Ben Barnicoat takes maiden European Formula 3 win at Hungaroring

Ben Barnicoat took an unexpected albeit superb win in the final Formula 3 European Championship race at the Hungaroring on a wet track

Ben Barnicoat takes maiden European Formula 3 win at Hungaroring

Barnicoat started sixth, yet was elevated into the lead from third place when his Hitech GP team-mate George Russell was eliminated as the result of damage sustained in a collision with poleman and championship leader Maximilian Gunther.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed Barnicoat gained his first position when, just as the race went green after two laps starting behind the safety car, Nick Cassidy spun at the final corner.

On the first lap of racing, Barnicoat passed Guan Yu Zhou at Turn 12 and then moved up to third when Sergio Sette Camara, struggling to hold off the charging Russell, ran off track at the last turn.

Gunther ran wide at Turn 12 on the following lap, allowing Russell right onto his tail.

After almost two laps of bidding to pass the German, Russell got a clear run up the inside into Turn 11, only for Gunther to turn in on the Brit, propelling the Prema Powerteam machine into the wall and sending Russell to the pits with left-front suspension damage.

After the subsequent safety car, Barnicoat had eight laps of racing to conserve his advantage.

He soon extended this to more than a second over Joel Eriksson. When the Motopark-run Swede outbraked himself at Turn 2 with four laps to go, that more than doubled Barnicoat's lead and he eventually won by five seconds.

"It was an amazing race for me and I'm extremely happy," said Barnicoat.

"The track was so difficult - it was literally like driving on ice. It was the hardest thing I've ever done."

Lance Stroll managed to pass Zhou on the first lap after the final restart, and the Canadian set fastest lap in his Prema Powerteam car as he chased down Eriksson, finishing just over a second behind.

But Ferrari protege Zhou's Motopark car proved an insurmountable roadblock for team-mate and Red Bull junior Sette Camara as well as Callum Ilott, who made his expected feisty progress in the opening laps in his Van Amersfoort Racing car.

Ilott briefly lost sixth place in the squabbling to impressive VAR team-mate Pedro Piquet before repassing the Brazilian and storming right back into the mirrors of Sette Camara.

Niko Kari picked his way through the order to take eighth, while Cassidy grabbed ninth place off Harrison Newey on the final lap.

First-race winner Ralf Aron crashed on a reconnaissance lap to the grid, while Ryan Tveter also failed to start due to engine problems, the Carlin team electing to get the powerplant repaired rather than take engine-change grid penalties in the next round at Pau.

RESULT

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Ben Barnicoat Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 16 35m22.885s
2 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 16 4.998s
3 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 16 6.032s
4 Guanyu Zhou Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 16 17.627s
5 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 16 18.503s
6 Callum Ilott Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 16 19.980s
7 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 16 22.747s
8 Niko Kari Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 16 24.067s
9 Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 16 27.384s
10 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 16 29.868s
11 Mikkel Jensen kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 16 30.474s
12 Alessio Lorandi Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 16 31.230s
13 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 16 32.585s
14 Anthoine Hubert Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 16 34.097s
15 Arjun Maini ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/NBE 16 42.367s
16 Zhi Cong Li Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 16 52.153s
- George Russell Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 6 Retirement
- Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 5 Retirement
- Ryan Tveter Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 0 Withdrawn
- Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 0 Not started

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