Mercedes junior driver Frederik Vesti triumphed at the Red Bull Ring in the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
The Danish qualified second on the grid and following some tussles with Dennis Hauger and Alex Smolyar during the first half of Race 3, he was able to stretch out a gap of over a second by the chequered flag for his win of the season.
Hauger kept hold of the lead at the start but fourth-place Caio Collet got bobbed down at the start and fell to the rear of the field. That allowed Smolyar, Jak Crawford, Clement Novalak to go up the order.
The fifth lap saw Vesti pull off an overtake on Hauger with DRS around the outside into Turn 4 to take the lead.
The top ten after seven laps were Vesti, Hauger, Smolyar, Novalak, Olli Caldwell, Arthur Leclerc, Victor Martins, Jack Doohan and Matteo Nannini.
Crawford found himself past twice on the next lap by Caldwell and Leclerc, with the American falling down to seventh.
Novalak was next to be overtaken by Caldwell for fourth on Lap 9 at Turn 4 before the top three ahead challenged amongst themselves.
Hauger got back through into second place on Lap 11 by passing Smolyar after the Russian briefly took the lead from Vesti into Turn 3.
A big incident occurred three tours later, where Leclerc clipped Martins’ right-rear tyre, forcing the Ferrari Academy driver onto the grass and T-bone into the side of Novalak into Turn 4. Both drivers walked away but it was enough to bring out the Safety Car.
Following the restart and with four laps remaining, Caldwell nipped his way past Smolyar into third.
Another collision came on the next lap involving Doohan and Crawford though. Crawford’s front wing flew off after contact with Doohan’s right-rear tyre, forcing them into the pits and out of the points.
Despite a late Virtual Safety Car to pick up leftover debris, Vesti led the field to the flag with Hauger on the podium for the first race in a row in second position.
Caldwell completed the podium in third ahead of Smolyar, Nannini and Ayumu Iwasa.
Collet was seventh after a brilliant recovery drive in front of Logan Sargeant, Calan Williams and Jonny Edgar rounding out the points-scorers.
Hauger’s lead in the championship has gone up significantly, with the Norwegian now 41 points ahead of nearest rival Vesti.
The next time FIA Formula 3 will be racing will be in Hungary for the fourth round of the series on the weekend of 30 July – 1 August, part of the Hungarian Grand Prix support bill.