Silverstone F3: Vips fends off Daruvala for win
Red Bull Formula 1 junior Juri Vips won the first FIA Formula 3 race of the weekend at Silverstone from pole for Hitech Grand Prix.
Polesitter Vips made a solid getaway but came under heavy pressure from fast-starting Jehan Daruvala of Prema Racing, and was on the defensive already in the first quarter of the race.
A virtual safety car intervened on the seventh lap of 20, but after that Vips was parking his Hitech Grand Prix car on the apex of most corners to hold off the charging Daruvala.
That brought Marcus Armstrong – Daruvala’s Ferrari-supported Prema teammate – into the mix in third after working his way back up the order following a slow start from second.
Daruvala attempted a move at around the outside of Brooklands on Vips for two consecutive laps, running wide on the second attempt which meant he had to defend from front-row starter Armstrong, the two going side-by-side at Luffield.
But a full safety car for Raoul Hyman’s crash at Copse suspended the battle, the race restarting on lap 16, with only three laps with DRS available left after that.
Vips backed the field up inches apart and then launched off Copse at the restart to move clear until lap 18 when DRS was reactivated.
Daruvala was told under safety car to stay further back at Maggotts and Becketts to get a better run onto the Hangar Straight by his engineer, but ultimately he wasn’t able to get close enough to challenge Vips, who took a second win in as many weekends.
Daruvala held on for second ahead of Armstrong and Vips’ teammate Leonardo Pulcini.
The third Prema car of Robert Shwartzman rounded out the top five, passing ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard late on.
Daruvala narrowly outpaced Vips and Shwartzman to claim the two fastest lap points, and now leads the latter by those two points in the drivers' standings.
Pedro Piquet passed Lundgaard to take sixth for Trident Racing, as the Renault junior tumbled to seventh in the closing stages.
The youngest driver on the grid, Liam Lawson, will give Red Bull-backed drivers a chance at a double as he starts from reversed-grid pole in Sunday’s race for MP Motorsport, holding off HWA’s Jake Hughes in the closing laps.
Campos Racing’s Alex Peroni rounded out the top 10, having started 21st.
Silverstone F3: Red Bull's Vips sees off Prema pair for pole
Silverstone F3: Pulcini wins, Shwartzman back into points lead