Stroll and Cassidy romp away from field for 1-2 Euro F3 finish

Autosport

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.

Stroll had the poorer getaway from pole position on the damper side of the grid, 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:

PosDriverTeamCarGap
1Lance StrollPrema PowerteamDallara/Mercedes34m39.947s
2Nick CassidyPrema PowerteamDallara/Mercedes0.769s
3George RussellHitechGPDallara/Mercedes6.983s
4Benjamin BarnicoatHitechGPDallara/Mercedes8.615s
5Maximilian GuntherPrema PowerteamDallara/Mercedes9.202s
6Joel ErikssonMotoparkDallara/Volkswagen13.040s
7Ralf AronPrema PowerteamDallara/Mercedes13.453s
8Niko KariMotoparkDallara/Volkswagen16.613s
9Harrison NeweyVan Amersfoort RacingDallara/Mercedes19.159s
10Callum IlottVan Amersfoort RacingDallara/Mercedes19.718s
11Pedro PiquetVan Amersfoort RacingDallara/Mercedes20.747s
12Alessio LorandiCarlinDallara/Volkswagen20.967s
13Mikkel JensenMucke MotorsportDallara/Mercedes24.008s
14Guan Yu ZhouMotoparkDallara/Volkswagen24.465s
15Ryan TveterCarlinDallara/Volkswagen27.726s
16Sergio Sette CamaraMotoparkDallara/Volkswagen34.218s
17Anthoine HubertVan Amersfoort RacingDallara/Mercedes34.428s
18Raoul HymanCarlinDallara/Volkswagen36.478s
19Nikita MazepinHitechGPDallara/Mercedes45.829s
20Zhi Cong LiCarlinDallara/Volkswagen53.879s
Arjun MainiThreeBond with T-SportDallara/ThreebondRetirement

Stroll and Cassidy romp away from field for 1-2 Euro F3 finish

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