Rookie Russell beats Leclerc to maiden F3 victory

BRDC Formula 4 champion George Russell took his first European Formula 3 win in the second race at Silverstone ahead of fellow series newcomer Charles Leclerc.

Rookie Russell beats Leclerc to maiden F3 victory
Felix Rosenqvist, Prema Powerteam Dallara F312 Mercedes-Benz
Antonio Giovinazzi, Jagonya Ayam with Carlin
George Russell, Arden International
Charles Leclerc, Van Amersfoort Racing
Lance Stroll, Prema Powerteam Dallara F312 Mercedes-Benz
Alexander Albon, Signature
Pietro Fittipaldi, Fortec Motorsports Dallara F312 Mercedes-Benz

Russell seized the initiative at the very start of the race – held on a dry track after a damp opening race earlier in the day – as he crucially beat poleman Leclerc on the drag to the first corner.

Leclerc briefly slipped back to third behind Russell’s Carlin teammate Antonio Giovinazzi in the opening exchanges, but was able to muscle his way back past midway round the opening lap as the Safety Car was deployed in response to an incident lower down the order.

With Michele Beretta, Tatiana Calderon, Sergio Sette Camara and Callum MacLeod all eliminated in the carnage, Russell was able to press home his advantage at the head of the field once racing resumed following a two lap interlude.

As the 18-lap race neared half-distance, Leclerc briefly looked like mounting an assault for the lead, getting the gap to Russell down to seven tenths at one point before dropping back in the latter stages.

Behind the pair, Giovinazzi held of a determined attack by Lance Stroll to take the final podium place, with Brandon Maisano completing a top five that never changed after the early Safety Car period.

There was plenty of action behind the leading bunch however, as a large train of cars formed in the wake of Fabian Schiller when the race got back under way.

Alex Albon broke clear of the group after passing Schiller shortly after, the Thai going on to finish a lonely sixth, while the tightly bunched pack afforded race one winner Felix Rosenqvist the perfect opportunity to scythe his way through the field after starting last, the result of a bodywork infringement in qualifying.

Rosenqvist was already up from 35th and last on the grid to 13th behind the Safety Car after expertly negotiating the early chaos, and steadily climbed the order after the restart to move up to seventh by two-thirds distance, where the Swede would remain.

Also safely dispatching Schiller were Pietro Fittipaldi, Santino Ferucci and Mikkel Jensen, who completed the top 10, but Jake Dennis was less fortunate. The Brit dropped from sixth to 14th at the start and never recovered, failing to finish after getting tangled up with Schiller on the final lap.

 Pos   Driver   Car / Engine   Gap 
George Russell Dallara/Volkswagen 36:33.460 
Charles Leclerc Dallara/Volkswagen 1.723
A.Giovinazzi Dallara/Volkswagen 5.412
Lance Stroll Dallara/Mercedes 6.332
Brandon Maïsano Dallara/Mercedes 13.630
Alexander Albon Dallara/Volkswagen 15.005
Felix Rosenqvist Dallara/Mercedes 22.178
P.Fittipaldi Dallara/Mercedes 36.821
Santino Ferrucci Dallara/Mercedes 42.445
10  Mikkel Jensen Dallara/Mercedes 43.404
11  Fabian Schiller Dallara/Mercedes 44.052
12  M.Günther Dallara/Mercedes 44.849
13  Nabil Jeffri Dallara/Volkswagen 45.599
14  Arjun Maini Dallara/Volkswagen 45.928
15  Ryan Tveter Dallara/Volkswagen 46.420
16  Alessio Lorandi Dallara/Volkswagen 46.592
17  Martin Cao Dallara/Mercedes 50.542
18  Gustavo Menezes Dallara/Volkswagen 50.935
19  Callum Ilott Dallara/Volkswagen 52.882
20  Nicolas Beer Dallara/Mercedes 55.323
21  Kang Ling Dallara/Mercedes 56.477
22  Matt Rao Dallara/Mercedes 1'02.028
23  Julio Moreno Dallara/NBE 1'03.680
24  Nicolas Pohler Dallara/Mercedes 1'05.301
25  M.Raghunathan Dallara/Volkswagen 1'12.137
26  Matthew Solomon Dallara/Mercedes  
27  Raoul Hyman Dallara/Mercedes  
28  Zhi Cong Li Dallara/Mercedes  
Jake Dennis Dallara/Mercedes  
Markus Pommer Dallara/Volkswagen  
D.Boccolacci Dallara/Volkswagen  
S.S.Camara Dallara/Volkswagen  
Tatiana Calderón Dallara/Volkswagen  
Michele Beretta Dallara/Mercedes  
Sam MacLeod Dallara/Volkswagen
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