F3 Austria – Race Results (1)

Oscar Piastri has taken victory in the opening round of the 2020 FIA Formula 3 Championship after surviving heavy contact at the first turn that eliminated pole sitter Sebastian Fernandez.

One of the favourites for this year’s title as the incoming 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup champion, Piastri started from third position but was jostling for the lead into the opening turn when slow starting pole sitter Fernandez swept across him into the right-hander.

The ensuing contact was enough to send Fernandez into a spin and out of the race. Nonetheless, not only did Piastri get away with the heavy clout he was able to get a run on Lirim Zendelli up to turn two before pulling a move for the lead.

From here the Australian wasn’t troubled, making the most of the squabbles behind him to stretch his lead out to more than four seconds at one stage.

Though his rivals began to reel him in late on, the Renault F1 development driver wouldn’t be caught as he got Prema Racing’s title defence off to the best possible start.

Behind him, Logan Sargeant made it a Prema 1-2 with battling run to second place for his first F3 podium, holding off Alex Peroni – up from eighth on the grid – and Frederik Vesti in the third of the Prema cars.

A relatively calm start to the season with most of the key moves made in the early laps, front row starter Zendeli settled for fifth, ahead of Liam Lawson, David Beckmann and Richard Verschoor. Tenth place finisher Clement Novalak will start the sprint race from pole position.

Elsewhere, there was disappointment for Jake Hughes after problems at the start forced him to pit.

 

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