Italian teenager Alessio Lorandi chose the iconic Pau Grand Prix to secure his maiden single seater victory, with the Italian withstanding almost race-long pressure from Lance Stroll to take the spoils on Sunday.
After securing his maiden FIA European Formula 3 Championship pole position during the second qualifying session on Friday, Lorandi made a good start to retain the lead into the first corner, and then held onto the lead on the restart following a safety car intervention following a first corner crash that eliminated five drivers.
The Carlin driver admitted he had not slept much before the race, but remained focus throughout the race to maintain his advantage of the chasing pack, with Prema Powerteam’s Stroll in particular applying pressure.
“It’s was quite some pressure to qualify on pole for such a prestigious race, in fact I didn’t sleep a lot last night; I put quite a lot of pressure on myself,” said Lorandi. “But when I got in the car today I felt quite calm, as I knew the car and I would be quick.
“I didn’t get a mega start but I still managed to shut the door at the start. The safety car gave me chance to get in a good place and after making a good restart I pulled a little gap. I just focussed then on keeping my head down and not making mistakes.
“I wasn’t trying to do qualifying laps every lap. It wasn’t easy, I don’t think Stroll was quicker than me, but we were quite evenly matched. I knew that if I didn’t make a big mistake, he wouldn’t get past me.
“It feels great to win today; it feels good to go back to Italy with the victory!”