A brave move in the first corner paved way for Antonio Giovinazzi's win in the Masters of Formula 3 qualifying race at Zandvoort, which means the Italian will start tomorrow's main event from pole.
The Carlin driver took the inside of the Tarzan corner at the start, settling into the lead in front of Markus Pommer, who had lined up in third.
Sergio Sette Camara, meanwhile, didn’t experience a smooth getaway from pole position and dropped behind the pair.
Giovinazzi was the fastest driver on track, lapping the 4.3-kilometre Dutch circuit almost a second quicker than his rivals in the early stages.
As the Italian pulled away, Sette Camara got close to Motopark teammate Pommer, but did not manage to make a move.
Giovinazzi was under no pressure as he strolled to the chequered flag, with a gap of 8.8 seconds established in just 12 laps.
“It’s never easy to win a race,” he said. “I focussed on the start and, just like for Markus, it was a good one. My car felt great and the pace was there. But we are only halfway as tomorrow is the final race and hopefully we can get the same result.”
Pommer brought his car home in second, with Sette Camara following him within one second.
“The first jump was not so bad, but I got a lot of wheelspin,” said Sette Camara. “We have to look at the data to see what mistake I made. The start is important as it is difficult to overtake at this track. Nevertheless, it’s my first year in Formula 3 and to finish on the podium is not a bad result.”
Behind the trio, George Russell and Sam MacLeod battled for fourth, with Nabil Jeffri able to join the two in the second half of the race. Still, Russell ended up prevailing after all.
Van Amersfoort Racing drivers Alessio Lorandi and Arjun Maini dropped to seventh and eighth early on and finished as they ran.
The result of the qualifying race will function as the starting order for Sunday’s 25th edition of the Masters of Formula 3 race.