Aussie Piastri wins on F3 debut in Austria

Rookie Australian driver Oscar Piastri has survived a "very scary" opening-lap crash before claiming his debut FIA Formula 3 championship race win in Austria.

Young Australian driver Oscar Piastri has secured a dramatic FIA Formula 3 championship debut win as he powered home after an incident-packed race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

But the 19-year-old Melburnian had to survive a "very scary" first-lap crash when his car was struck by polesitter Sebastian Fernandez before he recovered and managed to power on for a stunning victory.

Starting third on the grid, Piastri took the win in the 24-lap race by just under two seconds with Prema teammate Logan Sargeant second, and fellow Australian Alex Peroni banking third.

"Winning the first race is a great start to the year," Piastri said.

"It was very scary at Turn 1 at the start, and I thought that it was going to be race over 10 seconds into my debut, but thankfully I got through that and made a good move on (German Lirim) Zendeli into Turn 3 [to take the lead].

"Then, I just controlled it from there. Logan Sargeant was catching me and bringing the train with him, so I had to stay on my toes."

Piastri's manager, former Australian Grand Prix star Mark Webber, said he was delighted for his charge.

"What an incredible Formula 3 debut for Oscar. It's been challenging times for everybody over the past few months, so this is a special moment for him," Webber said.

Race two for the 2020 FIA Formula 3 Championship takes place on Sunday