Podium Finish At Monaco For Maitland F3 Driver Christian Mansell

Christian Mansell (second from left) on the podium in Monaco after finishing P2 in the F3 Feature Race on Sunday | Image: FIA Formula 3.

Maitland Formula 3 driver Christian Mansell experienced one of motor racing’s most glamorous achievements as he stood on the podium in Monaco yesterday.

The 19-year-old lined up for the Formula 1 feeder series Feature Race around the iconic Monte Carlo circuit on the front row of the grid after putting his ART Grand Prix car second in Qualifying on Friday.

Mansell’s Sprint Race ended prematurely on Saturday after he was caught up in a collision with Arvid Lindblad, Joshua Dufek, Alex Dunne and Cian Shields at Casino Square.

When the lights went out for Sunday’s race, Mansell got a good launch off the line but trailed polesitter Gabriele Mini’s PREMA into the first turn on the opening lap.

At Portier, Jenzer Motorsport driver Charlie Wurz ended up in the barriers after contact with Rodin Motorsport’s Piotr Wisnicki triggering the first Safety Car period.

Racing got back underway on Lap 3 with Mini retaining the lead over the chasing pack, but he had Mansell right on his gearbox.

The man from Maitland continued to hound Mini around the Principality, but just when the Alpine Academy driver had broken out of DRS range of Mansell, a three car pile up in sector two involving Noel León, Nikola Tsolov and Sami Meguetounif brought the Safety Car back out.

With the field bunched up and 4 laps to go another incident was inevitable, and Laurens van Hoepen slid into the barriers on the approach to Tabac to bring out a third Safety Car.

By the time the track was clear and the barriers were back in place it all came down to a final lap shootout.

Mansell lunged but Mini saw off the challenge and took the chequered flag just eight tenths of a second ahead of the driver from Maitland in P2.

It is his second time on the F3 podium this year after finishing second in the season opening Feature Race in Bahrain.

Speaking to the post-race media pack in Monaco, Mansell said he gave everything he could.

“Admittedly, I really wanted to win today but Gabriele didn’t make a mistake. He made it hard for me, but I was pushing him all the way too,” Mansell said.

“I am very happy with my performance today. It is such a stellar way to end the weekend after a pretty average Sprint Race.”

The 19-year-old, who grew up in Bolwarra before moving with his family to the UK to pursue his racing dreams, said the podium in Monaco rated among his career highlights.

“The feeling is great, Bahrain was awesome but this is one million times cooler,” Mansell said.

“To get it here in Monte Carlo is up there with Melbourne, of course being a home race for me I am bias, but this is if not more meaningful to me.”

Mansell admitted he was speechless when he got out of the car in Parc Ferme before thanking his team at ART.

“I was lost for words… It shows you where my head is at, I was ecstatic.”

The result sees Mansell move up to 9th in the overall Driver Championship, while his 18 point haul from the weekend helps ART Grand Prix to sit in third in the Teams Standings on 85 points.

Mansell will be back on track when FIA Formula 3 heads to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to take part in the Spanish Grand Prix weekend at the end of June.