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“FIA F3: Leclerc wins Silverstone finale, but Giovinazzi heads points”

April 12, 2015

Leclerc took a win and a podium on his opening weekend. © FIA F3 Media Services.

Leclerc took a win and a podium on his opening weekend. © FIA F3 Media Services.

Charles Leclerc took his maiden FIA European Formula 3 victory at Silverstone this morning, edging points leader Antonio Giovinazzi all the way.

Jake Dennis took the podium with a late race move on Gustavo Menezes, who was suffering from mechanical issues.

Having lost the lead from pole during yesterday’s second race, Leclerc did not make the same mistake again, as he edged Giovinazzi and George Russell out through the opening corner at Abbey.
Thereafter the leading pair dropped Russell, yet while Giovinazzi held Leclerc close, for the most part the Italian could not pressure Leclerc into an error.

Giovinazzi did get close to the front at the half way mark, when Leclerc made an error through Abbey; however the Monegasque teen held his nerve and kept Giovinazzi behind as he challenged down the Wellington straight.

For the remainder, Leclerc maintained a solid gap of approximately one second to Giovinazzi, although this was briefly interrupted when the stranded Fortec Mercedes of Pietro Fittipaldi required removal, necessitating a safety car.
The race went green for the final two laps, but once again Leclerc drew ahead of his Carlin rival to take his first victory of the season. Meanwhile Giovinazzi’s triple-podium result gives the Italian an eight-point lead in the standings over Leclerc.

Dennis assumed 3rd on the final lap, when Menezes began to suffer the beginnings of a fuel pump failure. Until then Menezes had held 3rd quite ably, having passed Russell on the opening lap. It was a startling getaway by the American, who had jumped from the fourth row and into a battle for top positions by the Wellington Straight.
Dennis, too, passed Russell for 4th on the opening tour, but could do little about the impressive American until mechanical woes struck.

Russell’s shaky start dropped him to 5th, but Alexander Albon took that place from at the beginning of the fourth lap. While Albon stretched his legs, Russell settled into 6th, but was offered a golden opportunity when the late safety car closed the field up again.
The Briton took his chance and passed Albon for 5th at the restart and dropped the Signature driver by almost two seconds come the flag.

Markus Pommer assumed 7th for Motopark, while Brandon Maïsano, Callum Ilot and Mikkel Jensen filled out the rest of the top ten. Starting 35th and last, Felix Rosenqvist came home 12th, although an error following the final restart cost him the possibility of points.

There was an early, brief safety car period, following an opening lap spin for Lance Stroll. The Canadian stalled his Prema Powerteam entry, forcing race control to neutralise the race for a time.

Conditions at SIlverstone for much of the weekend were excellent. © FIA F3 Media Services.

Conditions at SIlverstone for much of the weekend were excellent. © FIA F3 Media Services.

2015 FIA European F3 Championship (Rd 1, Race 3, Silverstone)
Pos. Driver                  Team                  Time / Gap
 1.  Charles Leclerc         van Amersfoort-VW        18 laps
 2.  Antonio Giovinazzi      Jagonya Carlin-VW        +0.440s
 3.  Jake Dennis             Prema Powerteam-Merc     +3.255
 4.  Gustavo Menezes         Jagonya Carlin-VW        +4.242
 5.  George Russell          Carlin-VW                +4.626
 6.  Alexander Albon         Signature-VW             +6.345
 7.  Markus Pommer           Motopark-VW              +7.185
 8.  Brandon Maïsano         Prema Powerteam-Merc     +8.447
 9.  Callum Ilot             Carlin-VW                +9.098
10.  Mikkel Jensen           Mücke-Merc               +9.551
11.  Ryan Tveter             Jagonya Carlin-VW       +10.269
12.  Felix Rosenqvist        Prema Powerteam-Merc    +10.984
13.  Santino Ferrucci        Mücke-Merc              +11.622
14.  Alessio Lorandi         van Amersfoort-VW       +12.379
15.  Nabil Jeffri            Motopark-VW             +12.942
16.  Arjun Maini             van Amersfoort-VW       +13.969
17.  Dorian Boccolacci       Signature-VW            +14.485
18.  Nicolas Beer            EuroInternatonal-Merc   +14.820
19.  Michele Beretta         Mücke-Merc              +15.877
20.  Sérgio Sette            Motopark-VW             +16.074
21.  Maximilian Günther      Mücke-Merc              +17.417
22.  Tatiana Calderon        Carlin-VW               +18.216
23.  Hongwei Cao             Fortec-Merc             +19.958
24.  Matt Solomon            Double R-Merc           +20.622
25.  Fabian Schiller         West-Tec-Merc           +21.249
26.  Nicolas Pohler          Double R-Merc           +21.600
27.  Zhi Cong Li             West-Tec-Merc           +22.071
28.  Raoul Hyman             West-Tec-Merc           +22.561
29.  Mahaveer Raghunathan    Motopark-VW             +23.113
30.  Julio Moreno            ThreeBond T-Sport-NBE    +1 lap
Retirements:
     Sam MacLeod             Motopark-VW              +1 lap
     Matthew Rao             West-Tec-Merc            +1 lap
     Kang Ling               Mücke-Merc              +2 laps
     Pietro Fittipaldi       Fortec-Merc             +4 laps
     Lance Stroll            Prema Powerteam-Merc   +17 laps
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