Martinius claims first F3 win in Australian Sprint Race


Martinius Stenshorne raced to his first win in the FIA Formula 3 Championship, securing a dominant victory on the streets of Albert Park, Melbourne, in today’s Sprint Race.

The 18-year-old Hitech Pulse-Eight driver, making his F3 debut this year, started on the front row alongside Laurens Van Hoepen for the second Sprint of the Championship. In overcast, cooler conditions than yesterday’s Qualifying, Martinius made a clean getaway from the line, tucked in behind the rear wing of Van Hoepen. He closed to make a first move for the lead on Lap 3,with the pair duelling through Turn 4 and Turn 5 and then again on the back of the circuit in Turn 9.

Van Hoepen retained the advantage while Christian Mansell attacked from behind, however Martinius kept his calm to keep second, biding his time for another attempt on the lead. On Lap 5 Martinius, 2023 FRECA vice-champion, put in a commanding move for the lead of the race and immediately started to extend an advantage over the field.

Van Hoepen and Martinius opened up a cushion of almost two seconds at the front, and by Lap 9 Martinius was 2.5secs clear of the Dutchman and over three seconds clear of the rest of the field.

A Safety Car period was triggered on Lap 14 after an incident between Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak and Tommy Smith, which left the Thai driver stuck in the gravel. The field bunched up behind Martinius, with Bahrain Sprint Race winner Arvid Lindblad now in second having passed Van Hoepen.

After two laps behind the Safety Car, Martinius had an impeccable restart to lead the pack over the line. Lindblad pushed him hard, however the Norwegian – who had finished out of the points in Bahrain – held his nerve despite intense pressure to open up a gap of one second and cross the line for his first-ever F3 victory.