European Formula 3

Vips Survives Palou Charge to take Race Two Victory at Misano

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Jüri Vips & Alex Palou - Motopark & Hitech Bullfrog GP - Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Jüri Vips held off the almost race-long attention of Alex Palou to take his third FIA European Formula 3 Championship victory of the season at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, with the Estonian moving up to second place in the standings as a result.

Ahead of the race there was a big reshuffle of the grid after thirteen of the twenty-two drivers were handed grid penalties by officials for track limit breaches, although Vips was not amongst those as he hung on to his pole position.

Such was the reshuffle that Enaam Ahmed moved from eleventh to start the race on the front row as original front row starter Marcus Armstrong was handed a seven place penalty that relegated him to ninth on the grid, while despite a one-place penalty of his own, Jehan Daruvala actually moves up seventh place to third, ahead of Palou, who started fourth having qualified sixth despite taking a two place penalty of his own.

Sebastian Fernandez (no penalty) and Mick Schumacher (four-place penalty) shared row three ahead of Ben Hingeley (two-place penalty) and Ralf Aron (five-place penalty) on row four ahead of Armstrong and Jonathan Aberdein (no penalty).

Championship leader Daniel Ticktum took a four-place penalty but only drops from ninth to eleventh, with Ferdinand Habsburg now twelfth on the grid having initially qualified fifth.

Conditions were damp in places and a little rain in the air when the race got underway, with some drivers taking the gamble on starting on wet weather tyres, although it quickly became apparent that slicks were the way to go, with pit stops for those who took the wet tyre gamble.

Ahmed got the better start to head Vips into turn one but the Motopark driver stayed alongside the Hitech Bullfrog GP driver around the outside of the corner that gave him the inside for turn two, and he reassumed his position at the front of the field.

Palou also managed to get ahead of his team-mate Ahmed on the opening lap, with the Spaniard then closing the gap down on Vips to next-to-nothing, although he was never really close enough to make a completely committed attack for the lead.

Vips held on to win by just over half a second for his third win of 2018, while Schumacher made it interesting over the closing laps as the Prema Theodore Racing driver caught the leading duo after climbing up to third when he capitalised on a car issue for Daruvala that saw the Carlin racer retire.

Ahmed finished on the road in fourth but having avoided a penalty in Qualifying, earned a five-second time penalty in the race for exceeding track limits, which ultimately dropped the British racer down to sixth in the final result, behind both Ticktum and Aron.

Ticktum climbed from his eleventh spot on the grid to claim that fourth position, which saw him extend his championship advantage to eighteen points after Armstrong fell down the order on the opening lap and failed to finish inside the points.  However, it is no longer Armstrong who sits second but Vips, with the Estonian also with the momentum after two wins in the past three races.

Habsburg claimed seventh for Carlin ahead of a hard-charging Robert Shwartzman, while Sacha Fenestraz of Carlin and Fabio Scherer of Motopark claimed the final points-paying positions.

Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli Race 2 Result

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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