Esteban Ocon cruised to victory in the first race at the Moscow Raceway to end the six-race FIA European Formula 3 Championship winning streak of Max Verstappen. The French Prema Powerteam driver started on pole and led until the chequered flag to win by 1.536s from Jordan King of Carlin, with Verstappen third for Van Amersfoort Racing.
Ocon never looked troubled at the front of the field, and seemingly was happy to stay a few seconds ahead of his main challenges while always having something in reserve after his dominant qualifying display.
King was also comfortable for most of the race in second, but came under pressure from Verstappen at the end of the race after the Dutch driver had overtaken Tom Blomqvist early in the race. The Jagonya Ayam with Carlin driver held onto the back of Verstappen’s car for the remainder of the race, and 3.645s at the flag covered the top four.
Lucas Auer had a lonely race to fifth for Mücke Motorsport, as did Antonio Fuoco in sixth for Prema Powerteam. Nicholas Latifi took seventh in the third of four Prema Powerteam entries, not putting a foot wrong as he withstood pressure from Mücke Motorsport’s Felix Rosenqvist for long periods of time.
The battle for ninth was one of the more entertaining moments of the race, with Felix Serralles of Team West-Tec F3, Jake Dennis of Carlin and Gustavo Menezes of Van Amersfoort Racing all fighting for position. Dennis was taken out of the fight when he was handed a drive through penalty for exceeding track limits, but Menezes and Serralles swapped places a couple of times on the final few laps before ultimately the West-Tec F3 driver took the place.
Ocon now leads the championship by an increased margin of 84 points over Verstappen, with Auer a further 46 points back in third.
Moscow Raceway Race 1 Result
|1||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Prema Powerteam||35m47.041s|
|3||Max Verstappen||NED||Van Amersfoort Racing||+2.074s|
|4||Tom Blomqvist||GBR||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+3.645s|
|5||Lucas Auer||AUT||Mücke Motorsport||+7.254s|
|6||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Prema Powerteam||+11.289s|
|7||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Prema Powerteam||+19.679s|
|8||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Mücke Motorsport||+20.711s|
|9||Felix Serralles||PUE||Team West-Tec F3||+27.745s|
|10||Gustavo Menezes||USA||Van Amersfoort Racing||+28.561s|
|11||Jules Szymkowiak||NED||Van Amersfoort Racing||+31.166s|
|12||Dennis van de Laar||NED||Prema Powerteam||+31.736s|
|13||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+33.429s|
|14||Tatiana Calderon||COL||Jo Zeller Racing||+38.446s|
|17||Sean Galael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+55.001s|
|18||Roy Nissany||ISR||Mücke Motorsport||+1m01.097s|
|19||Hector Hurst||GBR||Team West-Tec F3||+1m12.677s|