James Rossiter scored his first victory in the British Formula 3 Championship with a dominating performance in difficult conditions at Silverstone International circuit. The Fortec Motorsport driver led from the start and, despite early pressure...
James Rossiter scored his first victory in the British Formula 3 Championship with a dominating performance in difficult conditions at Silverstone International circuit. The Fortec Motorsport driver led from the start and, despite early pressure from Alan Docking Racing's Will Power, carefully conserved his tyres on the drying track to take the flag by nearly three seconds.
Rossiter made a great start and quickly opened up a comfortable gap along the pit straight as his nearest competitors disappeared into a cloud of spray before the first corner. Power, fourth on the grid, got a good line out of Copse and successfully passed Nelson Piquet to move up to third place.
Danilo Dirani, who had started alongside Rossiter on the front row, spun at the Luffield complex at the end of the first lap and the unfortunate Lucas Di Grassi, unsighted in the spray, touched Dirani's stationary car. Both drivers were able to drive away although Di Grassi peeled off straight into the pitlane to retire. Dirani continued racing but it soon became apparent that he could not continue and he returned to his garage on the next lap.
Behind all the action at the front P1 Motorsport driver Adam Carroll, who was in joint second place in the championship with Clivio Piccione, had a sensational first lap as he improved from ninth on the grid to third by the end of the first lap and relegated Piquet to fourth.
Rossiter held a half of a second lead over Power as the leader fought to keep the Australian driver, whose was running faster in the opening laps, behind him with Carroll one second first back. Piquet had a slow second lap and lost a couple of seconds but his pace improved and he was soon lapping quicker than the leaders.
Will Davison struggled with his car for the whole of the race. The Menu F3 Motorsport driver was running around one second slower than those around him and, starting from fifth place, he inevitably slid down the field. He dropped a place to Viso on lap four, two places to Piccione and Thompson on the next lap and a further place on lap six to drop behind Parente and run in tenth place.
Rossiter and Power were exchanging fastest laps as both Carroll and Piquet slowly lost sight of the leaders. Piquet closed up on the back of Carroll and the pressure forced Carroll into a mistake in the second half of lap twelve and allowed Piquet to get past to move up to third. Carroll rejoined in fourth place five seconds further back.
Promatecme F3 driver Danny Watts was running in a solid fifth place. He held off an early attach from P1 Motorsport's Ernesto Viso and this allowed Andrew Thompson to move up on the back of Viso and got past along the pit straight on lap 14. Viso quickly took the place back and defended hard, forcing Thompson into a mistake on lap seventeen and losing five places to rejoin in thirteenth.
Power quickly faded away over the last four laps as he ran up to one second per lap slower than Rossiter and was suffering from a lack of grip. He had to push hard on the last lap though as Piquet had closed the gap down to under four tenths of a second.
Rossiter conserved his tires towards the end on the damp but drying track and he crossed the line with his arm in the air to win by nearly three seconds from Power. Piquet was unable to make a serious challenge on Power and settled for third place.
Piccione put in one of the performances of the day further down the field. He qualified in fifteenth place and had moved up to tenth by the end of the opening lap. A combination of decisive overtaking manoeuvres and a fast car helped him move up to sixth place by the end of lap nine, a position that he held for the rest of the race.