Silverstone F3: Smolyar resists Beckmann challenge for maiden win

ART Grand Prix driver Alexander Smolyar resisted race-long pressure from David Beckmann to claim his first FIA Formula 3 victory at Silverstone, as points leader Oscar Piastri failed to score

Silverstone F3: Smolyar resists Beckmann challenge for maiden win

Having finished 10th in Saturday's opener, SMP Racing protege Smolyar started from reverse-grid pole and made a strong start to maintain the lead ahead of fellow front-row starter Beckmann and third-placed Clement Novalak.

Smolyar managed to break away from his pursuers by one second in the early laps, but Beckmann had clawed his way back into DRS range when the safety car was called on lap five of 20 to retrieve Igor Fraga's stricken Charouz-run car.

At the restart on lap nine, Smolyar maintained control and although he was unable to shake Beckmann, the Trident driver never got close enough to attempt a move.

The closest Beckmann got came on lap 15 at Stowe, but Smolyar hung on - albeit later receiving a ticking off from his engineer for weaving along the Hangar Straight, something that was subsequently noted by the stewards.

Smolyar hung on for the remaining laps to win by 0.740s and become the sixth different winner from the eight races so far in 2020, while Carlin driver Novalak took his second podium of the year in third.

Alexander Peroni (Campos) came home fourth ahead of two Prema drivers, Frederik Vesti in fifth and Logan Sargeant in sixth.

The remaining Prema car of Piastri dropped down the order when he was forced into the gravel at Luffield by ART driver Theo Pourchaire, and the Australian was later forced to pit and retire when his DRS became stuck open.

It means nearest rival Sargeant, who also picked up two bonus points for fastest lap, closes to within 18 points of Piastri at the head of the standings.

Saturday race winner Liam Lawson (Hitech) finished seventh while the final point went to Pourchaire following a penultimate lap pass on Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport).

Jake Hughes (HWA) completed the top 10 after a brief off cost him places. Sebastian Fernandez (ART) lost the chance to fight for a podium finish after he suffered a problem on the formation lap that caused him to drop down the order.

The Spanish-Venezuelan driver picked up a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for having failed to get back into his grid position of fourth by the time the pack arrived at the safety car line before the start, and eventually finished a lowly 22nd.

Results - 20 laps

Pos Driver Team
1 David Beckmann Trident
2 Clement Novalak Carlin
3 Alex Peroni Campos Racing
4 Frederik Vesti Prema Racing
5 Logan Sargeant Prema Racing
6 Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix
7 Liam Lawson Hitech GP
8 Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix
9 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport
10 Jake Hughes HWA
11 Lirim Zendeli Trident
12 Ben Barnicoat Carlin
13 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer Motorsport
14 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport
15 David Schumacher Charouz
16 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport
17 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP
18 Roman Stanek Charouz
19 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA
20 Max Fewtrell Hitech GP
21 Sophia Florsch Campos Racing
22 Sebastian Fernandez ART Grand Prix
23 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport
24 Matteo Nannini Jenzer Motorsport
25 Cameron Das Carlin
26 Olli Caldwell Trident
27 Jack Doohan HWA
28 Alessio Deledda Campos Racing
- Oscar Piastri Prema Racing
- Igor Fraga Charouz


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Lawson sees off Piastri for victory in Silverstone F3 opener
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