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F3 - Gabriele Minì breezes to maiden victory in Monte Carlo masterclass

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Gabriele Minì was in full control as he led every lap to take his first Formula 3 victory on the streets of Monte Carlo. After earning pole in Qualifying on Friday, the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver knew that it was all about holding his nerve out front and the Alpine junior proved that with a perfect performance from start to finish.

PREMA Racing’s Dino Beganovic tried to put his fellow rookie under pressure but couldn’t find his way through from second, whilst Paul Aron secured a 2-3 for the Italian team after fending off Luke Browning’s attempts to take away the final podium spot.


After earning his first Formula 3 podium in the Sprint Race, Leonardo Fornaroli didn’t get the chance to bring home more points again after the Trident driver stalled on the grid on the formation lap.

When the five lights went out, Minì got a decent launch off the line to keep Beganovic behind. Fifth-placed Collet immediately tried to put the pressure on Browning, but the Van Amersfoort Racing driver had to ease off as the tarmac quickly ran out into Turn 1.

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Further back, Sprint Race winner Josep María Martí and Championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto sized each other up. Going wheel-to-wheel, Martí attempted to go around the outside of both the Trident and Franco Colapinto at Turn 6 just as Colapinto’s MP Motorsport car suffered a snap of oversteer. That moment allowed Bortoleto to gain eighth position from the Argentinian.

Ido Cohen lost his Rodin Carlin on entry to Turn 12 whilst battling with his teammate Oliver Gray and ended up in the barriers, triggering the Safety Car.

Racing got back underway entering Lap 6 and Minì didn’t wait around, going early into Rascasse to hold off Beganovic. Sitting just further back in fifth, Taylor Barnard was handed a 10-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. The Jenzer Motorsport driver cut the corner at Turn 1 on the opening lap, having gone side-by-side with Bortoleto and Colapinto.

In the chase for third, the gap ebbed and flowed between Aron and Browning. By Lap 17, the Williams junior was all over the back of the #1 PREMA but couldn’t quite find a way through on the Estonian.

Behind Browning, Sebastián Montoya’s attempts at shaping for a move on Collet for fifth ended in heartbreak for both. With the Brazilian suffering from tyre degradation, the Red Bull junior had great traction out of Turn 1 but made contact with Collet’s rear left tyre on the run up the hill. It left the Brazilian with a puncture and forced Montoya to pit for a new front wing. The Hitech Pulse-Eight was later handed a 10-second penalty for causing the collision.

The final stages saw Beganovic pull back into Minì’s one-second DRS window, but there was nothing the Swede could do to stop him holding on to claim a monumental maiden victory.

Despite Browning closing to within three tenths on the final lap, Aron managed to secure his first F3 podium. Bortoleto strengthened his hold on the Championship lead in fifth ahead of Colapinto. Barnard’s penalty demoted him to eighth ahead of Martí and Grégoire Saucy, who rounded out the top 10.

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KEY QUOTE – Gabriele Minì, Hitech Pulse-Eight

“As I said on Friday, Quali is key. In fact, I managed to keep my position on the start, I managed to do the fastest lap by very little, but still managed to get the full points for this race, so really happy with that.”


Gabriel Bortoleto continues to stand tall at the top of the Drivers’ Standings on 73 points. Victory has promoted Gabriele Minì up to second, 17 points behind the Trident driver. Grégoire Saucy drops behind the #16 Hitech Pulse-Eight to third on 47, one point clear of Dino Beganovic. Paul Aron completes the top five on 38 points.

Trident remain in the lead of the Teams’ Championship on 124 points ahead of PREMA Racing on 110. Hitech Pulse-Eight are a further eight points back in third as they break the 100-point barrier. ART Grand Prix sit in fourth on 54 points, with 13 points more than fifth-placed Campos Racing.


The field won’t have long to rest and reset as Formula 3 heads to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for Round 5, taking place from June 2-4.