Williams F1 hopeful Lance Stroll dominates third Imola Euro F3 race

Newly crowned Formula 3 European champion Lance Stroll celebrated his title by destroying the opposition in the final race of the weekend at Imola

In a race that refreshingly ran free of safety cars, the Canadian Williams Formula 1 protege drove his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes at a relentless pace throughout.

Stroll even set a fastest lap of the race quicker than his pole-position time on the final lap, as he crossed the finish line 7.559 seconds clear of second-placed George Russell.

"I got warned once for track limits, which I was a bit surprised about," said Stroll.

"So it took it carefully and then on the last lap I was able to risk a bit more.

"It was a really good race, and I was able to maintain a good pace."

Hitech GP racer Russell managed to outdrag front-row-sitting fellow Brit Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing) into the Tamburello chicane after the start.

The gap between Russell and Ilott ebbed and flowed throughout the race, without Ilott ever getting close enough to mount a serious challenge.

Russell had a more aggressive set-up in a bid to challenge Stroll, but with the surprise lack of safety cars this meant his pace faded and he had to pull out all the stops to hold off Ilott as the race wore on.

Ilott, cautious at the start, admitted: "It was good to finish after being in the gravel quite a bit - it was a tough race, and I almost lost the car three times."

Prema's Ralf Aron continued his return to form with his second fourth place of the day, after beating Joel Eriksson away from the line.

The Motopark machine of Eriksson put Aron under serious pressure in the opening laps, but the Estonian weathered the storm, although Eriksson remained close in the battle for rookie honours.

Not far behind them, Anthoine Hubert (VAR) took sixth, with Mucke Motorsport's Mikkel Jensen a distant seventh and Prema man Nick Cassidy an even-more-distant eighth.

Behind them came the race's best entertainment.

David Beckmann went on an overtaking spree early on but, once he'd got up to ninth, the Mucke driver then found himself forced to defend from Motopark's Ferrari junior Guan Yu Zhou.

Sergio Sette Camara and Maximilian Gunther, both fighting through from penalised grid positions, closed in to make it a scrapping quartet, but Beckmann's resolute defence paid off as Zhou completed the points scorers.

Ben Barnicoat, penalised three places on the grid for an incident with Jensen in race two, headed this bunch early on but dropped down the order with a lack of pace.

Niko Kari, winner of the first race of the weekend, went out on the opening lap.


Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 22 35m23.977s
2 George Russell Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 22 7.559s
3 Callum Ilott Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 22 8.702s
4 Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 22 14.007s
5 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 22 15.358s
6 Anthoine Hubert Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 22 16.446s
7 Mikkel Jensen kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 22 21.226s
8 Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 22 27.942s
9 David Beckmann kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 22 33.325s
10 Guanyu Zhou Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 22 33.815s
11 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 22 35.169s
12 Ben Barnicoat Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 22 36.666s
13 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 22 41.325s
14 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 22 54.310s
15 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 22 57.105s
16 Andy Chang ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/NBE 22 1m41.557s
- Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 11 Retirement
- Ukyo Sasahara ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/Threebond 2 Retirement
- Niko Kari Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 0 Retirement


Pos Driver Points
1 Lance Stroll 432
2 Maximilian Guenther 296
3 George Russell 260
4 Nick Cassidy 227
5 Callum Ilott 226
6 Joel Eriksson 208
7 Anthoine Hubert 150
8 Ralf Aron 148
9 Niko Kari 129
10 Ben Barnicoat 124
11 Mikkel Jensen 107
12 Guanyu Zhou 99
13 Sergio Sette Camara 97
14 Alessio Lorandi 96
15 David Beckmann 52
16 Ryan Tveter 26
17 Harrison Newey 22
18 Pedro Piquet 19
19 Nikita Mazepin 5
20 Arjun Maini 3
21 Raoul Hyman 1

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