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Silverstone European F3: Ferrari protege Fuoco wins race three

Antonio Fuoco, Prema, Silverstone European F3 2014

Ferrari Driver Academy starlet Antonio Fuoco made it three different winners from the first round of the Formula 3 European Championship at Silverstone.

The Italian got the jump on his polesitting team-mate in the Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes squad, Esteban Ocon, to sweep into the lead.

Frenchman Ocon swarmed around Fuoco trying to find a way past in the first couple of laps, but that damaged his front tyres and he gradually fell back.

He then came under attack from Max Verstappen, who had charged from fifth on the grid.

The Dutchman got past with an incisive move at the tight Loop left-hander on the 11th lap of 18, by which stage Fuoco was four seconds in front.

"My start was fantastic," said reigning Formula Renault ALPS champion Fuoco after heading an all-rookie podium.

"We didn't have a problem with our tyres compared to yesterday, and my race pace was fantastic."

Verstappen had to be whisked off from the post-race press conference to see the stewards regarding his pass for third on Tom Blomqvist on lap two of the race.

The Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-Volkswagen made its initial move on Blomqvist's Carlin machine at the Loop, but completed the matter at Brooklands, where yellow flags were being displayed due to a first-lap incident that eliminated Jake Dennis and Felipe Guimaraes.

It is likely not to be a clear-cut decision, as Verstappen and Blomqvist were side by side on the Wellington Straight as they entered the yellow zone.

NEWS UPDATE: No penalty for Verstappen

First-race winner Blomqvist mysteriously struggled for pace and lost fourth place to Prema's Nicholas Latifi when the Canadian swept around his outside into Copse Corner.

He then lost a further position to Antonio Giovinazzi, his stablemate in the Jagonya Ayam scheme. The Italian had earlier muscled his way past Carlin team-mate Ed Jones in the Loop in a manoeuvre that spun the Anglo-Emirati out of the points.

It was all Blomqvist could do to hold off Felix Rosenqvist, who used strong racecraft in his Mucke Motorsport car to storm through the midfield gaggle from 14th on the grid to seventh.

Blomqvist's fellow Carlin runner Jordan King was also struggling - largely due to a damaged front wing - and lost eighth place to the Mucke car of Lucas Auer on the final lap.

West-Tec's Felix Serralles completed the top 10 after a race-long battle that also included John Bryant-Meisner and Dennis van de Laar.

Results - 18 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team/Car                          Time/Gap
 1.  Antonio Fuoco        Prema Dallara-Merc              34m13.614s
 2.  Max Verstappen       Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW          +4.731s
 3.  Esteban Ocon         Prema Dallara-Merc                 +9.325s
 4.  Nicholas Latifi      Prema Dallara-Merc                +17.322s
 5.  Antonio Giovinazzi   Carlin Dallara-VW                 +21.667s
 6.  Tom Blomqvist        Carlin Dallara-VW                 +25.945s
 7.  Felix Rosenqvist     Mucke Dallara-Merc                +26.266s
 8.  Lucas Auer           Mucke Dallara-Merc                +32.033s
 9.  Jordan King          Carlin Dallara-VW                 +33.437s
10.  Felix Serralles      West-Tec Dallara-Merc             +33.814s
11.  John Bryant-Meisner  Fortec Dallara-Merc               +34.027s
12.  Dennis van de Laar   Prema Dallara-Merc                +34.448s
13.  Hector Hurst         West-Tec Dallara-Merc             +35.474s
14.  Alexander Toril      T-Sport Dallara-NBE               +35.792s
15.  Ed Jones             Carlin Dallara-VW                 +38.021s
16.  Roy Nissany          Mucke Dallara-Merc                +39.821s
17.  Michele Beretta      Eurointernational Dallara-Merc    +42.527s
18.  Gustavo Menezes      Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW         +43.205s
19.  Tatiana Calderon     Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc            +45.972s
20.  Jules Szymkowiak     Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW         +48.697s
21.  Spike Goddard        T-Sport Dallara-NBE             +1m16.767s

Retirements:

     Riccardo Agostini    Eurointernational Dallara-Merc     16 laps
     Sean Gelael          Carlin Dallara-VW                  15 laps
     Mitchell Gilbert     Fortec Dallara-Merc                  1 lap
     Jake Dennis          Carlin Dallara-VW                   0 laps
     Felipe Guimaraes     Double R Dallara-Merc               0 laps
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