Lance Stroll left Spa-Francorchamps with an extended 61-point advantage in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship standings after a seventh victory of the season.
The Prema Powerteam driver secured the most dominant pole position since the reformation of the championship in 2013 by 1.270 seconds for race one, but joined his team-mates in struggling in the second session, qualifying eleventh and ninth for races two and three respectively.
“It’s been a mixed weekend but the important thing is that I increased my championship lead,” said Stroll. “Qualifying for race one was awesome, the car was fantastic in the wet, and I easily nailed pole.
“But the second session in the dry was very frustrating – for all four Prema cars. The tyre temperature never arrived but these things happen occasionally.”
Stroll survived a safety car start and a safety car finish in race one to take victory, leading team-mate Maximilian Günther across the line, but suffered a puncture at the opening corner of race two to fall out of contention, but recovered to finish fourth in the final race on Saturday, although he lost a podium finish to a charging George Russell in the closing stages.
“Race 1 started behind the Safety Car which was the correct decision – it was heavy rain at first that caused aquaplaning,” said Stroll. “Gradually the rain eased and racing was possible.
“I felt very confident with the car, found where the grip was and pushed immediately to build a gap. Unfortunately we didn’t have many laps of racing with the Safety Car again at the end but it was another maximum points score.
“I was touched at the first corner after the start in Race 2 which resulted in a right rear puncture. I pitted again for tyres because the handling was dire.
“Unusually, the team struggled until Saturday in finding a better dry set-up but Race 3 was an improvement and I only just missed out on a podium when the rears [tyres] went off.”