The teams and their drivers are finalising their preparations ahead of their return to the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, which plays host to Round 3 of this intriguing 2024 season.

This will be Formula 3’s second race weekend in Imola, so we thought it would be fascinating to look back on our last visit in 2022 where Trident and Roman Stanek took a dramatic victory.


The day started with ART Grand Prix driver Victor Martins leading the way in a wet Free Practice, a perfect preparation for the drivers with Qualifying taking place in similar conditions.

READ MORE: Rodin Motorsport confident true potential will be on show from Imola

Multiple laps on the wet weather tyres kicked off the session and after 15 minutes of running, PREMA Racing’s Arthur Leclerc set the pace with a time of 1:43.904, with Stanek just 0.040s down in second.

Isack Hadjar who had been quickest at one point was sitting in third ahead of Zak O’Sullivan and Kush Maini before the drivers ducked into the pitlane for a change of tyres.

As they began their final few laps of the session the Red Flags were waved with five minutes to following a collision between Leclerc and Enzo Trulli that left the former stuck in the gravel trap at the penultimate corner.

Zane Maloney took pole position for Trident ahead of Stanek
Zane Maloney took pole position for Trident ahead of Stanek

There was a flurry of activity with the drivers looking to get their final laps in after the resumption with the fastest time changing hands on multiple occasions. But it was Zane Maloney who took pole position ahead of Trident teammate Stanek.

Jak Crawford left it late to go up to third for PREMA ahead of Grégoire Saucy, with Oliver Bearman rounding out the top five. Sakhir pole-sitter Franco Colapinto would start from P1 in the Sprint Race after qualifying 12th for Van Amersfoort Racing.


The drivers were greeted by sunnier and warmer temperatures for the Sprint Race with Colapinto making a great start from pole position although he was overtaken by the fast-starting MP Motorsport of Caio Collet on Lap 4.

Behind them, Hadjar was showing a good turn of pace and quickly overtook Maini for third place, going round the outside of the second MP car at Turn 5.

READ MORE: Dino Beganovic on start to 2024, title hopes and Imola memories

Safety Car intervention was required for the first time on Lap 7 when O’Sullivan spun into the gravel trap first and then barrier at the penultimate corner. Moments later, Josep María Martí followed him into the same gravel trap leaving the two drivers side by side.

Maini, now in fourth place, was then given a drive-through penalty for being out of position at the race start, dropping him down the order.

The racing resumed on Lap 12 only for Reece Ushijima and Federico Malvestiti to collide at the first chicane, bringing the Safety Car out once again.

Colapinto scored both his and VARs first victory in Formula 3 in Imola
Colapinto scored both his and VAR's first victory in Formula 3 in Imola

However, there was plenty of action on the final lap as Colapinto made his way past Collet for the lead on the run down to Turn 1. Moments later, the Brazilian and Hadjar collided at Turn 4, sending him out of the race while the Frenchman tumbled down the order.

Colapinto took his and VAR’s maiden victory in Formula 3 while Martins and Crawford benefitted from the collision to take their places on the podium with Stanek in fourth ahead of Hadjar in fifth.


The sun was out but with rain having hit the track before the beginning of the day’s play, the drivers were split on the grid between slicks or wet tyres.

Collet was one of those on the wets and he took full advantage having started in ninth, climbing up the order and eventually overtaking Maloney to take the lead on the opening lap.

READ MORE: ‘Confident’ Fornaroli says improved mentality has been key to 2024 form

Colapinto was the next driver to go past Maloney but just as he did, the Safety Car was called upon. Brad Benevides and Ushijima made contact on Lap 2, while Francesco Pizzi spun into the gravel.

Collet and Colapinto’s advantage in front were wiped out and both used the opportunity to switch to slicks, giving Maloney the lead once again at the restart.

However, the wets were still the tyres to be on with Martí going through the field to take P1 while his Campos Racing teammate Hunter Yeany moved up to third.

But on Lap 7, the slicks were beginning to come into play as Maloney re-overtook Martí for the lead. The Safety Car was called upon seconds later with Benevides in the barrier at Turn 5 after clipping the rear of Rafael Villagómez’s VAR.

Stanek and Trident won the Imola Feature Race in dramatic fashion
Stanek and Trident won the Imola Feature Race in dramatic fashion

But as Maloney looked to get going at the restart he spun into the grass at the penultimate corner, dropping him to the back of the field. Stanek took the lead, but he was quickly overtaken by Bearman on the entry into the first chicane.

Stanek bided his time before re-passing the PREMA driver to regain the lead on the penultimate lap. The Briton’s struggles continued as on the final tour, teammate Crawford took P2 away from him.

READ MORE: Bedrin says PHM AIX are making good progress after ‘rollercoaster’ start to the season

Battling to keep his spot on the podium, Bearman clashed with Saucy at Turn 17, sending the Frenchman spinning.

This gave Hadjar the chance to take P3, with Bearman following him across the line – although he was later given a 20-second time penalty for causing the collision with Saucy, dropping him to 17th.

That penalty promoted Leclerc up to fourth ahead of Maini and O’Sullivan, with Kaylen Frederik in seventh. David Vidales took eighth in his Campos Racing car in front of Martins while William Alatalo took the final spot in the points for Jenzer Motorsport.

Let us see who will leave Imola on top this year as we prepare for Round 3 on May 17–19.