The first race of the weekend in the FIA F3 European Championship at Silverstone saw a dominant 1-2 finish by Carlin‘s Harry Tincknell and Prema Powerteam‘s Alex Lynn, who were within a second of each other from start to finish over 19 laps, as the man on Pole Position led going into the first corner. Spots of rain at Woodcote were reported as the drivers made their way around the Northamptonshire track during the formation lap, but the rain soon disappeared.
The track was damp in places, predominantly at Stowe, with spray being kicked up by the drivers if they went onto the kerbing. Mans Grenhagen stalled his Dallara at the lights, prompting a swarm of cars to avoid the Swede’s stricken vehicle. Double R Racing‘s Antonio Giovinazzi had a spin and Sean Galeal made contact with another car going into Abbey, with the Indonesian losing his front wing and then receiving a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane, dropping the 16-year-old down the grid.
Threebond with T-Sport‘s Willam Buller made his way past points leader Rafaelle Marciello, as Lynn took second place from kfzteile24 Mucke Motorsport‘s Felix Rosenqvist early on. Canada’s Nicholas Latifi was close on Rosenqvist’s heels for part of the race, whilst Buller’s Australian team mate Spike Goddard spun out at Luffield, and was promptly lapped by the leaders.
Tincknell and Lynn scarpered away from the field, opening up a gap over third place finisher Rosenqvist, who found himself dropping back as the timer counted down, with multiple trains of drivers throughout the rest of the field, battling for position. Marciello and Buller were fighting for the mid part of the race, with the Italian Ferrari Driver Academy protege trying as hard as he could to get past the County Down driver. But as the duo were joined by Lucas Auer, who set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 12 with a 1:53.869, Marciello was given no room going into Luffield, with Buller taking the racing line, and promptly went wide, losing out to Auer.
Fortec Motorsport‘s Josh Hill was battling with Sven Muller, when contact caused the third-generation racer to loose part of the underfloor on his car whilst running wide, prompting his subsequent retirement on Lap 13. Auer was pushing hard to get past Buller, but a half-hearted attempt to get past gave Marciello the space he needed to move up again past his team mate, with the Italian finishing in 6th place. This still meant the Italian kept the points lead going into Race two this afternoon. Buller dropped back the order to 7th behind the Prema Powerteam driver.
Galeal and sole Romeo Ferraris driver Gary Thompson, who suffered a puncture during the race, were also lapped during proceedings, with Sandro Zeller retiring from the race. TCF’s new resident blogger Tatiana Calderon made her way from last place to 23rd, behind Roy Nissany. GT Academy graduate Jann Mardenborough finished in 17th, being passed by Mitch Gilbert with a few minutes left. F3 rookie Jordan King got as high as 8th, but found himself drop down the order to 11th behind Felix Serrales, Luis Felipe Derani and Eurointernational‘s Tom Blomqvist in a late battle to the chequered flag.
At the press conference, Tincknell was really happy for the Carlin team, and felt confident with the car, but with some of the WEC cars spinning off the track, the British driver commented about the beginning of the race, when it came to track conditions: “The opening couple of laps were quite damp and being the first car going into each corner, I managed to make my way through without many issues, and as the race carried on, the track dried out and I started getting down to the times that I was doing during qualifying yesterday.”
Lynn was asked about whether having a home advantage was key to his result at Silverstone, but the Briton said that was not the case, as he went on to say about the experience that both he and Tincknell have around Silverstone in categories such as British F3 & Formula Renault UK: “We know the circuit quite well and other drivers know other circuits well. It is an advantage you’ve got to take when it comes. It was a bit disappointing as I was on the dirty side of the grid, which was a bit damp, so I couldn’t make the start I wanted. To be fair, the car was really good and the pace was really strong, it was just a shame I couldn’t find a way past Harry, but it was solid race and I didn’t make any mistakes.”
Both Lynn and Tincknell commented about the degrading of the tyres, as the teams will have to try to set up the cars for the abrasive Northamptonshire circuit for Race 2, which sees the Carlin driver in pole position, with Rosenqvist on the other side of the front row, with both Lynn and Marciello waiting to pounce from the second row of the grid this afternoon…
After post race scrutineering, Double R Racing’s Giovinazzi was excluded from the race result, as there was insufficient fuel in his Dallara-Mercedes to provide a sample for examination.