Silverstone GP3: Ferrari junior Antonio Fuoco battles to win

Ferrari protege Antonio Fuoco won a thrilling second GP3 race of the weekend at Silverstone, having run as low as eighth on the first lap

Silverstone GP3: Ferrari junior Antonio Fuoco battles to win

In slippery conditions, the Southern Italian picked his way through the order, his Trident car moving into the lead with just over two laps remaining when Alex Palou slid into the run-off at Stowe.

As it turned out, Palou's error on lap 11 turned out to be just a couple of corners before the official end of the race.

As the field completed the 12th lap, the leading runners went through before bungling officials waved the chequered flag at the lower orders.

The race has consequently been back-dated red-flag style to the end of the previous lap, meaning the action over the last two tours was in vain.

That cost Charles Leclerc, who stormed into contention for victory straight away from the fourth row, but looked a little tentative regarding risky passing moves in the conditions.

Leclerc enjoyed a close battle with Fuoco while simultaneously putting the pressure on Palou, which ended when Fuoco repaid Leclerc's Saturday move around the outside of Stowe with a magnificent pass.

Leclerc lost third position to ART team-mate Nyck de Vries on the 12th lap, but then both managed to get past the Campos Racing machine of Palou on the 13th.

De Vries finished second from Leclerc on the road, but was carrying a five-second penalty for a collision with Ralph Boschung, which should have promoted Leclerc to second.

But the back-dated result restores Palou to second, from Leclerc.

A mighty charge from Santino Ferrucci from the back of the grid gave the DAMS driver fourth place.

He just held off Jack Aitken, who was also very rapid in the closing laps, but the chequered-flag gaffe means Aitken takes sixth in the results behind Steijn Schothorst.

Seventh goes to Nirei Fukuzumi from the penalised de Vries, with Boschung dropping down from what would have been fifth to outside the points owing to a 10s penalty for a clash with Jake Dennis.

That came just after the end of the second of two safety-car periods. Dennis was turned around at Village at a point when he was just behind Fuoco and the Briton was classified ninth, ahead of early leader Sandy Stuvik.

Matt Parry was another out of luck. He was running second to Palou when he was given a black-and-orange flag for a loose front wing after contact with poleman Arjun Maini on the first lap, the incident giving Maini a puncture.

Meanwhile, Saturday winner Alexander Albon made an early pitstop and was classified 14th.

RESULTS - 11 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Antonio Fuoco Trident 27m55.438s
2 Alex Palou Campos Racing 0.459s
3 Charles Leclerc ART Grand Prix 0.583s
4 Santino Ferrucci DAMS 3.695s
5 Steijn Schothorst Campos Racing 5.060s
6 Jack Aitken Arden International 5.626s
7 Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix 6.344s
8 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 6.370s
9 Jake Dennis Arden International 7.733s
10 Sandy Stuvik Trident 9.914s
11 Kevin Jorg DAMS 10.890s
12 Ralph Boschung Koiranen GP 12.091s
13 Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing 24.918s
14 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 35.466s
15 Artur Janosz Trident 46.637s
16 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 50.407s
17 Jake Hughes DAMS 51.960s
18 Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP 55.404s
19 Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport 1m16.796s
20 Tatiana Calderon Arden International 1 Lap
- Akash Nandy Jenzer Motorsport Retirement
- Giuliano Alesi Trident Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Charles Leclerc 86
2 Alexander Albon 84
3 Antonio Fuoco 72
4 Nyck de Vries 42
5 Ralph Boschung 38
6 Jake Hughes 31
7 Nirei Fukuzumi 23
8 Matt Parry 22
9 Oscar Tunjo 18
10 Jake Dennis 16
11 Alex Palou 13
12 Jack Aitken 12
13 Kevin Jorg 12
14 Santino Ferrucci 8
15 Sandy Stuvik 8
16 Steijn Schothorst 6
17 Matevos Isaakyan 4
18 Arjun Maini 4
19 Artur Janosz 2
20 Akash Nandy 0
21 Konstantin Tereschenko 0
22 Richard Gonda 0
23 Tatiana Calderon 0
24 Giuliano Alesi 0
25 Mahaveer Raghunathan 0

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