempt an overtake, falling short of the win by half a second.

Mini was three seconds behind in third, leading home Fornaroli, sprint race winner Zak O’Sullivan (Prema) and Browning (Hitech), who faces a post-race investigation for his early contact with Colapinto.

Mercedes junior Paul Aron grabbed seventh, while the battle for eighth was decided in favour of Aron’s Prema team-mate Dino Beganovic after last-lap contact with Caio Collet.

From 30th and last on the grid, Pepe Marti (Campos) tore through the field to collect two points for ninth, while the final spot in the top 10 went to Taylor Barnard (Jenzer).

Trident’s Oliver Goethe, second in the points heading to Melbourne, finished down in 22nd after picking up a front-right puncture and pitting for a replacement wheel.

Sprint race polesitter Sebastian Montoya (Hitech) was an early retirement after opening-lap contact with Christian Mansell.

With Goethe failing to score all weekend, Bortoleto now leads the championship by 20 points from Saucy, with Beganovic third, 26 off the leader.

F3 Australia - feature race results (23 laps):

Cla Driver Team Laps Time
1 Gabriel Bortoleto
Italy Trident 23 -
2 Switzerland Gregoire Saucy
France ART Grand Prix 23 0.5
3 Gabriele Minì
Hitech Pulse-Eight 23 3.0
4 Leonardo Fornaroli
Italy Trident 23 3.2
5 United Kingdom Zak O'Sullivan
Italy Prema Powerteam 23 3.5
6 Luke Browning
Hitech Pulse-Eight 23 4.1
7 Paul Aron
Italy Prema Powerteam 23 4.3
8 Dino Beganovic
Italy Prema Powerteam 23 8.5
9 Pepe Martí
Spain Campos Racing 23 8.7
10 Taylor Barnard
Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 23 13.5
11 Christian Mansell
Spain Campos Racing 23 14.3
12 United Kingdom Jonny Edgar
Netherlands MP Motorsport 23 14.9
13 Tommy Smith
Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 23 15.5
14 Oliver Gray
Rodin Carlin 23 18.7
15 Hugh Barter
Spain Campos Racing 23 19.0
16 Brazil Caio Collet
Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 23 19.4
17 Hunter Yeany
Rodin Carlin 23 19.6
18 Germany Sophia Flörsch
PHM Racing by Charouz 23 23.6
19 Mexico Rafael Villagomez
Netherlands Van Amersfoort Racing 23 28.6
20 Alex Garcia
Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 23 30.0
21 Nikola Tsolov
France ART Grand Prix 23 30.0
22 Oliver Goethe
Italy Trident 23 56.0
23 Nikita Bedrin
Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 22 1 lap
Israel Ido Cohen
Rodin Carlin 11 12 laps
Roberto Faria
PHM Racing by Charouz 8 15 laps
Piotr Wiśnicki
PHM Racing by Charouz 6 17 laps
United States Kaylen Frederick
France ART Grand Prix 4 19 laps
Argentina Franco Colapinto
Netherlands MP Motorsport 1 22 laps
Mari Boya
Netherlands MP Motorsport 1 22 laps
Colombia Sebastian Montoya
Hitech Pulse-Eight 0 23 laps

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