Formula 3

Liam Lawson Prevails at Silverstone Amid Pressure from Prema Racing

3 Mins read
Credit: Dutch Photo Agency/Red Bull Content Pool

Liam Lawson withstood heavy pressure from a trio of Prema Racing drivers to claim his second FIA Formula 3 Championship victory of 2020 in the opening race of the weekend at Silverstone on Saturday.

Starting from pole position, Logan Sargeant held the lead into turn one but lost the position to Lawson at Stowe, the New Zealander impressively sweeping around the outside of the American. 

Behind them, Max Fewtrell’s impressive Qualifying performance went to waste as, whilst battling with Frederik Vesti for fourth, he ran wide entering the Wellington Straight and dropped down to twentieth.

After losing the lead on lap one, Stowe would also be the place where Sargeant lost second to team-mate Piastri, with the Australian then reeling in Lawson at the front of the field. Piastri had one big attempt for the lead on lap eleven, the two at the front going side by side through Stowe right through to Club before the Hitech Grand Prix driver edged back ahead.

Vesti also lost a position at the same corner, falling behind the charging Jake Hughes, but any chance of any more progress was halted by the introduction of a pair of safety car periods.

The first safety car was required on lap twelve after the cars of Bent Viscaal and Jack Doohan ended up close to the entrance of the national pit lane.  Viscaal was attempting to pass series debutant Ben Barnicoat only to collide with the Carlin driver, with the MP Motorsport racer spinning to the inside and collecting the innocent Doohan. 

After just one full racing lap, the safety car was out again after Olli Caldwell, whilst challenging with team-mate Lirem Zendelli, was spun around by Fewtrell at Club, and the unfortunate and unsighted Lukas Dunner collected the Trident driver’s car.  It was a heavy impact for Caldwell, with the back of the car being ripped away, although all three drivers were able to walk away without injury.  The incident is under investigation by the stewards.

The race was forced to finish behind the safety car due to the incident, which allowed Lawson to clinch the win ahead of Piastri, while Sargeant completed the podium ahead of Hughes and Vesti.

Lawson bizarrely was told late to go take the chequered flag through the pit lane on the final lap, with the New Zealander collecting the bollard on the pit entry as a result.  He stated his displeasure at the late instructions across the radio to his team.

Alexander Peroni, who had his best Qualifying lap reinstated ahead of the race to see him start sixth, finished sixth having run as high as fifth before Hughes found his way passed. 

Sebastián Fernández was the leading ART Grand Prix finisher in seventh after a good pass on Carlin’s Clément Novalak just before the safety car periods, while David Beckmann and Aleksander Smolyar completed the points scorers.

Théo Pourchaire, who came into the weekend as the only driver to have won twice in 2020, had a disappointing race.  The ART Grand Prix ace had started outside the top ten but was unable to better twelfth at the chequered flag, just behind MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor.  Zendeli ended thirteenth ahead of Calan Williams and Igor Fraga.

Earlier in the race, there was a brief virtual safety car as Matteo Nannini spun at Luffield, but the young Italian was able to resume the race once he found a gear.  The opening lap also saw a spin for Sophia Flörsch after the German was pitched into a spin by Red Bull Junior Dennis Hauger.  The Norwegian, a podium finisher last time out in Hungary, was penalised for the incident.

There was also issues for David Schumacher, who started from the pit lane after issues on the formation lap, while Alessio Deledda stalled on the grid, although both were able to resume.

Sunday’s reverse grid race will, subject to confirmation of the result, see Smolyar start on pole position for ART Grand Prix alongside Trident’s Beckmann.

15Liam LawsonNZLHitech Grand Prix20 Laps
21Oscar PiastriAUSPrema Racing+1.060s
33Logan SargeantUSAPrema Racing+2.698s
415Jake HughesGBRHWA Racelab+5.127s
52Frederik VestiDENPrema Racing+9.087s
629Alexander PeroniAUSCampos Racing+11.298s
79Sebastián FernándezVENART Grand Prix+13.542s
826Clément NovalakGBRCarlin Buzz Racing+15.461s
911David BeckmannGERTrident+17.847s
108Aleksander SmolyarRUSART Grand Prix+21.295s
1117Richard VerschoorNEDMP Motorsport+24.424s
127Théo PourchaireFRAART Grand Prix+30.609s
1310Lirem ZendeliGERTrident+34.001s
1420Calan WilliamsAUSJenzer Motorsport+35.534s
1524Igor FragaBRZCharouz Racing System+36.587s
166Dennis HaugerNORHitech Grand Prix+43.637s
1723Roman StaněkCZECharouz Racing System+45.157s
1814Enzo FittipaldiBRZHWA Racelab+46.350s
1921Federico MalvestitiITAJenzer Motorsport+47.149s
2027Ben BarnicoatGBRCarlin Buzz Racing+49.118s
2128Cameron DasUSACarlin Buzz Racing+50.073s
2231Sophia FlörschGERCampos Racing+51.724s
2330Alessia DeleddaITACampos Racing+55.015s
2422Matteo NanniniITAJenzer Motorsport+63.739s
2525David SchumacherGERCharouz Racing System+1 Lap
RET12Olli CaldwellGBRTridentRetired
RET4Max FewtrellGBRHitech Grand PrixRetired
RET19Lukas DunnerAUTMP MotorsportRetired
RET18Bent ViscaalNEDMP MotorsportRetired
RET16Jack DoohanAUSHWA RacelabRetired
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