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Formula 3 in Bahrain

Bahrain Grand Prix: F3 Sprint Race Results

Who won the first race of the season?

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Arvid Lindblad wins the first sprint race of the Formula 3 season in Bahrain, followed by Laurens van Hoepen and Leonardo Fornaroli.

Top three F3 qualifier in the press conference in Bahrain
Pole position qualifier Dino Beganovic of Sweden and PREMA Racing (C), Second placed qualifier Luke Browning of Great Britain and Hitech Pulse-Eight (L) and Third placed qualifier Gabriele Mini of Italy and PREMA Racing (R) attend the press conference after qualifying ahead of Round 1 Sakhir of the Formula 3 Championship at Bahrain International Circuit on February 29, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Thirty drivers set off in the battle for the first points – including 17 rookies. The young drivers fought for victory in 19 laps.

Qualifying Recap

Dino Beganovic secured pole position for PREMA Racing for the opening feature race of the season, narrowly beating Luke Browning and teammate Gabriele Minì. The session saw multiple lead changes, with Max Esterson briefly holding the top spot before being surpassed by Leonardo Fornaroli. Ultimately, Christian Mansell claimed the fastest time for ART Grand Prix, but Beganovic clinched pole in the final moments.

A reminder: There is a reversed grid procedure in the sprint race, so Laurens van Hopen started from first place, followed by Nikola Tsolov.

Lights out in Bahrain

Initially, van Hoepen stayed ahead of Tsolov, but the Dutchman could not hold on to first place for long, and Tsolov took the lead at the end of the first lap. Max Esterson defended his third place, while further back in the grid, there was a first disappointment: Dino Beganovic, the polesitter for Saturday’s feature race, picked up a flat tyre after a collision with Santiago Ramos and had to pit immediately.

Tim Tramnitz, one of the rookies, started the race in 7th place and quickly worked his way up to 4th place but was overtaken by Arvid Lindblad and Leonardo Fornaroli on lap two.

Beganovic received a 10-second penalty for his collision with Ramos. Tsolov and van Hoepen continued to fight for first place at the front, which made it easier for Max Esterson in third place to get closer to the two ART drivers.

Racing continues

In the front midfield, there is a battle for seventh place between Christian Mansell and Sami Meguetounif. However, Luke Browning ultimately benefited, overtaking both drivers in turn four and securing seventh place for the time being.

Joseph Loake triggered a short yellow phase in the 1st sector after contact with Sztuka, but this was quickly lifted.

Luke Browning left the track when he overtook Mansell and thus gained an advantage. The stewards decided on a 10-second penalty.

Tsolov, Van Hoepen, Esterson, Lindblad, and Fornaroli have surged ahead of the pack, vying for the lead as they establish a clear top-five position. Lindblad and Fornaroli advanced at the forefront of the pack, overtaking Esterson and relegating the American driver to fifth position.

Van Hoepen makes a bold move on the inside of his teammate Tsolov at turn one but overshoots turn four, enabling Tsolov to reclaim the lead. Lindblad sought an opportunity to overtake Van Hoepen for second place, but the ART driver managed to fend him off, maintaining his current position. Van Hoepen went wide into turn 11, which allowed Lindblad to capitalise and finally move up into second place.

At the front of the pack, there were now six drivers within two and a half seconds of each other, as Tramnitz was able to close the gap to Esterson and sat directly behind the top five drivers.

Lindblad overtakes Tsolov at Turn 1, but the ART driver swiftly retaliates at Turn 4, reclaiming the lead.

Closing laps

The battle at the top became ever closer, and Tramnitz overtook Esterson for P5, while Lindblad managed to prevail against Tsolov in turn one for the lead.

At the back of the field, Tommy Smith and Matías Zagazeta collided at Turn 11, resulting in Zagazeta retiring from the race.

Lindblad, in first place, was able to break away from the pack and was two seconds ahead of Van Hoepen on the penultimate lap.

Tsolov lost further places and slipped back to 4th place behind Fornaroli, while Esterson also slipped back to 6th place.

Lindblad crossed the finish line to secure his inaugural Formula 3 race victory in his debut race.

Final results
  1. Lindblad
  2. Van Hoepen
  3. Fornaroli
  4. Tsolov
  5. Tramnitz
  6. Esterson
  7. Mini
  8. Boya
  9. Goethe
  10. Meguetonif

Feature Image Credit: @formula3 on X

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