Silverstone F3: Leo Pulcini ends difficult streak with victory

Pre-season title favourite Leo Pulcini delivered a first win of the season and ended a dire run to give Hitech Grand Prix an FIA Formula 3 Championship double

Silverstone F3: Leo Pulcini ends difficult streak with victory

Polesitter Liam Lawson - the Red Bull-backed driver being the youngest on the grid - performed admirably for MP Motorsport, in easily the best display of the season from a driver outside the top teams from the reversed-grid pole.

But after Juri Vips had taken the race one victory, his team-mate Leo Pulcini moved up to third at the start and made quick work of Trident Racing's Pedro Piquet to run behind Lawson.

He had to work incredibly hard to unseat the Kiwi driver, and it took until lap 10 of 20, but once in the lead he ran away with the win to give Hitech Grand Prix a clean sweep, a stones' throw from its head quarters, in tricky conditions on a damp track.

Lawson acted as a very impressive cork in the bottle, with the top 10 running nose to tail for most of the race.

Just after half-distance, Prema driver Robert Shwartzman - the Ferrari and SMP-backed junior leading the championship - started a barnstorming run where he jumped Christian Lundgaard for fourth, Piquet for third and finally Lawson for second with six laps remaining.

But Shwartzman's charge was too late to really challenge Pulcini,who'd moved over four seconds clear thanks to Lawson's defensive work.

Shwartzman's fastest lap, along with trouble for Vips and team-mate Jehan Daruvala, made it a perfect day for his championship.

On the penultimate lap, Piquet went around the outside of Stowe on Lawson, but he held on at Vale.

But Daruvala clipped the rear of Piquet at Club and took both drivers' out on the second to last lap, gifting Lawson the final spot on the podium and bunching the rest of the field up.

Marcus Armstrong made a move on Lundgaard in the closing stages to take fourth ahead of the ART Grand Prix driver, with his team-mate David Beckmann moving up impressively from 11th on the grid to take sixth.

Yuki Tsunoda passed three cars at the Arena section for 15th with less than five laps to go, and made the most of the late carnage caused by Daruvala and Piquet's incident to move up to seventh for Jenzer, ahead of the Sauber Junior Team driver Fabio Scherer.

Scherer's team-mate Lirim Zendeli was furious with qualifying and started he race 15th, but the reigning German F4 champion took ninth ahead of the Brazilian Carlin driver Felipe Drugovic.

Race one winner Vips was barged off the track at Brooklands on the opening lap and was pushed off again later in the race.

Arguably the Estonian had more pace than anyone but his constant setbacks during the race meant he had to settle for 13th after a late crash with Jake Hughes.

Vips was handed a five-second penalty after the race, which demoted him to 15th in the order but means he will not face a grid drop for the next race.

Result - 20 laps

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Leonardo Pulcini Hitech GP 35m57.713s
2 Robert Shwartzman Prema Racing 2.692s
3 Liam Lawson MP Motorsport 9.718s
4 Marcus Armstrong Prema Racing 10.118s
5 Christian Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 10.671s
6 David Beckmann ART Grand Prix 11.171s
7 Yuki Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport 12.150s
8 Fabio Scherer Charouz 13.048s
9 Lirim Zendeli Charouz 14.018s
10 Felipe Drugovich Carlin 14.857s
11 Yifei Ye Hitech GP 16.744s
12 Max Fewtrell ART Grand Prix 17.488s
13 Juri Vips Hitech GP 19.160s
14 Logan Sargeant Carlin 20.043s
15 Sebastian Fernandez Campos Racing 23.660s
16 Teppei Natori Carlin 29.136s
17 Devlin Defrancesco Trident 29.899s
18 Raoul Hyman Charouz 30.123s
19 Niko Kari Trident 30.779s
20 Bent Viscaal HWA 30.967s
21 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 32.930s
22 Andreas Estner Jenzer Motorsport 33.087s
23 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport 36.223s
24 Simo Laaksonen MP Motorsport 36.711s
25 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing 44.287s
26 Keyvan Andres HWA 1m02.568s
27 Pedro Piquet Trident Collision
28 Jehan Daruvala Prema Racing Collision
- Jake Hughes HWA Retirement
- Alex Peroni Campos Racing Retirement

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Robert Shwartzman 114
2 Jehan Daruvala 102
3 Juri Vips 92
4 Marcus Armstrong 77
5 Pedro Piquet 43
6 Max Fewtrell 37
7 Christian Lundgaard 36
8 Leonardo Pulcini 35
9 Jake Hughes 31
10 Liam Lawson 22
11 David Beckmann 19
12 Niko Kari 15
13 Yuki Tsunoda 11
14 Bent Viscaal 10
15 Richard Verschoor 9
16 Lirim Zendeli 6
17 Alex Peroni 5
18 Simo Laaksonen 2
19 Logan Sargeant 1
20 Fabio Scherer 1


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Red Bull F1 junior Vips wins Silverstone F3 race from pole

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