Stroll dominates safety car filled opening Spa race

Lance Stroll - Credit: Craig Robertson /

Lance Stroll extended his championship lead with a seventh victory of 2016 at a wet Spa-Francorchamps in a race affected heavily by the safety car.

The race began, and ended, behind the safety car, with the majority of the first half of the race seeing Stroll lead the field behind it, with only fourteen minutes on the clock remaining when the race finally got underway.

Stroll was in a league of his own when at the front of the field, building up almost a nine-second advantage when the safety car was called upon again when Weiron Tan crashed at Les Combes, moments after taking a drive-through penalty for overtaking under the first safety car.

The clock run down to zero before the action could resume again, meaning Prema Powerteam’s Stroll secured the victory, leading a team 1-2 from team-mate and his closest championship rival Maximilian Günther.

Ben Barnicoat took the final podium spot after a great battle in the few green flag laps of the race with Nick Cassidy, who was denied in making it a Prema 1-2-3 by the Hitech GP driver. Cassidy passed Barnicoat into La Source only for the Briton to re-pass the New Zealander into Eau Rouge.

George Russell secured fifth for Hitech GP after making a pass on Harrison Newey at Les Combes, but the Van Amersfoort Racing driver still managed to secure his best result of the season in sixth.

Mücke Motorsport’s German teenager David Beckmann secured seventh despite tangling with team-mate Mikkel Jensen at La Source that saw the Dane retire from the race.

Ralf Aron finished eighth for Prema Powerteam, while Carlin duo Ryan Tveter and Alessio Lorandi completed the top ten.

Spa-Francorchamps Race 1 Result

11Lance StrollCANPrema Powerteam38:47.746
217Maximilian GuntherGERPrema Powerteam+0.655
324Ben BarnicoatGBRHitech GP+1.701
42Nick CassidyNZLPrema Powerteam+2.299
512George RussellGBRHitech GP+3.580
620Harrison NeweyGBRVan Amersfoort Racing+5.492
78David BeckmannGERMucke Motorsport+7.152
816Ralf AronESTPrema Powerteam+8.311
93Ryan TveterUSACarlin+9.103
104Alessio LorandiITACarlin+9.896
1110Niko KariFINMotopark+11.304
1211Nikita MazepinRUSHitech GP+14.342
1315Ukyo SasaharaJAPThreeBond with T-Sport+16.242
1422Joel ErikssonSWEMotopark+19.308
159Sergio Sette CamaraBRZMotopark+20.197
166Callum IlottGBRVan Amersfoort Racing+21.241
1723Guanyu ZhouCHNMotopark+22.281
185Pedro PiquetBRZVan Amersfoort Racing+25.937
RET19Weiron TanMALCarlinRetired
RET7Mikkel JensenDENMucke MotorsportRetired
RET21Anthoine HubertFRAVan Amersfoort RacingRetired