L&T Motorsport

3 Different Drivers Triumph in the Opening Weekend of F3 at Silverstone

Lando Norris, Joel Eriksson and Callum Ilot each took victory in three thrilling opening races of the season, with superior consistency meaning Eriksson takes the championship lead.

Race 1

Rookie driver Lando Norris capitalised on Callum Ilot spinning and survived damp conditions and three safety car restarts to ease to a comfortable victory in race 1 at Silverstone.

The Mclaren junior was the only driver who avoided going side-by-side throughout the entire race with a composed, albeit unspectacular drive to victory. Jake Dennis fought his way up from 8th to finish 2 seconds behind Norris, after he avoided much of the carnage before passing Max Gunther, who took the final spot on the podium, on the second restart. Joel Eriksson finished where he started in 4th after a relatively quiet race, with Joey Mawson finishing an impressive 5th on his debut. Harrison Newey finished 6th after a brilliant charge from 16th on the grid.

The race started under safety car for the first 2 laps due to a damp track and when the action commenced Nikita Mazepin was immediately spun around in what ended up as a nightmare race. This was after the Russian qualified an impressive 6th on the grid. It only took a lap for him to be spun around again, this time into the gravel and consequently retirement from the race. He was joined by Ralf Aron who found the barriers at luffield, and then, more significantly, Callum Ilot, who spun out at abbey into the gravel from 2nd place, ending his race.

In the end, this left an enormous and spectacular battle all the way down from 5th placed Joey Mawson to 16th place Marino Sato, with drivers battling for position constantly. Harrison Newey was probably the biggest source of excitement, as he tore through the field and took advantage of other cars battling. In the end he, along with Mawson, broke free of the rest of the pack.

In the end, that left Guan Yu Zhou to head home the battle in 7th place in front of Mick Schumacher, in his F3 debut. Pedro Piquet and Jehan Daruvala both passed Tadasuke Makino in the closing minutes of the race to snatch points from the Japanese driver.

Full Race Replay 

Race 2

Joel Eriksson produced an excellent drive to take victory in race 2. At the start, Callum Ilot started on pole, followed by Lando Norris alongside him and Joel Eriksson who started third. Norris had a dismal start to fall back to 8th, while Eriksson perfected his start and found himself on the tail of Ilot. The Swede then preceded to drive around the outside of Ilot at Brooklands corner and subsequently open up a 2 second gap by the end of the 1st lap. That, for the record, is nowhere near as easy as I just made it sound!

Norris meanwhile, was stuck behind Joey Mawson, who impressively held of Norris for a while. The Englishman eventually swept past in the same way that Eriksson took the lead but failed to make further progress. He hunted down Mick Schumacher, who made his Dallara Formula 3 car even wider than Mawson’s. At the race’s climax, Guanyu Zhu and Jehan Daruvala slipped passed Norris.

Jake Hughes rounded out the podium after getting a good getaway which capitalised on the fact that Max Gunther had to avoid Norris at the start. Gunther had to hold off Jake Dennis for the rest of the race instead, which he did succesfully.

Full Race Replay

Race 3

Callum Ilot got a win of his own in race 3 though. The start was a carbon copy of race 2. Norris bogged down, Ilot got an OK start and Eriksson nailed it. Eriksson then went and made exactly the same move at Brooklands. However, he failed to make a break and  Ilot re-overtook him around the outside of Stowe.

Norris recovered well this time, but he still finished a place below where he started. He had completed a spectacular move on Max Gunther, which saw the pair go side by side all the way from Stowe to the final corner. Gunther cruised home unchallenged in 4th followed Jake Dennis and Jehan Daruvala.

As race 3 was calmer and more spread out, there was less battling. Much of the attention therefore turned to an utterly pointless but nevertheless exciting battle in which David Beckmann held off Tadasuke Makino to the flag, gaining him a grand total of 0 points over his Japanese rival.

Nikita Mazepin wasn’t used as target practice this time, and drove home to 7th place.

Joel Eriksson leads the championship with 55 points, with Callum Ilot in second with 43 points and Lando Norris just a further point behind. Championship standings can be found here.

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