Edoardo Mortara marked his return to the Formula 3 Euroseries with a comfortable victory in the first race of the 2010 season at Paul Ricard, France.

The Italian, a runner-up in 2008, returns to the championship with Signature-Volkswagen after a season spent in the GP2 Series, but while a fifth place grid slot would threaten to hamper his progress initially, a strong start would see him leap up to second.

Trailing pole sitter Daniel Juncadella for three laps, Mortara soon found his way past the Spaniard to move into a lead he would hold until the chequered flag.

Marco Wittmann came through to make it a Signature-Volkswagen 1-2, the sophomore racer scoring his maiden F3 Euroseries podium as a result, while Alex Sims planted a pass on Juncadella late on to snatch the final rostrum spot.

Fourth for Juncadella still saw him finish as the top rookie, ahead of Roberto Merhi and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, the Briton finishing a solid sixth on his series debut with Motopark Academy.

Elsewhere, Valtteri Bottas battled his way back to ninth after being given a drive-thru penalty for not lining up in his grid box properly, but would remain just outside the points.

Pole position for race two will therefore go the way of Antonio Felix Da Costa.