Lirim Zendeli claimed a commanding victory at Spa-Francorchamps as he converted his first FIA Formula 3 pole position into his maiden win in the series.

The Trident driver capitalised on a truncated, rain-affected, qualifying session to seal pole, before turning in a flawless performance on Saturday morning to take his first triumph in Formula 3 in the opening race in Belgium.

Zendeli made a perfect start to hold first ahead of Theo Pourchaire at La Source, and perfectly managed an early Virtual Safety Car period before pulling clear of the field on his way to a comfortable win, becoming the ninth different winner of the season. 

Two-time F3 victor Pourchaire took second for his fourth podium of what has been an impressive rookie campaign for ART Grand Prix, while David Beckmann made it a Trident 1-3 on the podium after passing Aleksandr Smolyar, who had to settle with fourth.

Oscar Piastri recovered from eighth on the grid to take fifth place and reclaim the lead in the championship standings in the process, after engine trouble for his main rival and Prema teammate Logan Sargeant led to the American being hampered by a loss of power in the closing stages.

His problems enabled Prema teammate Frederik Vesti to profit on his way to sealing sixth, with Oli Caldwell also passing Sargeant on the last lap to finish seventh.

Crucially, Sargeant was able to score at least some points in eighth, ahead of Red Bull-backed Hitech Grand Prix driver Liam Lawson and Richard Verschoor.

The Dutchmen held off Sebastian Fernandez’s ART Grand Prix car to complete the points-scoring positions for MP Motorsport in a P10 place that will translate into reverse grid pole for Sunday’s finale.