Antonio Giovinazzi took his first victory of the European Formula 3 season after beating Felix Rosenqvist in a rain-soaked opening race of the weekend at Hockenheim.
The decisive move came on the first lap of a race punctuated by no fewer than three safety car periods in the torrential conditions, as Giovinazzi made his move around the outside of polesitter Rosenqvist at the Spitzkehre hairpin.
From there, the Carlin driver was able to keep Rosenqvist at arm’s lengths, surviving two attacks by the Swede after the first two caution periods – the first caused by Pietro Fittipaldi ending up in the gravel and the second brought about by a collision between Nicolas Beer and Tatiana Calderon.
The third safety car period occurred in the closing minutes of the race when Raoul Hyman’s car needed recovering from the gravel, effectively sealing Giovinazzi’s victory as the race did not subsequently resume.
Charles Leclerc completed the podium after passing a fast-starting Jake Dennis at the hairpin on the opening tour, but the Monegasque was never really in a position to threaten the leading duo.
Dennis came home fourth, having briefly held third after a sensational outside move at the second corner on the first lap, ahead of Maximilian Gunther, who slipped from third on the grid at the start, Lance Stroll, Markus Pommer and Mikkel Jensen.
Having suffered a 10-place grid drop for exiting the pits during a red light, Red Bull junior Callum Ilott fought his way from 19th to 13th, one place ahead of an impressive Alex Albon, who started at the very rear of the field.
Race one results:
|18||Sergio Sette Camara||18.998|
|26||Zhi Cong Li||1 Lap|