Hitech’s Gabriele Mini has taken his second victory of the year at the Formula 3 Sprint race in Budapest, keeping Jenzer’s Nikita Bedrin behind him, as Gabriel Bortoleto further extended his lead in the championship.

Jenzer’s Nikita Bedrin took the lead from pole sitter Gabriele Mini going around the outside of the first corner, while at the back end of the field, Hitech’s Sebastian Montoya, found himself colliding with Van Amersfoort Racing’s Tommy Smith, forcing both of them to pit for repairs.

With the DRS enabled, it was Alpine junior Nikola Tsolov versus the Williams juniors Franco Colapinto and Zak O’Sullivan, as Colapinto cleared the ART.

Championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto bided his time, using the DRS to overtake the Campos of Christian Mansell, promoting him into the podium positions and dropping Mansell into the clutches of Paul Aron’s Prema.

Up at the front, Mini hang on to Bedrin’s Jenzer, and took the lead of the race on the eighth lap with relative ease.

With the Medium compoud tyres making their debut in the championship this year, the first struggles became clear halfway through the race, as drivers found the degradation to be higher than expected, as race leader Mini was told to take it easy, while Bedrin was still within DRS range, but was similarly trying to keep the tyres alive.

Prema’s O’Sullivan, who is set to start the feature race from pole tomorrow, had another go at Tsolov on lap 12, instead making contact and damaging his front wing, forcing the Brit into the pitlane.

At the same time, Montoya’s Hitech stopped on track at turn 12, activating the Virtual Safety Car and eventually bringing out the full Safety Car, ending the Colombian’s race after he’d been running at the back of the field since the start.

Mini and Bedrin saw their seven-second lead over the field disappear, as the Safety Car ended with three laps to go.

The top three held position at the restart, while Aron finally managed to pass Mansell, with Silverstone’s sprint race winner Oliver Goethe also passing the Campos for fifth place.

A little further down, Tsolov tangled with Pepe Marti, which found the Bulgarian driver stalling, resulting in another brief Virtual Safety Car to clear his car, while Marti was able to keep going.

Bortoleto managed to pass Bedrin in the penultimate corner, as the Jenzer driver only just managed to keep Aron behind, finishing a tenth in front of the Estonian driver.

Goethe finished fifth, followed by Mansell, Colapinto, Jonny Edgar, Gregoire Saucy, and Dino Beganovic taking the final point.

The F3 Feature Race is scheduled for tomorrow at 8:25 local time, with Prema driver O’Sullivan starting from pole.

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