France F3: Smolyar takes dramatic last-lap win from Martins

ART Grand Prix’s Alexander Smolyar fought through the field to take his second FIA Formula 3 win of the year after a last-lap tussle for the lead with Victor Martins.

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In a sprint race which saw five different leaders, the action went down to the last sector, with Smolyar, who started sixth, battling the MP Motorsport driver, who finished in second, for the win.

Alpine Academy driver Martins had looked set to take his first victory in F3 at his home race after starting tenth and charging through the field, but was passed by Smolyar in a dramatic tussle on lap 20.

Jenzer Motorsport’s Calan Williams, who started on pole, took his first F3 points finish and his first podium finishing third, while Charouz Racing System’s Logan Sargeant finished fourth.

Trident’s Clement Novalak finished fifth, with newly-announced Sauber Academy driver Juan Manuel Correa (ART Grand Prix) finishing sixth.

Williams had a good start off the line, with Sargeant passing Trident’s David Schumacher to move up to second place by the first turn, while Hitech Grand Prix’s Iwasa moved up into P3.

The virtual safety car was briefly deployed on lap 2 after Johnathan Hoggard, racing in his first weekend for Jenzer Motorsport, went off after a collision and stopped at the side of the track.

By lap 7, Smolyar and Correa were embroiled in a battle for fourth place, while Sargeant took the lead from Williams in a tense three-car battle with Iwasa, who then took second into Le Beausset.

Iwasa took the lead from Sargeant into Signes on lap 10, while further behind the leading pair, Martins passed Correa into fifth using DRS.

Smolyar finally passed Williams into P3 on lap 13, before taking P2 from Sargeant on lap 17.

Iwasa was handed a five second penalty after all four of his wheels left the track while he attempted to pass Sargeant, demoting him from the podium, and leaving him to eventually finish in eighth.

The last few laps saw dramatic place-trading, with Martins, Smolyar, Williams and Sargeant battling for the top three spots.

Martins took the lead on lap 18, but was passed by Smolyar on the final lap.

ART Grand Prix’s Frederik Vesti, who finished 15th, took the bonus points for the fastest lap.

Prema Racing’s Arthur Leclerc, who started in last place, stormed through the pack to finish 12th, putting him on reverse grid pole for this afternoon’s second sprint race.

Hitech Grand Prix’s Jak Crawford will start alongside him on the front row, while Prema’s Olli Caldwell and Dennis Hauger will line up on the second row.

Iwasa will start fifth, with Trident’s Jack Doohan in sixth.

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Results

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 Russian Federation Alexander Smolyar France ART Grand Prix 20 -  
2 France Victor Martins Netherlands MP Motorsport 20 0.600 0.600
3 Australia Calan Williams Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 20 1.200 1.200
4 United States Logan Sargeant Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 20 1.700 1.700
5 United Kingdom Clement Novalak Italy Trident 20 2.300 2.300
6 United States Juan Manuel Correa France ART Grand Prix 20 2.600 2.600
7 Australia Jack Doohan Italy Trident 20 2.700 2.700
8 Ayumu Iwasa United Kingdom HitechGP 20 5.800 5.800
9 Norway Dennis Hauger Italy Prema Powerteam 20 6.200 6.200
10 United Kingdom Olli Caldwell Italy Prema Powerteam 20 6.400 6.400
11 Jak Crawford United Kingdom HitechGP 20 8.000 8.000
12 Arthur Leclerc Italy Prema Powerteam 20 9.000 9.000
13 Caio Collet Netherlands MP Motorsport 20 9.300 9.300
14 Italy Lorenzo Colombo Spain Campos Racing 20 9.700 9.700
15 Denmark Frederik Vesti France ART Grand Prix 20 12.700 12.700
16 Germany David Schumacher Italy Trident 20 12.900 12.900
17 Oliver Rasmussen Germany HWA AG 20 27.900 27.900
18 Pierre-Louis Chovet Spain Campos Racing 20 30.700 30.700
19 Reshad de Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 20 31.800 31.800
20 United States Kaylen Frederick United Kingdom Carlin 20 32.200 32.200
21 Brazil Enzo Fittipaldi Czech Republic Charouz Racing System 20 33.800 33.800
22 Ido Cohen United Kingdom Carlin 20 38.700 38.700
23 Italy Matteo Nannini Germany HWA AG 20 40.800 40.800
24 Filip Ugran Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 20 41.000 41.000
25 Rafael Villagómez Germany HWA AG 20 1'01.300 1'01.300
26 Czech Republic Roman Staněk United Kingdom HitechGP 20 1'15.700 1'15.700
27 Amaury Cordeel Spain Campos Racing 20 1'21.500 1'21.500
28 United Kingdom Jonny Edgar United Kingdom Carlin 20 1'42.800 1'42.800
29 Tijmen van Netherlands MP Motorsport 19 1 lap  
  United Kingdom Johnathan Hoggard Switzerland Jenzer Motorsport 18    
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