Oliver Goethe claimed his first Formula 3 race victory, leading home Trident teammate and pole sitter Leonardo Fornaroli in P2. The pair exchanged the lead mid-way through the race, before a late Safety Car and rain made things tough for all the drivers. Josep María Martí claimed another podium, finishing third for Campos Racing.
AS IT HAPPENED
Fornaroli covered off his teammate to retain the lead into Turn 1 while Gabriel Bortoleto made immediate progress up to fourth position, going around the outside of Christian Mansell into Turn 3. Paul Aron cleared both of them though into Brooklands to move himself into P4. Further ahead, Martí cleared Goethe to take second position, albeit briefly. The Trident driver was able to retake the place with a great pass around the outside of Stowe later on in the lap.
Luke Browning made contact with Hugh Barter out of the final corner, leaving the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver with a broken suspension. It resulted in his retirement from the race and brought out the Safety Car. Jonny Edgar was also out of his home event on Lap 1 after contact with Caio Collet on the opening lap. The Brazilian was into the pits at the end of the lap for repairs, dropping down to the back of the pack.
Racing got back underway on Lap 7 with Fornaroli relaunching into a comfortable lead over Goethe but with DRS soon re-enabled, the top six were separated by under three seconds at the halfway mark.
Gabriele Minì was doing his best to join the lead fight, passing Sprint Race winner Franco Colapinto with DRS on the Hangar Straight on Lap 11.
Aron was the closest to the driver in front in the lead pack and with DRS on Lap 15 and tried to pass Martí around the outside at Stowe. The PREMA Racing man didn’t have room to complete the pass and had to fall back in line behind the Spaniard. Up in front, Goethe was able to pass his teammate to take the lead of the race.
On Lap 17, rain began to fall and Robert Faria went off into the barriers at Woodcote. He was out of the car and OK, but the Safety Car was called upon once more.
As the rain intensified, Tommy Smith was the only taker for wet tyres with three laps remaining, rejoining in 28th position. The Safety Car was called in on Lap 20 with Goethe leading the way on a greasy track surface.
Van Amersfoort Racing’s Collet was able to make great progress despite running the slick hard tyres, taking multiple positions on the penultimate lap to rise up to the points positions. Teammate Smith was able to take full advantage of conditions on the wets, going from 28th to 12th in the space of a lap and a half.
Goethe was able to cling on to victory ahead of teammate Fornaroli, with Martí third for Campos. Aron ended up fourth ahead of Mansell and Botoleto. Minì followed his title rival home in seventh with Sprint winner Colapinto eighth. Collet was able to climb up to ninth in the end ahead of Grégoire Saucy, who denied Smith his maiden F3 points by just over a tenth in a drag race to the line.
KEY QUOTE – Oliver Goethe, Trident
“I’m delighted to be honest. It was a really tricky race, it started raining at the end and we stayed on slicks. It was a scary one but so happy with the win here.”
THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
Gabriel Bortoleto keeps the lead in the Drivers’ Championship, now on 128 points. Josep María Martí’s podium finish closes the gap to the Trident driver, with the Spaniard now on 92 points. Gabriele Minì moves up to third position in the Championship, with 77 points, tied with Paul Aron in fourth. Dino Beganovic couldn’t fight back to points and is fifth in the standings with 75 points.
In the Teams’ Standings, Trident climb up to the top spot with 238 points, overtaking PREMA Racing, now on 225. Hitech Pulse-Eight retain third, on 143 points.
Formula 3 has a one-week break before heading to Budapest for Round 8 of the 2023 season, from 21-23 July.