In a race dominated by tyre wear, it was Ralf Aron who claimed his maiden FIA European Formula 3 Championship victory in race one at the Hungaroring, and thus became the first rookie winner of the season.
The Estonian Prema Powerteam driver passed race leader George Russell on the ninth lap and pulled away to claim victory, with Russell suffering badly with tyre wear on his Hitech GP machine that saw him run laps well off the ultimate pace.
Once Aron was ahead, there was no looking back, and he conserved his own tyres well to ensure victory.
Russell on the other hand faded away, initially holding off a train of five other cars before falling down the order before finally returning just a handful of laps from the end when well outside the points.
Niko Kari and Joel Eriksson completed the podium for Motopark, with both drivers seemingly trouble free of tyre issues themselves, with the duo closing the gap down to Aron in the closing laps but ultimately ending up being forced to settle for the lower places on the podium.
Lance Stroll and pole sitter Maximilian Günther were fourth and fifth for Prema Powerteam, who’s other driver Nick Cassidy was another to struggle with tyre wear, retiring himself after dropping out of points contention.
Alessio Lorandi claimed sixth for Carlin ahead of Motopark’s Sergio Sette Camara and Guan Yu Zhou, while Ben Barnicoat claimed ninth for Hitech GP after not suffering the same tyre issues as team-mate Russell.
Mikkel Jensen claimed the final point on offer in tenth for Mücke Motorsport, just denying Carlin’s Ryan Tveter and Van Amersfoort Racing duo Harrison Newey and Pedro Piquet.
As well as Russell and Cassidy, Anthoine Hubert retired his Van Amersfoort Racing entry with an apparent engine issue, while Callum Ilott was eliminated on the opening lap after running out of room while battling with Barnicoat heading into turn two that saw him end his race and bring out a brief, one lap safety car.
Hungaroring Race 1 Result
|1||16||Ralf Aron||EST||Prema Powerteam||35m01.789s|
|4||1||Lance Stroll||CAN||Prema Powerteam||+11.297s|
|5||17||Maximilian Gunther||GER||Prema Powerteam||+11.801s|
|7||9||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||Motopark||+12.612s|
|9||24||Ben Barnicoat||GBR||Hitech GP||+13.632s|
|10||7||Mikkel Jensen||DEN||Mucke Motorsport||+14.407s|
|12||20||Harrison Newey||GBR||Van Amersfoort Racing||+16.289s|
|13||5||Pedro Piquet||BRZ||Van Amersfoort Racing||+17.095s|
|14||15||Arjun Maini||IND||ThreeBond with T-Sport||+28.629s|
|15||18||Zhi Cong Li||CHN||Carlin||+29.296s|
|RET||12||George Russell||GBR||Hitech GP||Retired|
|RET||2||Nick Cassidy||NZL||Prema Powerteam||Retired|
|RET||21||Anthoine Hubert||FRA||Van Amersfoort Racing||Retired|
|RET||6||Callum Ilott||GBR||Van Amersfoort Racing||Retired|
|EXC||11||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Hitech GP||Excluded|