Hamilton keeps his cool in race 1

Formula Three Euroseries Champion Lewis Hamilton continued his domination of the series with a cool-headed victory in tricky conditions in today's first race at Hockenheim

Hamilton keeps his cool in race 1

The ASM Dallara-Mercedes driver led away from pole position and held the lead for all of the 17 laps. He nursed his wet tyres during the middle stint of the race, when the track appeared to be drying, and then increased his advantage as rain started to fall heavily in the closing stages.

Hamilton's eventual winning margin was more than 14 seconds.

Behind Hamilton, Lucas di Grassi ceded second initially to Franck Perera, but overtook the Frenchman at the hairpin on the opening lap and held the runner-up spot thereafter to make his third place in the series look more secure.

Perera, di Grassi's main challenger for third in the standings, appeared to be working his tyres hard in the early laps and was paying the penalty by mid-race; he had to give way to Maximillian Gotz in the other ASM Dallara, then Loic Duval's Signature machine.

Duval's car was damaged, though, after he'd collided with Paul di Resta earlier in the race, and a huge tank-slapper in the first corner of the penultimate lap handed back the placing to Perera. Duval finished fifth, ahead of his teammate James Rossiter.

The tricky conditions caused plenty of incidents; Guillaume Moreau and Ben Clucas, who'd both qualified strongly, made poor starts off the line.

Moreau tangled with Sebastian Vettel at the first corner and damaged his suspension, while Clucas was making a good recovery later in the race when he was tapped into a spin later by Fabio Carbone.

Carbone's damaged car then speared straight on in front of the Mercedes grandstand and slammed head-on into the tyre wall. The Brazilian escaped unhurt.

Hamilton also has the perfect opportunity to end the year on a high with a double victory - he starts tomorrow's second race from pole.

CLASSIFIED:

Pos  Driver             Team                      Time
 1.  Lewis Hamilton     ASM F3                     31:16.906
 2.  Lucas di Grassi    Manor Motorsport           +  14.230
 3.  Maximilian Gotz    ASM F3                     +  16.553
 4.  Franck Perera      Prema Powerteam            +  24.345
 5.  Loic Duval         Signature-Plus             +  27.736
 6.  James Rossiter     Signature-Plus             +  28.523
 7.  Marco Bonanomi     Prema Powerteam            +  31.772
 8.  Esteban Guerrieri  Team Midland Euroseries    +  40.439
 9.  Atila Abreu        ASL Mucke Motorsport       +  41.607
10.  Hannes Neuhauser   HBR Motorsport             +  47.046
11.  Greg Franchi       Prema Powerteam            +  56.940
12.  Filip Salaquarda   Team I.S.R.                +  58.752
13.  Kohei Hirate       Team Rosberg               +1:09.784
14.  Sebastian Vettel   ASL Mucke Motorsport       +   1 lap

NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS:

     Driver             Team                       On Lap
     Paul di Resta      Manor Motorsport             11
     Thomas Holzer      AM-Holzer Rennsport           8
     Ben Clucas         Team Midland Euroseries       7
     Fabio Carbone      Signature                     7
     Alejandro Nunez    HBR Motorsport                6
     Guillaume Moreau   Signature                     0
     G. van der Garde   Team Rosberg                  0

Fastest lap: Sebastian Vettel, 1:47.439 on lap 10
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Hamilton on pole for first race
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