Hungaroring F3: Aron takes maiden F3 win in hectic Race 1
Reigning Italian F4 champion Ralf Aron took his first European F3 victory in just his second round in the series, with Niko Kari and Joel Eriksson completing an all-rookie podium.
Despite losing his pole for not respecting track limits, it was George Russell in the lead off the line as Maximilian Gunther suffered a sluggish restart.
The German was passed by Aron and Lance Stroll from the outside and inside of Turn 1 respectively to run fourth when the safety car entered the track, brought on by Callum Ilott crashing out.
Although Russell nailed the restart, he was never able pull away from Aron, the Estonian slowly getting closer.
The reigning Italian F4 champion made an overtaking attempt when Russell ran slightly wide at the first turn, which allowed four other cars to form a train behind them.
Aron was able to pass next time around and built a lead of four seconds in just one lap.
Russell looked set to lose further positions if not for Stroll running wide while exiting the final turn, the Canadian then narrowly holding off Eriksson, who had just passed Gunther.
Getting some brief breathing room, Russell was back under attack first by Stroll and then by Motopark duo Kari and Eriksson.
Despite massively struggling for pace, the Briton continued to hold second until Lap 15, when he was first passed by Kari and then lost several positions in virtually no time.
Once second and third, Kari and Eriksson started to rapidly close in on Aron but, with just a handful of minutes left, there was no time to reach him.
That allowed Aron to secure his maiden F3 victory with the aforementioned duo completing an all-rookie podium.
Stroll and Gunther ended up fourth and fifth respectively, closely followed by Carlin's Alessio Lorandi and Motopark duo Sergio Sette Camara and Guan Yu Zhou.
The top 10 was made up by Ben Barnicoat and Mikkel Jensen.
Soon after losing second, Russell retired in the pits with a tyre failure, with championship leader Nick Cassidy having done likewise earlier.
|1||Ralf Aron||Prema Powerteam|
|4||Lance Stroll||Prema Powerteam||11.297|
|5||Maximilian Gunther||Prema Powerteam||11.801|
|7||Sérgio Sette Camara||Motopark||12.612|
|8||Guan Yu Zhou||Motopark||13.090|
|10||Mikkel Jensen||kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport||14.407|
|12||Harrison Newey||Van Amersfoort Racing||16.289|
|13||Pedro Piquet||Van Amersfoort Racing||17.095|
|14||Arjun Maini||ThreeBond with T-Sport||28.629|
|15||Zhi Cong Li||Carlin||29.296|
|RET||George Russell||HitechGP||+4 Laps|
|RET||Nick Cassidy||Prema Powerteam||+6 Laps|
|RET||Anthoine Hubert||Van Amersfoort Racing||+10 Laps|
|RET||Callum Ilott||Van Amersfoort Racing||+21 Laps|
Ilott left "shocked" by Mazepin punch-up
Hungaroring F3: Gunther takes points lead with straightforward win