Doriane Pin led from the front and never looked back as she claimed an assured victory in her first F1 Academy race. Alpine’s Abbi Pulling fended off Maya Weug’s early advances to kick off her sophomore season with a podium in second, and retained the bonus point for the fastest lap despite Mercedes driver Pin’s last-lap efforts.

Following an extra formation lap, Pin nailed a textbook getaway at lights out to lead comfortably into Turn 1 from Pulling and Weug. Charlotte Tilbury’s Lola Lovinfosse managed to get the better of Bianca Bustamante off the line, demoting the McLaren driver to sixth.

After starting eighth, Chloe Chambers quickly made up ground, finding her way past Lia Block on Lap 2. Immediately piling the pressure on the second ART Grand Prix car of Bustamante, the Haas driver forced her into an error, allowing her to slip up the inside of Turn 1 at the start of the next lap.

Tina Hausmann, Aurelia Nobels and Jessica Edgar went three-wide down into Turn 1, but it was the Aston Martin car of Hausmann that emerged in front in ninth. Out front, Pin’s 1.2 second lead evaporated at the appearance of the Safety Car on Lap 3. A nudge from Amna Al Qubaisi at Turn 4 sent Reema Juffali into a spin, but both were able to pit and rejoin the race.

Tasked with getting racing back underway into Lap 5, Pin slowed the pack right down, catching Pulling unawares, as she bolted down the main straight to start building a seven-tenths gap. That allowed Weug to nose in for a move on Pulling, but the Ferrari driver couldn’t find the room.

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Block was forced to go on the defensive, being hunted down by Hausmann. The pair both locked up, going deep out of the final corner and gifting Jessica Edgar the chance to sneak her way through to eighth. Unfortunately, contact with Hausmann’s front with left the #17 Rodin Motorsport car with a right rear puncture.

In the battle for the final points-paying position, Hamda Al Qubaisi got a good run on Nobels down into the final corner, but the PUMA driver defended hard. A mistake on the next lap gave Al Qubaisi the benefit of the slipstream to send a move down the inside of Turn 27, but the MP Motorsport ran wide at the opening chicane and had to let the Brazilian back through.

Block’s race unravelled on the penultimate lap. Comfortably in eighth, the Williams driver bounced over the kerb and spun into the barrier as she tried to close in on teammate Bustamante. In the fight for fourth, Lovinfosse tried a look around the outside of Nerea Martí down to Turn 1, but clipped the rear of the Tommy Hilfiger car and sent her into a spin.

Despite leading the race, Pin was not fully satisfied as she tried to wrestle the fastest lap point away from Pulling on the final lap. However, she couldn’t quite get the clean sweep, taking the victory by 0.848s to Pulling.

Weug ensured a 1-3 finish for PREMA Racing ahead of Chambers and Lovinfosse. Bustamante recovered from an opening lap puncture scare for sixth ahead of Hausmann, Nobels and Al Qubaisi, with Carrie Schreiner promoted to the final points-paying position in P10.


Pin will have her sights set on victory once again as she lines up on pole for Race 2. Lights go out on Saturday at 15:05 local time.