It wasn’t just the fact that Arvid Lindblad stamped his name into the FIA Formula 3 history books as the Championship’s youngest ever winner. It was the manner in which the Briton achieved the feat that made his Sakhir Sprint Race win all the more impressive.

Starting from fourth on the grid, the PREMA Racing driver was assured at the wheel, judging the external factors with precision, and managing everything at his disposal perfectly. Balancing patience with aggression, his win was emphatic and warrants a closer look.


Lights out and into Turn 1, Lindblad actually loses a spot to MP Motorsport’s Tim Tramnitz after catching the inside kerb a bit too heavily. Bouncing his PREMA across the road, it delays his acceleration and momentum on corner exit just enough for the German driver to sneak through.

It’s on this first lap that Lindblad shows some early aggression that you might expect from a rookie in F3. A dive to the inside of Tramnitz at Turn 8 gets the MP driver to compromise his exit, a car width wider of the ideal racing line in order to make space for the PREMA to his right.

Lindblad follows that up by sneaking his PREMA to the inside once again under braking, this time at the notoriously tricky Turn 10. It leaves Tramnitz wide on corner exit, but it isn’t enough to take fourth position back though it does keep the MP within striking range.

Onto the second lap and this time it’s Leonardo Fornaroli who’s on the attack, looking to slipstream his way by the PREMA driver. Lindblad actually turns defence into attack here, covering off the inside approaching the braking zone and launching his own pass on Tramnitz at the first corner.

He completes the overtake on his fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver, and it turns out to be a pivotal move for the race ahead of him.


Lindblad held back in the intial phase of the Sprint a decision that paid dividends by the end
Lindblad held back in the intial phase of the Sprint, a decision that paid dividends by the end

With the early battling out of the way, Lindblad now settles into his rhythm that sets up his race win in this early phase of the race. The battle with Tramnitz and Fornaroli has already allowed the race-leading ART Grand Prix car of Nikola Tsolov and teammate Laurens van Hoepen to escape up the road. Jenzer Motorsport’s Max Esterson is also a comfortable 1.7s clear and outside of DRS range, running in third.

This is vital for Lindblad as by not being immediately behind the car ahead, he is asking less of his Hard Pirelli tyres. Everyone around him is beginning to use up the best of the rubber available, demonstrated in the intense fight for the lead in which Tsolov and van Hoepen exchange P1 several times over, working their Pirellis much harder. Their fight also allows Esterson to catch the pair, right onto the tail and in DRS range of the Dutchman as the trio run 1-2-3.

Lindblad has Fornaroli for company with the Trident driver within DRS range, but by being that close, the Italian is using up the tyres early, running so close in the dirty air.

By the halfway stage, the ARTs have been fighting tooth and nail for several laps and the chasing pack has been able to keep up, gaining the benefit of DRS on Laps 6 and 7 without sliding the tyres in the corners trying to stay close.

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Crucially though, Lindblad is able to keep up with Esterson whilst maintaining a slightly larger gap to the Jenzer driver ahead of him. By the end of Lap 7, he sits seven tenths behind the American – two tenths further back than van Hoepen is to Tsolov and Fornaroli is to him.

It is in the slow sections of track that Lindblad is making the necessary gains to close up on the American driver, Turn 10 in particular.


The 5.4s gap Lindblad won by was the largest winning margin in the Sprint since Monte Carlo 2023
The 5.4s gap Lindblad won by was the largest winning margin in the Sprint since Monte Carlo 2023

Lap 9 of 19 and Lindblad begins his drive to the front. Under braking for Turn 1, he makes a committed dive to the inside of Esterson. He affords the Jenzer driver enough racing room but no more than that, pinching his rival to the shallower inside line for Turn 2 to complete the pass for third.

That overtake again gives Lindblad relatively clean air to run in as the ARTs ahead continue to shadow one another. The Red Bull Junior Team driver begins to edge into DRS range and goes wheel-to-wheel with the Dutch driver ahead on Lap 12, though can’t find a way through yet.

The tyre advantage now begins to tell with Lindblad able to take tighter lines through the corners and rotate his PREMA more easily than van Hoepen can in his ART. Under braking for Turn 11 and Lindblad forces his rival into an error, as he runs deep under braking, allowing the Briton through for second.

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Going into Lap 15 and the race leader is struggling. DRS gets Lindblad alongside Tsolov and he completes the pass into Turn 1. The job isn’t done though as the Bulgarian driver fights back into Turn 4 to retake the lead.

One lap later Lindblad makes no mistake and completes the move for P1. Later on the brakes and using superior traction out of Turn 1, he gives Tsolov no look at repeating his re-pass from a lap earlier. Now Lindblad begins to stretch the opposition.


Lindblad sits fifth in the Drivers Championship after scoring points in both Sakhir races
Lindblad sits fifth in the Drivers' Championship after scoring points in both Sakhir races

In the final three laps, Lindblad pulls over five seconds on his closest challenger as the fight for the remaining podium places rolls on into the final lap.

As if to demonstrate how much pace he had left in reserve, Lindblad puts in two 1:52.1s in the final three laps, a time only teammate Dino Beganovic can match running in clean air at the back following the Swede’s pitstop for repairs at the end of Lap 1.

Lindblad’s 5.4s winning margin over the field was the largest Sprint Race gap from first to second since Josep María Martí’s Sprint victory in Monte Carlo last season.

It was an impressive debut race for the young Briton, who added Feature Race points to his tally on Saturday to head into Round 2 sitting fifth in the Drivers’ Championship on 14 points.