Formula 3

Daruvala Leads PREMA 1-2 at Le Castellet

2 Mins read
Credit: Joe Portlock/FIA Formula 3 Championship

Jehan Daruvala claimed the FIA Formula 3 Championship Feature Race win at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

With team-mate Robert Shwartzman coming second it was a PREMA Racing 1-2 with Pedro Piquet completing the podium.

It had been a strong start for pole sitter Jake Hughes, who set the fastest lap on the first tour.

For second placed man on the grid, Shwartzman it did not go as well as he dropped to sixth – behind his PREMA team-mates as well as Piquet and Bent Viscaal.

Piquet also got ahead of Daurvala for a while after a slow getaway for the Indian, but soon reclaimed the position.

Armstrong and Shwartzman soon followed their team-mate in getting by as the Brazilian’s strong start began to unravel.

Having regathered himself from the difficult start, Daruvala began piling on the pressure on Hughes and quickly found himself within DRS range.

The PREMA driver made his advantage count and flew past the Briton in an all too easy move when the HWA RACELAB driver turned a corner too slowly.

Disappointed at losing the lead, Hughes stuck to the tail of Daruvala but skidded off track and nearly lost second to Armstrong. Seeing his opportunity the Kiwi muscled his way past shortly after.

This only served to intensify the fight with Hughes retaking the position a lap later withe the aid of DRS; Shwartzman joined in the battle as he closed on his team-mate with the PREMA duo taking full advantage of a wobble from the Briton to surge past.

Sitting in third Shwartzman seized the advantage and overtook Armstrong, as Hughes eyed a too tight gap around the chicane.

Hughes lost the rear at Turn 8 and clipped Armstrong sending them both into a spin. Armstrong managed to recover for sixth but the HWA driver ultimately had to retire and has been handed a grid penalty for the race tomorrow as a result.

Out front, Daruvala built up almost a three second lead and cruised to the win.

Behind, a three way battle for second was ongoing between Shwartzman, Piquet and Jüri Vips as the laps ticked down. On the final lap, there was a little between them as they crossed the line in the same positions.

Behind, them Viscaal completed the top five. The disgruntled Armstrong was sixth with Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Peroni, Liam Lawson and David Beckmann completing the top ten.

As a result Peroni will start tomorrow’s race from reverse grid pole with the race getting underway at 9.55am local time.

Leonardo Pulcini and Simo Laaksonen have also been handed grid penalties for tomorrow. Pulcini for making contact with Teppei Natori and Laaksonen for colliding with Lirim Zendeli.

2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship: Circuit Paul Ricard – Feature Race

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*David Beckmann handed a five second time penalty for failing to rejoin the track safely

**Logan Sargeant and Christian Lundgaard hand five second penalties for leaving the track and gaining an advantage

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