Jules Bianchi completed a British Formula 3 clean sweep for series guest ART by winning race two at the Algarve circuit this afternoon as Daniel Ricciardo clinched the title despite a broken front wing.
Bianchi survived first lap contact with Ricciardo (Carlin) and two safety car periods to win the race largely from the front. While Ricciardo dropped back to seventh by the flag, that was sufficient for him to put the championship beyond rival Walter Grubmuller's reach after a dismal weekend for the Hitech driver.
After this morning's debacle with the start lights, the cars were held much longer this time, which caught many drivers out again.
Bianchi was again not one of them and made an excellent start from row three to vault up to fourth, but his getaway was nothing compared with fellow Euro Series racer Sam Bird, who leapt into the lead from fourth on the grid.
A first lap collision between Bird's Fortec team-mate Riki Christodoulou and Manor Motorsport's Roberto Merhi at the slow right hander at Turn 3 led to a brief safety car deployment.
Two laps later the field were racing again, but not before ART's Valtteri Bottas, who had leapt from fifth to third at the start, came into the pits to retire. At the restart Bird defended from Hitech's Renger van der Zande (up from row four) into Turn 1, which allowed Bianchi to sweep by into the lead around the outside.
The Euro Series points leader then pulled away at a startling rate, stretching out a 4s lead over the duelling Bird and van der Zande, before a mid-race safety car, deployed when Victor Garcia's Fortec car stopped at Turn 1, bunched the field once more.
Through it all Bianchi kept his cool, controlled the restart and rebuilt his 4s advantage through the remainder of the race to claim his second win of the weekend.
Behind, van der Zande got the better of Bird and held second through the mid-race safety car period and the restart. However, his Dallara-Mercedes suffered badly when a piece of Astroturf became lodged in the car and he tumbled back to an eventual 12th.
Bird thus took second, while Carlin's Max Chilton recovered from another poor start to claim third. He ran fifth for much of the race, but snatched fourth from his ailing team-mate Ricciardo (suffering with a broken front wing) before the second safety car and bagged third when van der Zande dropped back.
Double R's Colombian F3 rookie Carlos Huertas completed an excellent weekend by coming through to fourth, while Esteban Gutierrez (ART) delivered a storming comeback drive to claim fifth having been dropped to the back of the pack in the first lap incident.
T-Sport's Adriano Buzaid salvaged a terrible weekend by rounding out the top six, ahead of Ricciardo, who sealed the British F3 title at the first attempt by scraping home seventh as Grubmuller struggled to 20th after a tangle with Manor's Pedro Enrique.
Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap 1. Jules Bianchi ART D/M 31m35.286s 2. Sam Bird Fortec D/M + 4.666s 3. Max Chilton Carlin D/V + 6.059s 4. Carlos Huertas Double R D/M + 8.904s 5. Esteban Gutierrez ART D/M + 11.334s 6. Adriano Buzaid T-Sport D/V + 17.957s 7. Daniel Ricciardo Carlin D/V + 18.747s 8. Henry Arundel Carlin D/V + 19.544s 9. Hywel Lloyd CF D/H + 19.723s 10. Adrien Tambay ART D/M + 20.332s 11. Jay Bridger Litespeed M/H + 21.244s 12. Renger van der Zande Hitech D/M + 21.496s 13. Daisuke Nakajima Double R D/M + 21.817s 14. Gabriel Dias T-Sport D/H + 23.244s 15. Stephane Richelmi Barazi-Epsilon D/M + 24.516s 16. Daniel Mckenzie Fortec D/H + 25.432s 17. Wayne Boyd T-Sport D/V + 29.778s 18. Kevin Chen Double R D/M + 43.900s 19. Mathieu Maurage West-Tec D/H + 47.867s 20. Walter Grubmuller Hitech D/M + 47.874s 21. Victor Correa Litespeed S/H + 48.548s 22. Max Snegirev West-Tec D/H + 1 lap Retirements: Philip Major Carlin D/V 12 laps Pedro Enrique Manor D/M 10 laps Victor Garcia Fortec D/M 7 laps Valtteri Bottas ART D/M 2 laps Roberto Merhi Manor D/M 1 laps Joe Ghanem Carlin D/M 0 laps Riki Christodoulou Fortec D/H 0 laps