Arvid Lindblad and PREMA Racing took the first Sprint Race victory of the new season, with the 16-year-old winning from fourth on the grid.

The Briton managed his tyres well and made his overtakes count to beat ART Grand Prix’s Laurens van Hoepen to the top spot, while Leonardo Fornaroli put Trident on the podium in third.


Van Hoepen covered off teammate Nikola Tsolov on the run to the first corner, but the Bulgarian was able to sweep around the outside to take the lead. Further back, pole winner from Thursday Dino Beganovic suffered damage in the opening exchanges after contact with Trident’s Santiago Ramos at Turn 1.

The Mexican fell to the rear of the field while the PREMA Racing driver was in for repairs at the end of the first lap. Beganovic was later handed a 10-second time penalty for the incident.

After losing his lead from reverse grid pole, van Hoepen was able to stick with his ART teammate and with DRS, the Dutchman swept back through on Lap 4 at the first corner to retake the top spot. The battle continued up the hill and the Bulgarian squeezed his way back through to re-pass for the lead. Their battling allowed Max Esterson to close back up on the pair of them in third.

ART teammate Christian Mansell had been battling hard with Sami Meguetounif on Lap 5, and after initially losing a spot to the Trident driver, the Australian fought his way through into Turn 1 for seventh.

That allowed Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Luke Browning the momentum up the hill into Turn 4 to pull off a pass around the outside of the pair of them to take P7 himself. Unfortunately for the Briton, the move was completed off the road, and he earned a 10-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

ART Grand Prix teammates Tsolov and van Hoepen battled for the lead early on
ART Grand Prix teammates Tsolov and van Hoepen battled for the lead early on

Up ahead, the lead battle became a five-car fight as Lindblad and Fornaroli caught up to Esterson. The former was able to pass the Jenzer Motorsport driver on Lap 9 for third, and the American’s lost momentum out of the first corner allowed the Trident driver through on corner exit.

As the race reached halfway, van Hoepen retook the lead with a pass into T1 on Tsolov. Once more though, the Bulgarian fought back through and re-passed his teammate into Turn 8 as they battled side-by-side.

Onto Lap 13 and after being tracked closely over several laps by Lindblad, van Hoepen got a little wide at Turn 11, opening the door for the PREMA driver to take second position.

Lindblad wasn’t done yet and he claimed the lead of the race on Lap 15 with a DRS pass into the first corner. But Tsolov fought back through immediately, re-taking first on the run up to Turn 4 again.

One lap on and this time the PREMA driver made the move stick into the first turn, leaving Tsolov with little hope of fighting back through on corner exit.

With a strong lap, Lindblad broke out of DRS range to the Bulgarian driver leaving him to fight those behind. Van Hoepen took full advantage and passed for second with three laps remaining.

Fornaroli was next to take a spot from the ART driver, clearing Tsolov for third position on Lap 18 into Turn 1 under braking.

Lindblad the youngest driver on the 2024 grid became the first winner of the season
Lindblad, the youngest driver on the 2024 grid, became the first winner of the season

Once Lindblad took the lead and escaped, there was no catching him and he claimed the first race win of the 2024 F3 season for PREMA as the youngest driver on the 2024 grid. Van Hoepen secured a podium for ART on his debut also while Fornaroli rounded out the podium for Trident in third.

Tsolov wound up fourth to put two ARTs in the top five while Tim Tramnitz secured P5 for MP Motorsport. Gabriele Minì made a strong drive through to the points-paying positions and battled with Esterson for sixth on the final lap. The American driver held on by just 0.004s in a drag race out of the final corner.

Mari Boya, Oliver Goethe and Sami Meguetounif rounded out the points in eighth, ninth and 10th respectively.

KEY QUOTE – Arvid Lindblad, PREMA Racing

“Just won my debut in the Sprint Race today, overall really happy with the race. Super grateful to the team, they did a phenomenal job. A few mistakes from my side, so stuff to definitely work on, but we’ll look at the data, analyse everything to try and do even better tomorrow in the Feature Race.”


With his race win, Arvid Lindblad takes the early lead in the Drivers’ Championship on 10 points however Laurens van Hoepen is in P2, equal with the race winner courtesy of securing the fastest lap point. Leonardo Fornaroli third going into Saturday on eight points ahead of Nikola Tsolov who is fourth on seven points and Tim Tramnitz fifth with six points.

In the Teams’ Standings, ART Grand Prix have the early advantage, with their double scoring result earning them 17 points. PREMA Racing also had two of their three drivers score and go into the Feature Race with 14 points in P2. Trident are third with Fornaroli and Meguetounif combining for nine points.


The Formula 3 Feature Race is set to get underway at 12:00 local time around the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday, with PREMA Racing’s Dino Beganovic going from pole.