Red Bull junior Juri Vips claimed victory from reversed grid pole in the final race of the FIA Formula 3 Championship season in Sochi.
Ferrari’s protege Marcus Armstrong vaulted above his Prema team-mate Jehan Daruvala to snatch second in the standings, finishing the race in second place while Daruvala ended up 15th after stalling from fourth on the grid.
Hitech GP’s Vips immediately defended from HWA Racelab’s Jake Hughes on the long run to Turn 2, holding onto the lead which he was able to control throughout the 20-lap race.
Vips built a comfortable advantage early after Hughes tangled with Hitech’s Leonardo Pulcini while battling for second place. Pulcini danced around the outside of Hughes at Turn 4, brushing his sidepod on the run to Turn 5. Hughes then tagged Pulcini at the next apex, spinning the Italian.
Through the tussle, Armstrong and Pedro Piquet squeezed passed Hughes but Vips had amassed a three second lead.
Armstrong closed the gap in the final quarter of the race, with Vips’ end victory margin being 2.1s, and gained two extra points with fastest lap. This was what put Armstrong ahead of Daruvala in the standings.
Daruvala started from pitlane after his formation lap. His battle back to 11th on-track included skipping the Turn 2 chicane and incorrectly navigating the bollards for a five-second time penalty, dropping him to 15th.
His champion team-mate Robert Shwartzman completed the podium in third, inherited after Trident’s Pedro Piquet suffered a mechanical problem in the final laps of the race.
Hughes ended up fourth ahead of Piquet’s team-mate Niko Kari, who had a comparatively quiet drive to fifth.
It was all action behind in the closing stages, as Hitech’s Yifei Ye rose to take his first points in sixth.
MP Motorsport’s Richard Verschoor and Jenzer Motorsport’s Yuki Tsunoda had diced over the position, exchanging lunges at Turn 2 before both slipped back. Tsunoda dived into the pits on the penultimate lap, dropping out of contention, while Verschoor was seventh.
The Dutchman’s team-mate Liam Lawson surged from 12th to eighth in the final three laps of the race, dumping Christian Lundgaard out of the points on the final lap and dropping him into a wheel to wheel tussle with his ART Grand Prix team-mate Max Fewtrell.
Lundgaard ended up ninth, while Fewtrell was pipped to 10th by Carlin’s Logan Sargeant.
Race results (20 laps)
|1||Juri Vips||Hitech GP||38m55.595s|
|4||Jake Hughes||HWA Racelab||+10.290s|
|6||Yifei Ye||Hitech GP||+24.090s|
|7||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||+24.901s|
|8||Liam Lawson||MP Motorsport||+28.414s|
|9||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||+32.766s|
|11||Max Fewtrell||ART Grand Prix||+34.111s|
|13||Raoul Hyman||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||+34.829s|
|14||Bent Viscaal||HWA Racelab||+35.604s|
|17||Leonardo Pulcini||Hitech GP||+40.358s|
|18||Andreas Estner||Jenzer Motorsport||+46.161s|
|20||David Schumacher||Campos Racing||+54.463s|
|21||Charles Leong||Jenzer Motorsport||+1m05.369s|
|22||Alessio Deledda||Campos Racing||+1m28.601s|
|23||Keyvan Andres||HWA Racelab||+1m59.450s|
|24||Sebastian Fernandez||Campos Racing||+1 lap|
|25||Yuki Tsunoda||Jenzer Motorsport||+1 lap|
|Ret||Fabio Scherer||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz|
|Ret||Simo Laaksonen||MP Motorsport|
|Fastest lap: Armstrong, 1m55.860s