Dan Ticktum penalty slashes his European Formula 3 points lead

Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum has had his Formula 3 European Championship lead slashed after being penalised for an incident in the first race of the weekend at Spa

Dan Ticktum penalty slashes his European Formula 3 points lead

Ticktum had 20 seconds added to his race time in lieu of a drivethrough penalty after being held responsible for a first-corner collision that removed two cars from contention.

The decision dropped the Motopark driver from fourth position to 13th in the results, and means he is now just 1.5 points ahead of Ralf Aron.

Ticktum started the race from 13th on the grid, but made contact with 11th qualifier Nikita Troitskiy, which in turn pushed the Russian into 12th starter Sacha Fenestraz.

Troitskiy was out on the spot with damaged suspension, while Carlin team-mate Fenestraz pitted to replace a punctured tyre before rejoining at the tail of the field.

The stewards held that "car #27 [Ticktum] was on the inside of Turn 1. He went outside the white line on the inside of Turn 1 with all four wheels and lost control of the car. He caused a collision with car #16 [Troitskiy] by his unsafe rejoin."

Motopark boss Timo Rumpfkeil told Autosport: "It was an appropriate penalty.

"They were all a bit early on the brakes, and to avoid running into Troitskiy he had to go to the inside, and it pushed him onto the kerb.

"He bottomed out and that sent him into Troitskiy."

Vips given five-place grid penalty

Juri Vips has been given a five-place grid penalty for Saturday's third race of the weekend in the wake of his collision with fellow Estonian Aron as they battled for the lead of race two.

Prema Powerteam driver Aron was attempting to repass Motopark racer Vips on the Kemmel straight when they collided, putting both out of the race.

Vips told Autosport: "I thought I was keeping my steering wheel straight and so was he, and then we just closed on each other.

"When you're racing for the lead and it's all so close these things happen, but I shouldn't have taken the risk so early in the race - he was ahead of me."

Aron, whose recent momentum includes two Zandvoort wins and had carried him into the championship lead after race one, said: "We're friends so I'm really sad that this happened.

"I was by, I was going straight, I didn't even see him beside me anymore and then boom.

"It's a shame - it's unfortunate that it's so many points wasted and it's nothing to do with me.

"This championship is so close and this could have been my breakaway weekend, but the season is not even halfway yet and I'm really pleased with how Prema is working."

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Dan Ticktum wins F3 race two at Spa from 10th on the grid

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Series FIA F3
Author Marcus Simmons
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