Felix Rosenqvist took a lights-to-flag victory in the first European Formula 3 race of the weekend at Monza, staying just out of reach of the chasing pack in a crash-filled encounter.
The first incident came right at the start, as Markus Pommer stalled on the grid and got collected by F3 debutant Arthur Janosz, bringing out the Safety Car.
When proceedings got back underway after two laps of caution, poleman Rosenqvist led fellow front row starter Santino Ferrucci and a fast-starting Lance Stroll, with Mikkel Jensen, Raoul Hyman and Jake Dennis all in tow.
Rosenqvist began to edge clear in the following laps, with Ferrucci following suit before being reeled in by Mucke Motorsport teammate Jensen, who passed Stroll for third.
As the Ferrari-backed Canadian slipped behind Dennis, who in turn had passed Hyman, Jensen was able to negotiate Ferrucci before closing down Rosenqvist’s one second advantage.
In the final 10 minutes, Jensen had managed to get right on the Swede’s tail, but misjudged an attempt to pass at the Roggia chicane, lightly tapping Rosenqvist’s rear and sustaining some minor nosecone damage.
This took the wind out of Jensen’s sails, the Dane slipping back into the clutches of Dennis in the closing laps – Ferrucci having by this stage removed himself from contention after making contact with the Brit as he attempted to pass at the first chicane.
While Rosenqvist went on to secure his third win of the season by 1.1s, Jensen secured his first podium of the year, holding off Dennis in the closing stages for second.
Fourth place went to points leader Antonio Giovinazzi, whose perfect run of podiums drew to a close, but the Italian remains under investigation for taking Stroll out at the first chicane in the battle for sixth at the start of the final lap.
Giovinazzi was able to find his way past Leclerc later in the lap as the Van Amersfoort driver botched an attempt to pass Hyman at the Roggia chicane, the South African hanging on to fourth before slipping to sixth behind Leclerc on the run to the finish.
Pietro Fittipaldi was next up in seventh ahead of George Russell, who fought with Giovinazzi and Leclerc early on before slipping back in the closing stages. Brandon Maisano and Arjun Maini completed the points scorers ahead of a recovering Stroll.
Although there was only one caution period, there were plenty of other incidents lower down the order throughout.
Dorian Boccolacci and Sam MacLeod were both eliminated early on after coming together at the Parabolica, while Sergio Sette Camara clouted Matt Solomon at the Roggia chicane shortly after.
It was also an eventful race for Red Bull junior Callum Ilott, who was hit by Maximilian Gunther at the Lesmos and was lucky to survive Mahaveer Raghunathan driving into his rear at the Ascari chicane.
Fabian Schiller and Nabil Jeffri came to blows at the same corner, while Alessio Lorandi also suffered two spins, one the result of being edged on to the grass by Schiller approaching the first chicane, on his way to 18th.
Alex Albon, who had qualified third, meanwhile failed to take up his grid spot and finished a lapped 21st.
|1||Felix Rosenqvist||Prema Powerteam||36m09.669|
|2||Mikkel Jensen||Mucke Motorsport||1.131|
|3||Jake Dennis||Prema Powerteam||1.529|
|5||Charles Leclerc||Van Amersfoort Racing||5.316|
|9||Brandon Maisano||Prema Powerteam||7.492|
|10||Arjun Maini||Van Amersfoort Racing||13.755|
|11||Lance Stroll||Prema Powerteam||15.540|
|15||Michele Beretta||Mucke Motorsport||25.446|
|18||Alessio Lorandi||Van Amersfoort Racing||42.686|
|19||Nicolas Pohler||Double R Racing||46.855|
|21||Alexander Albon||Signature||1 lap|
|Ret||Santino Ferrucci||Mucke Motorsport|
|Ret||Maximilian Gunther||Mucke Motorsport|
|Ret||Matthew Solomon||Double R Racing|
|Ret||Sergio Sette Camara||Motopark|
|Ret||Kang Ling||Mucke Motorsport|