Spa F3: Stroll dominates rain-soaked Race 1

Prema Powerteam driver Lance Stroll braved the wet conditions to dominate the opening race of European F3's Spa-Francorchamps round.

Spa F3: Stroll dominates rain-soaked Race 1
Lance Stroll, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312 - Mercedes-Benz
Lance Stroll, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312 - Mercedes-Benz
Lance Stroll, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312 - Mercedes-Benz
Maximilian Günther, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312 – Mercedes-Benz
Ben Barnicoat, HitechGP, Dallara F312 - Mercedes-Benz

Stroll's seventh win of the season came in a race in which the majority of the running was done under safety car - but the Canadian's triumph was never in question even during the green-flag stints.

With rain coming down heavily during the build-up of the race, a safety car start was called - and the race would run neutralised for the first five laps, with 20 minutes ticking down from the 35-minute scheduled time.

The weather conditions cleared up slightly by that point and, having kicked off the race from pole, Stroll immediately established a solid lead over teammate Maximilian Gunther when the green flags were waved.

After the first proper race lap, the Canadian's advantage was up to 3.7s - and it grew to 8s by the end of the race, before a Les Combes off for Carlin's Weiron Tan brought the safety car back out for the final two tours.

As such, Stroll coasted to victory, ahead of Gunther and Ben Barnicoat, who narrowly denied Prema a 1-2-3.

The Brit had battled with Prema's Nick Cassidy on the mid-race restart, with Cassidy making a divebomb move down the inside of La Source, only for Barnicoat to keep to the inside into Eau Rouge and hold on to the spot.

Barnicoat's teammate George Russell passed Harrison Newey round the outside to claim fifth, with Adrien Newey's son settling for sixth - his best finish yet in the series.

David Beckmann shrugged off contact with teammate Mikkel Jensen at La Source to finish seventh, with Ralf Aron in the fourth Prema car taking eighth place.

Carlin duo Ryan Tveter and Alessio Lorando made up the top 10 and were the only drivers to score points in cars with Volkswagen engines.

Despite the treacherous conditions, the drivers were largely well-behaved during the green-flag stint, the only other incident of note taking place between Ferrari junior Guan Yu Zhou and Anthoine Hubert at Bus Stop - the former spinning and the latter getting a puncture.

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