Academy Report: First F3 win for Zak in bittersweet weekend for our young drivers

Published on
03 Apr 2023
Est. reading time
3 Min

Find out how the Williams Racing Driver Academy got on in Australia

Last week, Formula 3 headed to Australia for the first time, and our Williams Racing Driver Academy trio made the long trip to Melbourne for another frenetic weekend.
Catch up on all the Albert Park action where our junior members celebrated a win, survived a spin, and wondered what might've been.

Formula 3

Zak O'Sullivan

A first F3 win for Zak came a few hours after the podium celebrations ended. A technical infringement for all three MP Motorsport cars had our 18-year-old Brit go from P2 to P1 after Zak stylishly shrugged off a point-less opening round in Bahrain.
The P5 qualification, just 0.003s off the second row, meant our PREMA racer would begin both races in the top 10. Fighting forwards in the opening laps of Saturday's Sprint Race had Zak up to P3, besting teammate Paul Aron who started alongside him on the grid.
However, Zak's wheel-rubbing move on Sebastian Montoya was the one that would prove pivotal.
That P2 he gained eventually transformed into the race win thanks to disqualifications, and his points tally doubled with a fine P5 in Sunday's Feature Race.

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Franco Colapinto

It looked like more Sprint Race silverware would come again in Australia for Franco after he crossed the line first in Saturday morning's Sprint Race.
Our Argentine teenager started the race from P6, but that soon became P3 by Turn 3 as Franco kept out of trouble while his rivals made contact.
An airborne moment for Luke Browning gave Franco an easy pass for P2, and a few laps later, a brave move on the outside of the Turn 9 chicane netted him the race lead which he kept until the chequered flag.
However, an irregularity on a bodywork part for all MP Motorsport cars meant Franco lost his win, with all three drivers disqualified.
Then, a puncture on Lap 2 in the Feature Race sadly ended any hopes of leaving Melbourne with points.

Ollie Gray

It was a solid weekend of learning for Ollie Gray, who got two more F3 full-race runs under his belt. With the Albert Park Circuit being new for all 30 F3 drivers, incidents and safety cars filled the three days of running, and Ollie made it through unscathed.
A P21 qualification meant midfield scraps in both the Sprint and Feature Race. Ollie didn't let that phase him, and he brought the car home in 20th place in Saturday's Sprint Race, despite a 360 spin at Turn 2.
Crashes and safety cars punctuated the 23-lap Feature Race, with some seven drivers retiring as the Australian circuit taught tough lessons.
Ollie kept his head down and gained seven positions to finish in P14, inching closer to the points as the race progressed.
Like F1, the third tier of racing has a break before its next round. All three of our F3 drivers will next race in support of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on May 20-21. Meanwhile, Jamie Chadwick will be back in action across April 28-30 for the Indy NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of Alabama.
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