Spa European F3: Williams F1 junior Lance Stroll wins opening race

Formula 3 European Championship leader Lance Stroll took a consummate win in a rain-and-safety-car-marred first race of the weekend at Spa

Spa European F3: Williams F1 junior Lance Stroll wins opening race

With conditions torrential, the race began under the safety car and there were fewer than 14 minutes remaining when the field was finally unleashed, with the circuit still extremely treacherous.

Williams F1 protege Stroll built a 3.777 seconds advantage over the sister Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes of Maximilian Gunther on the first racing lap, and then pulled more than a second each time around until, after five laps under green, the race went under caution again.

With Canadian Stroll 8.894s to the good, the cause of the second safety car was a shunt at Les Combes for Weiron Tan, who had just emerged from the pits after serving a drive-through penalty for overtaking under the initial safety car.

It seemed as though there might be time for one more racing lap, but the sight of the 'Verviers Depannage' breakdown truck chugging up the Kemmel straight crushed any such hopes.

Behind Gunther, Ben Barnicoat completed the podium for Hitech Grand Prix.

The Briton had been passed by Prema's Nick Cassidy into the La Source hairpin when the race went green, only to fight back and bravely retake the place at Eau Rouge.

George Russell made it two Hitech cars in the top five, after passing the Van Amersfoort Racing machine of Harrison Newey around the outside of the final part of Les Combes on the second lap of racing.

Mucke Motorsport's David Beckmann was seventh, but not for the first time this year there was a collision with team-mate Mikkel Jensen, who tried to thrust his car into a diminishing gap at La Source and retired as a result of the damage sustained.

Ralf Aron (Prema) was eighth, with Carlin duo Ryan Tveter and Alessio Lorandi completing the points scorers.

RESULTS - 12 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 38m47.746s -
2 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 38m48.401s 0.655s
3 Ben Barnicoat Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 38m49.447s 1.701s
4 Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 38m50.045s 2.299s
5 George Russell Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 38m51.326s 3.580s
6 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 38m53.238s 5.492s
7 David Beckmann kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 38m54.898s 7.152s
8 Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 38m56.057s 8.311s
9 Ryan Tveter Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 38m56.849s 9.103s
10 Alessio Lorandi Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 38m57.642s 9.896s
11 Niko Kari Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 38m59.050s 11.304s
12 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 39m02.088s 14.342s
13 Ukyo Sasahara ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/Threebond 39m03.988s 16.242s
14 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 39m07.054s 19.308s
15 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 39m07.943s 20.197s
16 Callum Ilott Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 39m08.987s 21.241s
17 Guanyu Zhou Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 39m10.027s 22.281s
18 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 39m13.683s 25.937s
- Weiron Tan Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 29m32.175s Retirement
- Mikkel Jensen kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 38m51.925s Retirement
- Anthoine Hubert Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 24m13.801s Retirement

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Spa European F3: George Russell claims double pole for Hitech

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