Fuoco triumphs in Silverstone Sprint Race

2016 GP3 Series Round 3. Silverstone, Northamptonshire, UK. Sunday 10 July 2016. Antonio Fuoco (ITA, Trident) Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service. ref: Digital Image _79P7625

Having started the GP3 Series race from sixth on the grid Trident and Ferrari Driver Academy member Antonio Fuoco fought his way up to the front in difficult conditions on a drying track at Silverstone on Sunday.

Having led for much of the rest Campos Racing‘s Alex Palou came home in second place with ART Grand Prix‘s Charles Leclerc completing the podium to retake the lead in the championship standings.

Rookie Arjun Maini started from reverse pole but it was Sandy Stuvik that led into Turn 1. Leclerc was already up to second from seventh after passing the Indian driver early into the opening lap. Palou also made a decent start from P10 to run in third after passing Maini as well.

Things did not get any better for Maini as contact was made between him and Koiranen GP‘s Matthew Parry with the Brit being handed a five-second time penalty.

There was a brief Virtual Safety Car period as a result of Giuliano Alesi and Jake Hughes making contact, with the Frenchman having to retire. Following the race the stewards handed Alesi with a three-place grid penalty to be served at the next round as a result of them believing the Frenchman braked too late at Turn 15 resulting in the collision with the Brit.

Once the VSC ended Palou passed both Leclerc and Stuvik to take the lead of the race.

Parry was next up in passing Leclerc and Stuvik, but was shown the black and orange flag meaning he had to pit due to a damaged front wing after  the incident with Maini.

Having finally got past Stuvik, Leclerc began hunting down Palou for P1 with Fuoco and Jake Dennis close behind. After setting a series of fastest laps  the Monegasque driver had closed the gap to the Spaniard out front but he lost ground and fell into the clutches of Fuoco. The Italian chance a move but Leclerc was wise to it and took the position back immediately.

A second VSC period was introduced after Jenzer Motorsport‘s Akash Nandy spun into the gravel at Maggots.

At the restart Palou, Leclerc and Fuoco were glued together – with Palou running wide at Turn 3 but just doing enough to retain the lead. Dennis, still sitting in fourth, received a tap from Ralph Boschung which sent his Arden International racer into a spin; the Swiss driver was later penalised for the incident.

As the race went to tine, Fuoco was looking racy and was keen to get the move done on Leclerc – once he had he set about hunting down Palou. The Italian got his opportunity when Palou ran wide at Stowe allowing him to sneak past into the lead of the race.

Behind, the ART pair of Nyck de Vries and Leclerc were having a feisty wheel to wheel battle with the Dutchman coming out on top. The duo then both passed Palou to take second and third, however de Vries had received a five second time penalty earlier in the race meaning his final classification was P8.

There was confusion, after the chequered flag was shown a lap too early meaning the results were taken from the time the flag was waved meaning Palou finished second ahead of Leclerc.

DAMS‘ Santino Ferrucci came home in fourth pace with Steijn Schothorst in fifth. Jack AitkenNirei Fukuzumi and de Vries completed the points scoring positions.

The GP3 drivers next take to track in Budapest on July 22-24.

Silverstone Race 2 Results

15Antonio FuocoITATrident27m55.438
222Alex PalouESPCampos Racing27m55.897
31Charles LeclercMONART Grand Prix27m56.021
426Santino FerrucciUSADAMS 27m59.133
523Steijn SchothorstNEDCampos Racing28m00.498
611Jack AitkenGBRArden International28m01.064
72Nirei FukuzumiJPNART Grand Prix28m01.782
84Nyck de Vries*NEDART Grand Prix28m01.808
99Jake DennisGBRArden International28m03.171
108Sandy StuvikTHATrident28m05.352
1128Kevin JörgSUIDAMS 28m06.328
1217Ralph Boschung*SUIDAMS 28m07.529
1324Konstantin TereschenkoRUSCampos Racing28m20.356
143Alexander AlbonTHAART Grand Prix28m30.904
156Artur JanoszPOLTrident28m42.075
1614Matthew Parry*GBRKoiranen GP28m45.845
1727Jake HughesGBRDAMS 28m47.398
1816Matevos IsaakyanRUSKoiranen GP28m50.842
1920Arjun MainiINDJenzer Motorsport29m12.234
RET10Tatiana CalderonCOLArden International26m59.577
2118Akash NandyMASJenzer Motorsport17m41.132
RET7Giuliano AlesiFRATrident0

*Nyck de Vries, Ralph Boschung and Matthew Parry all received five second time penalties for causing collisions.