“FIAF3: Stroll in the park for Lance”
Newly crowned FIA European F3 Champion Lance Stroll secured his second race win of the weekend in stellar style, finishing nearly eight seconds ahead of George Russell and another two ahead of Callum Ilott.
The Prema Powerteam man led from the off, while Russell and Ilott fought over the runner-up prize into the opening corners.
In the only race this weekend not interrupted by the safety car, Stroll showcased his prowess, as he edged away from the chasing pack over almost all of the race’s twenty-two laps.
Such was the Canadian teenager’s confidence, he even registered the fastest lap of the weekend – a 1:35.876s – on the final tour. Having already secured the title in race two, Stroll appeared confident and happy within himself prior to the start and that really showed in this performance.
Russell had a trickier time as he kept Ilott at bay for the duration. Starting from the cleaner side of the grid, the Hitech GP man was able to slip by his van Amersfoort rival on the run down to Tamburello, securing the place under braking on the run into the chicane.
Thereafter Ilott held Russell close – often within one-and-a-half seconds – but he could not do enough to pressure Russell into an error. It was a good result for Russell, who now finds himself just 36 points shy of Maxi Günther in the standings.
Ralf Aron passed Joel Eriksson for 4th place on the opening lap and the pair remained relatively close as the race aged, but like the battles ahead, Eriksson could not close in of his Estonian rival to make a move.
Anthoine Hubert and Mikkel Jensen secured 6th and 7th respectively, having started in those positions; however Nick Cassidy proved the biggest mover as he climbed from 13th on the grid to 8th by the end.
David Beckmann led a gaggle of cars home across the line. The German headed a close battle with Guan Yu Zhou (10th), Sergio Sette Camara (11th) and Günther (12th) – the quartet were covered by 1.757s across the line.
Ben Barnicoat had a difficult race. Initially running 8th, the Hitech GP endured a tricky mid-section to the race, losing five places in the process, before his pace began to recover.
There were incidents at the start, when Niko Kari and Nikita Mazepin suffered offs, resulting in retirement for Kari and then Ukyo Sasahara destroyed his right rear suspension on lap three.
Harrison Newey also damaged his suspension with an off at the halfway mark, resulting in his retirement.