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.
|1||Jake Dennis||Prema Powerteam||35m54.103|
|3||Charles Leclerc||Van Amersfoort Racing||1.196|
|4||Maximilian Gunther||Mucke Motorsport||7.079|
|6||Alessio Lorandi||Van Amersfoort Racing||9.833|
|7||Mikkel Jensen||Mucke Motorsport||14.113|
|9||Lance Stroll||Prema Powerteam||15.122|
|10||Brandon Maisano||Prema Powerteam||16.301|
|12||Arjun Maini||Van Amersfoort Racing||18.654|
|13||Felix Rosenqvist||Prema Powerteam||19.502|
|14||Sergio Sette Camara||Motopark||22.087|
|20||Kang Ling||Mucke Motorsport||32.069|
|25||Matthew Solomon||Double R Racing||42.321|
|Ret||Nicolas Pohler||Double R Racing|
|Ret||Michele Beretta||Mucke Motorsport|
|Ret||Santino Ferrucci||Mucke Motorsport|