Formula 3

Pulcini Victorious at Silverstone for First F3 Win

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Credit: Joe Portlock/FIA Formula 3 Championship

Leonardo Pulcini claimed the FIA Formula 3 Championship Sprint Race victory at Silverstone, meaning his Hitech Grand Prix team took the victories in both races this weekend.

The Italian, edged out PREMA Racing‘s Robert Shwartzman who returns to the top of the championship standings after team-mate Jehan Daruvala was forced to retire from the race.

Reverse grid pole-sitter Liam Lawson completed the podium for his first in the series.

Lawson got away cleanly at the start with Pedro Piquet and Christian Lundgaard arguing over second between themselves.

Pulcini made a strong getaway from fifth and lunged past Shwartzman on the opening lap who became airborne after running over a kerb.

The Russian struggled at the start, having caught the rear of Race One winner Jüri Vips only serving to cause him to lose more momentum.

Out front, Pulcini was eyeing up the podium places and on his second attempt made a move on Lundgaard that stuck.

Running in second Pulcini patiently waited in Lawson’s shadow. On lap nine, his chance presented itself and he soared down the right of the MP Motorsport driver to comfortably take the lead.

With his tyres degrading, he set about building a gap of over one second to break the Drag Reduction System (DRS) of those behind him.

Behind, the PREMAs were locked in a three way battle which ended when Shwartzman passed Lundgaard with a wobble from the Dane allowing Daruvala to follow through.

Having cleared Lundgaard, Shwartzman was now on a charge and his first target was Piquet with his sights then set on Lawson in third.

After passing the New Zealander, the Russian had to settle for second as Pulcini was four seconds down the road with just two laps to go.

Lawson was now having to defend from Piquet, the Brazilian had looked to have the move sealed but the Kiwi held on thanks to some strong defensive moves.

Daruvala joined the fight, but clipped the rear of Piquet on the final lap sending Piquet into a spin and ending both of their races.

Pulcini crossed the line to take his maiden win of the season, ahead of Shwartzman and Lawson.

Marcus Armstrong and Lundgaard benefitted from Daruvala and Piquet’s late retirements to take fourth and fifth.

David Beckmann, Yuki Tsunoda and Fabio Scherer completed the top ten.

Feature Race winner, Jüri Vips had crossed the line in thirteenth but was given a five second penalty, demoting him to fifteenth for a incident with Jake Hughes which resulted in the Briton retiring from the race.

His podium and Daruvala retiring, means the championship is advantage Shwartzman once again – with 114 points, twelve points ahead of his team-mate.

Vips is third on ninety-two points, ahead of Armstrong on seventy-seven and Piquet on forty-three.

PREMA lead the way in the Teams’ Championship, with Hitech second after their two victories this weekend. ART Grand Prix are third followed by Trident and HWA RACELAB.

Formula 3 will return to action at the end of July at the Hungaroring ahead of the summer break.

2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship: Silverstone – Sprint Race

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