Dennis scores maiden F3 victory at Pau

Jake Dennis won the opening FIA Formula 3 Championship race of the weekend on the fearsome streets of Pau in France, his first victory in the series.

For race seven on the calendar, poleman Dennis made a perfect start. But the big mover was Antonio Giovinazzi, who made a great launch from fourth to grab third off the startline and then force front row starter Charles Leclerc to concede second place at Turn 1.

Racing Steps Foundation racer Dennis (Prema Powerteam) led the 29-lap encounter convincingly from the start, with Giovinazzi – in his Carlin-run machine – and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Leclerc tracking his every move.

Giovinazzi started to make his intentions known by weaving about in Dennis’s mirrors on lap four, but as the race developed it was clear that Leclerc wanted his runner-up spot back.

Maximilian Gunther (Mucke) dropped away immediately in fourth, with Alex Albon and Callum Ilott rounding out the top six.

The safety car was required on lap 12, as Dorian Boccolacci’s car needed removing from a dangerous spot.

As soon as the race restarted, however, Michele Beretta crashed at Pont Oscar and brought out another full-course caution.

Dennis controlled both restarts well, as Albon challenged Gunther unsuccessfully for fourth. Ilott lost five spots at the second restart, and tumbled from sixth to 11th, with Alessio Lorandi moving into sixth.

Those that profited enjoyed the best battle of the race, as George Russell attacked Mikkel Jensen, who fended him off so he had to defend from Lance Stroll.

Up front, Dennis kept the close following Giovinazzi and Leclerc at bay until the finish, winning by 0.6s.

The rest of the race passed off without incident, although tailender Fabian Schiller clashed with Sam MacLeod at the Lycee hairpin, but swift work from the marshals cleared Schiller’s stranded machine without requiring a safety car.

Pietro Fittipaldi didn't take the start, withdrawing from the weekend after breaking a bone in his left hand.

Race results:

Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
Jake Dennis Prema Powerteam 35m54.103
Antonio Giovinazzi Carlin 0.680
Charles Leclerc Van Amersfoort Racing 1.196
Maximilian Gunther Mucke Motorsport 7.079
Alexander Albon Signature 7.613
Alessio Lorandi Van Amersfoort Racing 9.833
Mikkel Jensen Mucke Motorsport 14.113
George Russell Carlin 14.695
Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam 15.122
10  Brandon Maisano Prema Powerteam 16.301
11  Callum Ilott Carlin 18.314
12  Arjun Maini Van Amersfoort Racing 18.654
13  Felix Rosenqvist Prema Powerteam 19.502
14  Sergio Sette Camara Motopark 22.087
15  Gustavo Menezes Carlin 23.334
16  Raoul Hyman West-Tec 25.821
17  Tatiana Calderon Carlin 26.092
18  Nabil Jeffri Motopark 29.970
19  Matt Rao Fortec 31.549
20  Kang Ling Mucke Motorsport 32.069
21  Martin Cao Fortec 34.272
22  Julio Moreno T-Sport 38.656
23  Markus Pommer Motopark 39.127
24  Ryan Tveter Carlin 39.912
25  Matthew Solomon Double R Racing 42.321
Ret Sam MacLeod Motopark  
Ret Gustav Malja Eurointernational  
Ret Nicolas Pohler Double R Racing  
Ret Michele Beretta Mucke Motorsport  
Ret Dorian Boccolacci Signature  
Ret Fabian Schiller West-Tec  
Ret Santino Ferrucci Mucke Motorsport  
DNS Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec  
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About this article
Series F3 Europe
Event Pau
Track Circuit de Pau
Drivers Jake Dennis
Article type Race report