Nikola Tsolov deliberately hits Alex Dunne in Formula 3 practice at the Australian GP

Photo Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited
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In the final stages of practice for FIA Formula 3 this morning ahead of qualifying at 14:00 local time at Albert Park in Melbourne, the Bulgarian in his ART was on a fast lap as he looked to move himself from P10.

Approaching turn 11, he came across Alex Dunne in MP Motorsport machinery. The Irishman was warming up his tyres as he prepared to do a lap and failed to see Tsolov was coming through on a lap.

As Dunne belatedly moved out of the way and off the racing line, the Alpine Academy driver completely lost his head and deliberately made contact with the Irishman’s car, sending him into the wall and leaving the number 9 car with sizeable damage. Luckily the driver from Offaly was absolutely fine.

Before heading to the stewards to discuss what happened, Tsolov spoke to Feeder Series. He tried to claim he did not move off the racing line as he made contact with Dunne.

“I was a bit confused. I arrived on a push lap and I think the MP was weaving, so I didn’t know where to go to get past him because he was on a cool lap or something.

“I went to the left side and then I just felt a hit under my rear tyre. So I think it was just a bit of a misunderstanding, but nothing intentional from any side. I think it was just a bit unfortunate.

“I knew he was there, but then I suddenly just felt the hit. I didn’t do anything strange. I was just on the racing line.

“I have no intention against him. There’s nothing to win in a practice session, so I wouldn’t do something like that.”

Not long before qualifying, Tsolov was handed a 3-place grid penalty for the incident.