Theo Pourchaire claimed his second FIA Formula 3 win on the bounce in a dramatic opening race in Hungary.

The ART Grand Prix driver inherited the lead when Logan Sergeant and pole sitter Aleksandr Smolyar came together at Turn 1 and dominated to take his second victory of the season in a race that was disrupted by a 20-minute red flag suspension.

Sargeant had challenged Smolyar for the lead at the start but lost the rear of his Prema and crashed into the ART Grand Prix driver.

Frederik Vesti and Calan Williams then tangled behind as they attempted to avoid the melee, with both drivers retiring on the spot, along with the eliminated Smolyar.

A suspension followed on Lap 7 after Liam Lawson’s Hitech Grand Prix suffered a dramatic engine failure that saw flames spitting out of the back of his car.

As a result, Lawson deposited a large amount of oil onto the track, bringing out the red flags so that marshals could throw down cement dust and clear the already-damp circuit.

16-year-old Pourchaire, who is the youngest driver in the field, controlled the Safety Car restart and quickly pulled clear of early championship leader Oscar Piastri, ultimately finishing nearly 12s ahead of the Renault F1 junior, who headed a Prema 2-3 on the podium ahead of teammate Sargeant.

Bent Viscaal took his best-ever F3 finish with a spectacular last-lap pass on MP Motorsport teammate Richard Verschoor, who was left to settle with a solid P5 at the flag.

ART GP’s Sebastian Fernandez collected a wobble coming out of the final corner in the closing stages to secure sixth, ahead of Alex Peroni and Red Bull junior Dennis Hauger.

Clement Novalak impressively charged from the back of the grid to claim ninth spot, having made up a total of 17 positions in his Carlin, while Charouz’s David Beckmann completed the top 10 to claim the reverse grid pole for Sunday’s sprint race.

 

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