“FIA F3: Russell takes rookie win at Silverstone”

Russell took his first F3 win at Silverstone today. © FIA F3 Media Services.
Russell took his first F3 win at Silverstone today. © FIA F3 Media Services.

George Russell took his first FIA European Formula 3 championship victory at Silverstone today in what was only his 2nd race.

An aggressive start by the Carlin man opened up a gap into Abbey corner, while pole Charles Leclerc fell to 3rd, as Antonio Giovinazzi slotted into 2nd place.

The trio momentarily banged wheels as they fed from Abbey down toward the Arena bend, but as the opening turns unraveled, Russell led from Leclerc and Giovinazzi – the latter having lost ground in the entry onto the Wellington Straight.

Russell could not pull away immediately – a tangle between Sam Macleod, Sérgio Sette, Tatiana Calderon and Michele Beretta just after the Arena turn brought out the safety car for three laps.
Although the incident itself was not too serious, the nature of tangled carbon fibre rendered the clean up longer than was probably expected.

From the lap four green lap, Russell led again from Leclerc, but the Briton’s gap was pegged from 0.7s-1.3s for much of the running. It was not until the 13th lap that Russell began to stretch his legs – just as Leclerc began to struggle on his ageing Hankook tyres.
Thereafter, Russell managed the lead to Leclerc, taking victory at only the 2nd time of asking.

Giovinazzi could not hold onto the leading pair following the safety car period. The Italian discovered soon after his turn one clash that his Jagonya Ayam Carlin machine was slightly damaged, but not so dented that he lost dramatic amounts of time.
Lance Stroll pressed Giovinazzi for a portion of the race, but could do little to get around the experienced Carlin man as the effects of dirty air began to ripple over the front of his Prema Powerteam Mercedes entry.

Brandon Maïsano assumed 5th ahead of the impressive Alexander Albon (6th), but the real star of the race was Felix Rosenqvist. Having won race one, the Swede was forced to start 35th and last for today’s race and climbed to 7th position by the end of 18 laps, with the Prema Powerteam man spending much of the event passing car after car after car.
His progress halted when he took 7th on from the battling Pietro Fittipaldi and Fabian Schiller on lap 12, but which time Albon was too far ahead to be caught.

Fittipaldi finished the race 8th to grab his first FIA European F3 points. The Brazilian enjoyed a handy six second gap over Mücke Motorsport pairing Santino Ferrucci (9th) and Mikkel Jensen (10th).

2015 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 1, Race 3, Silverstone)
Pos. Driver                  Team                  Time / Gap
 1.  George Russell          Carlin-VW                18 laps
 2.  Charles Leclerc         van Amersfoort-VW        +1.723s
 3.  Antonio Giovinazzi      Jagonya Carlin-VW        +5.412s
 4.   Lance Stroll            Prema Powerteam-Merc    +6.332
 5.  Brandon Maïsano         Prema Powerteam-Merc    +13.630
 6.  Alexander Albon         Signature-VW            +15.005
 7.  Felix Rosenqvist        Prema Powerteam-Merc    +22.178
 8.  Pietro Fittipaldi       Fortec-Merc             +36.821
 9.  Santino Ferrucci        Mücke-Merc              +42.445
10.  Mikkel Jensen           Mücke-Merc              +43.404
11.  Fabian Schiller         West-Tec-Merc           +44.052
12.  Maximilian Günther      Mücke-Merc              +44.849
13.  Nabil Jeffri            Motopark-VW             +45.599
14.  Arjun Maini             van Amersfoort-VW       +45.928
15.  Ryan Tveter             Jagonya Carlin-VW       +46.420
16.  Alessio Lorandi         van Amersfoort-VW       +46.592
17.  Hongwei Cao             Fortec-Merc             +50.542
18.  Gustavo Menezes         Jagonya Carlin-VW       +50.935
19.  Callum Ilot             Carlin-VW               +52.882
20.  Nicolas Beer            EuroInternatonal-Merc   +55.323
21.  Kang Ling               Mücke-Merc              +56.477
22.  Matthew Rao             West-Tec-Merc         +1:02.028
23.  Julio Moreno            ThreeBond T-Sport-NBE +1:03.680
24.  Nicolas Pohler          Double R-Merc         +1:05.301
25.  Mahaveer Raghunathan    Motopark-VW           +1:12.137
26.  Matt Solomon            Double R-Merc            +1 lap
27.  Raoul Hyman             West-Tec-Merc            +1 lap
28.  Zhi Cong Li             West-Tec-Merc            +1 lap
     Jake Dennis             Prema Powerteam-Merc     +1 lap
     Markus Pommer           Motopark-VW              +1 lap
     Dorian Boccolacci       Signature-VW            +2 laps
     Michele Beretta         Mücke-Merc             +18 laps
     Sérgio Sette            Motopark-VW            +18 laps
     Tatiana Calderon        Carlin-VW              +18 laps
     Sam MacLeod             Motopark-VW            +18 laps

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