Callum Ilott wins dramatic Paul Ricard European F3 race

Callum Ilott took a surprise win from sixth on the grid in a dramatic second race of the opening Formula 3 European Championship round at Paul Ricard

Callum Ilott wins dramatic Paul Ricard European F3 race

The 17-year-old Briton avoided chaos on the first lap to move up to second, and then his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-Mercedes - built up around a spare tub after a fire sidelined Ilott's intended car in Thursday's test - inherited the lead when Nick Cassidy slipped up on the 15th lap of what turned out to be a 23-lap race.

A huge Turn 1 tangle was precipitated when Ben Barnicoat, running out of room on the inside, launched over the kerb and clattered into first-race winner Lance Stroll, who in turn tipped Joel Eriksson up onto two wheels.

Poleman Maximilian Gunther had been slow away and, in trying to avoid what was happening on the inside, collided with Harrison Newey.

Ralf Aron, who had run side-by-side with Mikkel Jensen and Ilott for second into Turn 1, spun around, meaning Cassidy had a large lead that was wiped out by the inevitable safety car.

After the restart, Cassidy's Prema Powerteam car held a one-second gap for most of the race from Ilott, while Ilott in turn kept Motopark's Guan Yu Zhou - the Chinese Ferrari protege up from 13th on the grid to third after passing Jensen on the eighth lap - at bay for second.

As drizzle began to fall, Cassidy made a mistake at Signes, running wide and dropping to third, but he was given a late reprieve when the safety car appeared again after Aron's left-rear wheel came off, the Estonian spinning off at the exit of Turn 2.

With heavier rain making the track slippery for the one-lap dash to the flag, Cassidy pulled a great manoeuvre on Zhou into Turn 2 to rescue second place, and the New Zealander now holds the championship lead.

Mucke Motorsport driver Jensen held Anthoine Hubert at arm's length for much of the race for fourth, Hubert undoing his good work by sliding wide two corners from the flag.

That promoted Sergio Sette Camara (Motopark), who gained three places on the last lap, to fifth, followed by Carlin duo Alessio Lorandi and Ryan Tveter.

Behind Hubert, Eriksson completed his recovery by clambering past Raoul Hyman and George Russell on the last lap for ninth, with Hyman beating Russell - who had started from the back of the grid - to the final point.

RESULTS - 23 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Callum Ilott Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 35m14.289s
2 Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 1.247s
3 Guanyu Zhou Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 1.840s
4 Mikkel Jensen kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 2.461s
5 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 4.408s
6 Alessio Lorandi Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 4.534s
7 Ryan Tveter Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 5.094s
8 Anthoine Hubert Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 5.098s
9 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 5.222s
10 Raoul Hyman Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 5.669s
11 George Russell Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 5.845s
12 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 6.855s
13 Arjun Maini ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/Threebond 7.620s
14 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 9.762s
15 Zhi Cong Li Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 15.533s
16 Niko Kari Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 18.238s
- Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Ben Barnicoat Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes Retirement


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