George Russell held off the challenge from Charles Leclerc to take his maiden FIA European Formula 3 Championship victory in race two at Silverstone.
The Carlin driver made an immaculate getaway from the start to move ahead of Van Amersfoort Racing’s Leclerc, who initially dropped to third from pole position before re-passing Antonio Giovinazzi on the opening lap.
Russell also had to contend with a safety car period that was necessary to clear up a first lap crash at turn three that involved a number drivers, and saw Michele Beretta, Tatiana Calderon, Sergio Sette Camara and Sam MacLeod all end their races with damage.
Jagonya Ayam with Carlin driver Giovinazzi ended the race third, himself holding off the attention of Lance Stroll to the flag, with Stroll’s Prema Powerteam team-mate Brandon Maisano taking fifth.
Alexander Albon was sixth for Signature ahead of Felix Rosenqvist, who after being relegated to the back of the grid following a post-qualifying penalty, performed some amazing overtaking manoeuvres during the race, including a couple heading into the fast Becketts/Maggotts sequence of corners to take seventh.
Pietro Fittipaldi scored his and Fortec Motorsports’ first points of the season in eighth, with Mücke Motorsport duo Santino Ferrucci and Mikkel Jensen taking the final points on offer after taking advantage of a last lap clash between Fabian Schiller and Jake Dennis that saw the German finish just outside the points in eleventh and the Briton out of the race with a broken rear wheel.
There was lots of wheel-to-wheel action throughout the race, with drivers dicing for position, with Dennis being warned mid-race for changing direction too many times, with his clash with Schiller and the turn 3 incident on the opening lap remaining under investigation.
But no one was to deny Russell a victory in front of his home fans.
“Conditions were a lot better than they were this morning,” said Russell after the race. “I managed to get quite a good start and lead after the first lap, and then the safety car came out which was a bit worrying for me.
“[It] brings the pack back together and there’s chances for the people behind me to overtake me but I managed to a good restart; I got a nice gap to Charles.
“In the mid-race he was catching me back up again but I think we just held onto the tyres a little better than they did and towards the end they dropped off and we managed to maintain our pace.”
Silverstone Race 2 Result
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