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Fuoco holds off Verstappen to win first Palm Beach race

by Peter Allen
Antonio Fuoco

Photo: Florida Winter Series

Antonio Fuoco saw off the challenge of Max Verstappen to win the first race of the Florida Winter Series event at Palm Beach.

Fuoco, who won at the circuit in last year’s Panam GP Winter Series, led from pole position, and opened up a 1.5 second lead over Verstappen, who moved ahead of front row starter Nicholas Latifi on lap two.

The gap stayed static at first but Verstappen closed to less than 0.2 seconds on lap 13. The Dutch teenager then lost two seconds before bringing the gap back down under a second towards the end, but had to settle for second.

Ed Jones began the race from sixth but progressed up onto the podium within the first six laps, seeing off Dennis van de Laar to keep hold of the place late on.

Tatiana Calderon dropped a couple of places early on but recovered to claim fifth by passing Latifi and?Raffaele Marciello on lap 13, as did?Lance Stroll to finish sixth. Latifi finished seventh with Marciello a few seconds back in eighth. Alex Bosak narrowly beat Vasily Romanov to finish ninth.

Race results
Pos. Driver Time/Gap
1 Antonio Fuoco 26 laps in 32:25.408
2 Max Verstappen +0.808
3 Ed Jones +4.563
4 Dennis van de Laar +5.132
5 Tatiana Calderon +11.443
6 Lance Stroll +12.785
7 Nicholas Latifi +13.930
8 Raffaele Marciello +16.472
9 Alex Bosak +32.077
10 Vasily Romanov +32.484
11 Takashi Kasai +1:06.005
12 Will Buxton +2 laps