PREMA Racing delivered an outstanding performance as the FIA Formula 3 Championship went back to action at Red Bull Ring. The Italian squad posted a 1-2 finish in the opening feature race of the year and almost made it a full podium sweep.
To make the day even more special, the fact that the win came from a driver at his first race in the series, Oscar Piastri.. Starting in P3, the 19-year-old from Melbourne survived a 3-car contact to gain P2 at the first corner and then dived past to the lead, quickly building a considerable margin.
Teammate Logan Sargeant didn’t wait much more, as he dived for P2 not too much later and started to chase Piastri. The American eventually finished in P2. Starting in P6, Dane Frederik Vesti put up a great recovery, scoring fast laps and grabbing P4. Unfortunately, being at the back of a train of cars on DRS meant that he did not have a real chance to get close enough to make a move to P3, so he crossed the finish line in fourth place.
Tomorrow's race 2 will feature a reverse top-10 grid from the results of race 1, as per the new rule adopted by the championship.
"I got a very good start and turn 1 was very interesting. Let's say my first 10 seconds of Formula 3 racing were pretty action-packed as I was a little sandwiched between Zendeli and Fernandez, but luckily, I had no damage from that. Then I passed Zendeli at turn three and made a gap to get out of the DRS. There was a bit more tire degradation than we were expecting so in the middle part of the race I really had to make sure my tyres were under control and that there was something left at the end. I just managed to hang on, even though the pace was maybe not quite as good as Logan’s, but I had built enough of a gap. There is still some room for improvement on the race pace but I’m very happy I have won, it’s definitely a good start to the year!"
#2 – Frederik Vesti
"In general I’m very happy for how the race went, starting from P6 and finishing in P4. The pace was really good and we were fighting for the fastest lap throughout the whole race. I had a good start but was a bit compromised in turn 3 as another driver overtook me. In the end, we came back well, I made a good pass to get to P4 and I was fighting for the podium. With all the cars on DRS though, it’s really difficult to get close at high speed and overtake. Big congrats to Oscar and Logan for P1 and P2. I think it was a great start for me and the team. We have a good baseline and we will be working from here."
#3 – Logan Sargeant
“The first race of the season went really well, we finished P2. The balance was pretty tricky throughout the race so I really had to try to stay within my limits and at the same time try to catch Oscar. Big congratulations to him. Tomorrow we will be starting from P9 and we will be looking to make up some positions and get as many points as we can. A big thank you to the team, on to tomorrow!”