Hard charging Martinius Stenshorne misses points in FIA Formula 3 Feature Race thriller


An eventful FIA Formula 3 Championship Feature Race on the streets of Albert Park, Melbourne, did not deliver points for yesterday’s Sprint Race winner, Martinius Stenshorne.

Championship rookie Martinius secured his maiden F3 win in style in Saturday’s Sprint, however the Norwegian could not add more points to his account in today’s longer – and eventful – Feature Race.

Hitech Pulse-Eight driver Martinius lined up P11 for the 23-lap race alongside Laurens Van Hoepen. The tight Turn 1 and 2 delivered its usual chaotic start as cars squeezed into the tight right-left complex, with Martinius falling back to 13th behind Van Hoepen and Charlie Wurz.

After a Safety Car period caused by a collision between Joseph Loake and Tommy Smith, Martinius was back in the hunt for points, battling with Nikola Tsolov and Wurz. Exhilarating wheel to wheel racing ensued, with Martinius, Wurz and Noel Leon trading places through multiple corners, often with three abreast into corners. Martinius tried a closing move on Lap 7, which nearly stuck, but made contact with Leon and dropped back to 15th behind Max Esterson.

By Lap 10 Martinius was back with Tsolov, with Alex Dunne right on his tail. The trio circulated within a second for several laps, however on Lap 16 Martinius picked up a puncture following contact and was forced to pit for new tyres.

Knocked back to the rear of the field 10 seconds from the last driver, Martinius put the hammer down to close the gap and subsequently take Leon and then Santiago Ramos for position. A time penalty for causing an earlier collision put Martinius back down the final classification in P26.

Martinius said after the race: “A tough race today. I went for a overtake but made contact and picked up a puncture, which obviously dropped me back down the order. It’s disappointing to finish the Feature out of the points after such a good race yesterday, but we knew it was going to be difficult. We’ve now got a gap until the next race in Imola so there is a lot of time to analyse the strong and weak points of the weekend and how to build on them in the rest of the championship.”

Following in-season testing in Barcelona from 17 – 19 April, the championship resumes in Imola, Italy, from 17 – 19 May.