Christian Mansell was furious with himself after throwing away what would have been his first Formula 3 victory in the sprint race at the Red Bull Ring.

Alpine junior driver Nikola Tsolov snatched the win away from Mansell, who revealed he slowed down too hastily when the Safety Car was deployed late in the race. That allowed Tsolov and Martinius Stenshorne to demote Mansell to the bottom step of the podium.

Following a last-lap restart, Tsolov held the pair back to claim his second win of the season.

Partial-reverse-grid pole winner Stenshorne was passed by Mansell on the run to turn one, before Tsolov took second from Stenshorne around the outside of turn four. There was an early Safety Car period due to Kacper Sztuka becoming stranded at the outside of the first corner, before Mansell led away at the restart from Tsolov.

Tsolov kept in touch with the leader and once DRS was activated on lap seven, he passed his ART team mate for the lead with a bold move around the outside of turn four. However, Mansell did not allow Tsolov to escape and challenged to reclaim his lead by charge by into turn three, only for Tsolov to take it back at turn four, again around the outside.

A three-way battle developed when Stenshorne joined the fight, with Mansell taking the lead back again out of turn four. However, a heavy crash on the approach to turn four for Sebastian Montoya, who had been battling with Alex Dunne, brought out the Safety Car.

When the Safety Car was deployed, Mansell suddenly dropped two places behind Tsolov and Stenshorne, leaving him third. Mansell later revealed he backed off as soon as he heard the Safety Car warning beep, but before receiving the signal on his dash.

“I made a pretty rookie error which sucks,” said Mansell. He confirmed his two rivals “didn’t pass under yellows.”

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Tsolov therefore collected the win ahead of Stenshorne, the pair boosting their points tallies ahead of their bans from upcoming rounds at Silverstone and Spa. Mansell, still fuming, took no part in the champagne celebration afterwards.

McLaren junior Dunne finished in fourth ahead of Laurens van Hoepen and Gabriele Mini. Oliver Goethe, Tim Tramnitz, Noel Leon and Sami Meguetounif completed the top ten. The result sees Leonardo Fornaroli keep the lead of the championship despite failing to score a point, with Luke Browning still in second also missing out on the top ten.

Formula 3 Austria race one results

Position Car Driver Team
1 25 Nikola Tsolov ART
2 15 Martinius Stenshorne Hitech
3 23 Christian Mansell ART
5 9 Alex Dunne MP
5 24 Laurens Van Hoepen ART
6 2 Gabriele Minì Prema
7 10 Oliver Goethe Campos
8 7 Tim Tramnitz MP
9 20 Noel Leon Van Amersfoort
10 5 Sami Meguetounif Trident
11 14 Luke Browning Hitech
12 4 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident
13 27 Nikita Bedrin PHM
14 29 Callum Voisin Rodin
15 1 Dino Beganovic Prema
16 16 Cian Shields Hitech
17 19 Matias Zagazeta Jenzer
18 18 Max Esterson Jenzer
19 31 Joseph Loake Rodin
20 17 Charlie Wurz Jenzer
21 22 Tom Smith Van Amersfoort
22 12 Mari Boya Campos
23 30 Piotr Wisnicki Rodin
24 6 Santiago Ramos Trident
25 28 Josh Dufek PHM
26 21 Sophia Floersch Van Amersfoort
27 26 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak PHM
DNF 3 Arvid Lindblad Prema
DNF 11 Sebastian Montoya Campos
DNF 8 Kacper Sztuka MP

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