Formula 3

Vips Holds Off PREMA Duo to Claim his Second Victory of the Season at Silverstone

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Credit: Joe Portlock/FIA Formula 3 Championship

Jüri Vips claimed a lights-to-flag victory in the FIA Formula 3 Championship Feature Race at Silverstone.

Joining him on the podium was the PREMA Racing duo of Jehan Daruvala and Marcus Armstrong.

Ahead of formation lap Logan Sargeant stalled on the grid but luckily for him got going before the field passed him meaning he was able to maintain his position.

When the lights went out Vips held on, from the fast starting PREMA’s however Armstrong was soon tumbling down the order to fifth after a problem with the launch.

The New Zealander found himself behind Leonardo Pulcini and Christian Lundgaard with the pair battling it allowed Armstrong through to take fourth from Pulcini.

It was a poor start for another PREMA with Robert Shwartzman down in thirteenth in the early stages but fought back to sixth on the second lap.

Devlin DeFrancesco had to head to the pits with a puncture with Sebastian Fernandez also in the pits getting his wing changed, an incident between the pair is to be investigated.

In second, Daruvala was setting the timing screens alight but could not find a way pass Vips.

A yellow flag was briefly out on track after an incident between Niko Kari and Sargeant that left the Finn with a puncture.

Out front there was just two tenths of a second separating Vips and Daruvala. Behind them, Armstrong was on a charge, and passed Lundgaard for the final spot on the podium,

A Virtual Safety Car period was introduced after series newcomer this weekend, Federico Malvestiti came to a halt on the start straight.

The action was restarted on lap nine Vips getting the jump on Daruvala to pull out a gap as Armstrong dropped the chasing Lundgaard and Pulcini.

Despite getting the jump on him, Daruvala closed the gap and looked to make a move into Luffield which Vips defended.

As the pair out front battled away, this allowed Armstrong into the mix.

Daruvala ran wide the next lap heading into Luffield with him and Armstrong running side-by-side with the Indian eventually holding on to second place.

The safety car had to be deployed after Raoul Hyman lost the car on the exit of Copse corner and ended up in the barriers. He tried getting the car started again but his attempts were futile.

At the end of lap fifteen, the safety car returned to the pits for a five lap sprint to the finish.

Vips took advantage of the restart to break out of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) range to Daruvala and hold a one second gap.

Shwartzman was making up lost ground to his team-mates as he passed Lundgaard for fifth with the Dane then passed by Pedro Piquet to find himself in seventh.

In the closing laps, Daruvala was unable to challenge Vips with Armstrong looming just behind him.

Vips held on to take his second victory of the season followed by Daruvala and then Armstrong.

The top ten finishers were completed by Pulcini, Shwartzman, Piquet, Lundgaard, Liam Lawson, Jake Hughes who ended as the best placed Brit and Alex Peroni.

For tomorrow’s race, Lawson will start from reverse grid pole with Lundgaard alongside him.

Daruvala takes over at the head of the championship, by just two points over Shwartzman thanks to claiming the two bonus points for fastest lap.

The Sprint Race gets underway at 8.35 local time tomorrow morning.

2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship: Silverstone – Feature Race

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An NCTJ accredited Journalism Graduate covering DTM and the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
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