Aron wins rain-hit final Pau European F3 race for Prema

Ralf Aron took victory for Prema in the Formula 3 European Championship's Pau Grand Prix, which featured just eight laps of racing before it was stopped due to a downpour

Aron wins rain-hit final Pau European F3 race for Prema

The Estonian's victory counts for half-points only, as the race had not reached 75% distance.

Aron burst through from third on the grid to beat wheelspinning poleman Enaam Ahmed into the first corner, while Ahmed's Hitech GP team-mate Alex Palou stalled from the other front-row position.

Palou had insult added to injury later when, running outside the points, he was given a drive-through penalty for being out of position when he stalled.

Aron kept reigning BRDC British F3 champion Ahmed at arm's length over the eight laps of racing before the safety car was called.

This was due to a crash on the pit straight involving Marcus Armstrong and Ferdinand Habsburg as they ran 10th and 11th respectively.

While the marshals cleared the wreckage, the rain became torrential, leading to the decision to suspend the race - with no improvement likely for over an hour - the race was called and a result declared.

"The start was great, the car was really good and I'm really confident in changing conditions," said Aron.

"It was hectic for us because I went out on slicks because we thought it was going to dry out.

"Then on the grid I was screaming, 'The clouds are coming, put on rains', and then I had to try to get them warm on the formation lap.

"I'm a little bit bummed that we couldn't get full points - the team deserved it.

"'In my opinion we could have done two more laps under the safety car - we were close to 75% distance."

Carlin's Force India protege Jehan Daruvala completed the podium, despite clipping a cone at the final chicane, beating Motopark racer Fabio Scherer into the first corner for third position.

Race two winner Sacha Fenestraz was the only driver to take the start on slick tyres, but the worsening rain on the formation lap doomed his decision, and after getting to the first corner in fifth place he pitted for wet-weather rubber.

Due to the half-points, Fenestraz retains a championship lead he would have lost to Aron had the race gone full-distance.

Red Bull Junior Dan Ticktum, who had suffered brake-bias problems in qualifying, ran a distant fifth, with Prema duo Robert Shwartzman and Mick Schumacher behind him.

Jonathan Aberdein (Motopark) and Ben Hingeley (Hitech) were eighth and ninth, while the Armstrong/Habsburg incident promoted Motopark's Marino Sato to the final half-point.

Armstrong had been seventh at the first corner, but hit the barrier exiting Gare and lost positions.

Result - 11 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Ralf Aron PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 18m42.164s
2 Enaam Ahmed Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 1.051s
3 Jehan Daruvala Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 2.130s
4 Fabio Scherer Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 2.768s
5 Dan Ticktum Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 4.904s
6 Robert Shwartzman PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 5.839s
7 Mick Schumacher PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 6.769s
8 Jonathan Aberdein Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 8.378s
9 Ben Hingeley Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 10.481s
10 Marino Sato Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 11.599s
11 Nikita Troitskiy Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 12.731s
12 Juri Vips Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 13.625s
13 Guanyu Zhou PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes 14.810s
14 Keyvan Andres Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 15.749s
15 Artem Petrov Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 16.270s
16 Ameya Vaidyanathan Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 17.731s
17 Sebastian Fernandez Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 19.332s
18 Julian Hanses ma-con Dallara/Volkswagen 20.740s
19 Alex Palou Hitech Bullfrog GP Dallara/Mercedes 23.142s
20 Sacha Fenestraz Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 24.763s
- Marcus Armstrong PREMA Theodore Racing Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Ferdinand Habsburg Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement
- Devlin Defrancesco Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Sacha Fenestraz 37
2 Ralf Aron 34.5
3 Enaam Ahmed 27
4 Guanyu Zhou 25
5 Marcus Armstrong 25
6 Alex Palou 24
7 Dan Ticktum 20
8 Jehan Daruvala 15.5
9 Ben Hingeley 13
10 Robert Shwartzman 10
11 Fabio Scherer 6
12 Julian Hanses 6
13 Mick Schumacher 4
14 Marino Sato 2.5
15 Jonathan Aberdein 2
16 Juri Vips 1

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