Charles Leclerc survived a worrying moment when smoke appeared out of his back of his Prema Racing machine early on at Silverstone to take his fifth win of the season on Saturday.
The Monegasque driver had pulled out more than a six-second advantage by the end of lap six, but a lot of smoke was seen exiting the rear of his car heading down the Wellington Straight and all the way around to the pit lane, but after making his mandatory pit stop, he was able to keep going until the chequered flag without further issues.
Leclerc eventually took the chequered flag 8.866 seconds clear of the Norman Nato, with the Pertamina Arden driver jumping Oliver Rowland at the start before holding off the DAMS driver all of the way through the 28 lap race.
The closest Rowland came to passing Nato was heading into Brooklands on lap eight, but the Frenchman held off the challenge, and held on to second place by 0.739 seconds.
Artem Markelov secured fourth for Russian Time having battled hard early on with Nobuharu Matsushita, however the Japanese racer took the gamble to use the alternative pit strategy, starting on the Hard tyre before switching to the Soft, which ultimately was not the way to go on the day.
When he did make his mandatory pit stop, Matsushita returned to the track down in tenth position, with the ART Grand Prix driver taking only one point from the race.
Markelov was able to have a clear run to the chequered flag, although Sergio Canamasas had his strongest race of the season so far to finish on the Russian drivers’ tail to take fifth place for Rapax, having made a good move on Jordan King at Brooklands.
MP Motorsport’s King also fell behind the charging Luca Ghiotto to finish seventh, with Nicholas Latifi claiming eighth for DAMS, which will translate into reverse grid pole on Sunday.
Sean Gelael had a strong race to finish ninth for Pertamina Arden ahead of Matsushita, with Ralph Boschung just outside the points for Campos Racing ahead of Louis Delétraz.
The race was delayed and the distance reduced by one lap when Nyck de Vries, Alexander Albon and debutant Callum Ilott all stalled on the grid, but although the final two got going again, de Vries’ race was over with a terminal issue.
Silverstone Feature Race Result
|1||1||Charles Leclerc||MON||Prema Racing||49:23.075|
|2||20||Norman Nato||FRA||Pertamina Arden||+8.866s|
|4||6||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||+17.743s|
|6||5||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||Russian Time||+24.284s|
|7||15||Jordan King||GBR||MP Motorsport||+26.498s|
|9||21||Sean Gelael||INO||Pertamina Arden||+28.904s|
|10||7||Nobuharu Matsushita||JAP||ART Grand Prix||+34.560s|
|11||11||Ralph Boschung||SWI||Campos Racing||+44.764s|
|12||3||Louis Deletraz||SWI||Racing Engineering||+46.536s|
|13||14||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||MP Motorsport||+47.050s|
|14||4||Gustav Malja||SWE||Racing Engineering||+50.673s|
|16||2||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Prema Racing||+1:01.355s|
|17||12||Robert Visoiu||ROM||Campos Racing||+1:09.543s|
|18||8||Alexander Albon||THA||ART Grand Prix||+1:12.549s|
|19||17||Callum Ilott||GBR||Trident||+1 Lap|
|RET||18||Nyck de Vries||NED||Rapax||Retired|