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Verstappen gets first car win in shortened third Palm Beach race

by Peter Allen
Max Verstappen

Photo: Florida Winter Series

Max Verstappen secured his maiden car racing victory in a storm-shortened final race of the Florida Winter Series event at Palm Beach.

Starting from pole position, the Dutch teenager saw off the challenges of Antonio Fuoco and Ed Jones during the course of the race, which was red flagged with five minutes remaining as a heavy storm hit the circuit. The start of the race had been brought forward by 90 minutes to try to avoid the incoming weather.

Fuoco latched onto Verstappen’s tail during the early part of the race but then fell behind Jones. The F3 Open champion then also got close to Verstappen, but had to settle for second place.

Fuoco fell to fifth by the stoppage, dropping behind Dennis van de Laar and fellow Ferrari Driver Academy member Lance Stroll.

Tatiana Calderon slipped to 11th on the first lap but set the fastest lap of the race as she recovered to finish sixth, ahead of Alex Bosak, Vasily Romanov and Takashi Kasai. GP2 commentator Will Buxton finished a lap down in tenth, just ahead of Raffaele Marciello, who ran fifth until slowing and making a visit to pit lane.

Nicholas Latifi went off out of sixth shortly before the red flag.

Race results
Pos. Driver Time/Gap
1 Max Verstappen 19 laps in 24:43.162
2 Ed Jones +1.213
3 Dennis van de Laar +2.094
4 Lance Stroll +2.663
5 Antonio Fuoco +4.455
6 Tatiana Calderon +5.251
7 Alex Bosak +6.324
8 Vasily Romanov +7.056
9 Takashi Kasai +23.640
10 Will Buxton +1 lap
11 Raffaele Marciello +1 lap
12 Nicholas Latifi +2 laps