Williams F1 protege Stroll takes first win of European F3 season

Williams Formula 1 protege Lance Stroll took the first win of the Formula 3 European Championship season after making an easy pass on team-mate Nick Cassidy on the second lap

Williams F1 protege Stroll takes first win of European F3 season

Stroll had the poorer getaway from pole position, allowing the sister Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes of Cassidy into the lead, but the New Zealander did not make it difficult for the Canadian to slip past next time into Turn 1, Cassidy claiming he accidentally selected first gear at the final corner.

While George Russell - the most likely threat to the Prema team - managed to move from fourth on the grid to third at the start, the Hitech Grand Prix driver could not stay on terms with the Prema duo out front.

Stroll opened an advantage of between 1.5 and 2.0 seconds, although Cassidy trimmed it to below a second going into the closing stages, with Russell a few seconds in arrears.

Despite losing out to Prema, the Silverstone-based Hitech GP squad began its first full season in style with Ben Barnicoat comfortably completing a three-four, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver taking first blood in the rookie campaign.

Maximilian Gunther, the poleman for races two and three, hovered around behind the Derbyshire driver, but the Prema-run German lost a bit of time with a few laps to go and was only just getting back on terms with Barnicoat by the finish.

It was a similar story behind, with Motopark's Joel Eriksson keeping the Prema machine of Ralf Aron at bay throughout for sixth.

While it was processional at the front, a spectacular battle raged in the lower reaches of the top 10.

Niko Kari flunked his start from third on the grid and appeared to make contact with fellow Red Bull junior and Motopark team-mate Sergio Sette Camara, sending Sette Camara into a spin.

That put him into a battle for eighth with Alessio Lorandi (Carlin) and Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing).

After Kari had got the position, VAR team-mates Pedro Piquet and Callum Ilott joined in the fight.

Newey did an impressive job to finish ninth, gaining points on his F3 debut, while Ilott completed his charge from 21st and last on the grid by winning a late-braking contest with Piquet into Turn 1 with five laps remaining for 10th.

RESULTS - 25 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 34m39.947s
2 Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 0.769s
3 George Russell Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 6.983s
4 Ben Barnicoat Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 8.615s
5 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 9.202s
6 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 13.040s
7 Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 13.453s
8 Niko Kari Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 16.613s
9 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 19.159s
10 Callum Ilott Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 19.718s
11 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 20.747s
12 Alessio Lorandi Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 20.967s
13 Mikkel Jensen kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 24.008s
14 Guanyu Zhou Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 24.465s
15 Ryan Tveter Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 27.726s
16 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 34.218s
17 Anthoine Hubert Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 34.428s
18 Raoul Hyman Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 36.478s
19 Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 45.829s
20 Zhi Cong Li Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 53.879s
- Arjun Maini ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/Threebond Retirement


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