Liam Lawson battled ruthlessly with Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri to claim his second FIA Formula 3 victory of the 2020 season at Silverstone on Saturday morning.
The Kiwi started second behind pole-sitter Sargeant, with the American remaining ahead on the opening lap until the Hitech driver pulled off a superb move around the outside of Stowe to take the lead.
Meanwhile, Max Fewtrell went backwards from fourth. The home-hero was side-by-side with Frederik Vesti on the exit of The Loop before running wide onto the run-off area and falling down to 20th position.
The Virtual Safety Car was deployed at the end of Lap 3 after Matteo Nannini stopped his Jenzer at Luffield. The Italian would eventually get going again for the race to resume.
The top ten by this stage was Lawson, Sargeant, Piastri, Vesti, Alex Peroni, Jake Hughes, Sebastian Fernandez, Clement Novalak, David Beckmann and Lirim Zendeli.
Lap 6 and Piastri was on the tail of his PREMA team-mate Sargeant, as the championship-leader swooped past on the Hangar straight with DRS to move ahead of his nearest title rival into second.
Further back, Jake Hughes was impressing at his home-round. Starting eighth, he was already up to fifth before pulling alongside Vesti to put his HWA Racelab into fourth on Lap 7.
The first major incident occurred on Lap 12, where a coming together between newcomer Ben Barnicoat and Bent Viscaal, left the Dutchman collecting Jack Doohan on the exit of Luffield. That brought out the Safety Car with Lawson continuing to lead and on course for victory.
A lap after the restart, a tap from Dennis Hauger saw Olli Caldwell spinning before Club corner, leaving Lukas Dunner’s MP Motorsport car nowhere to go and all three were eliminated on the spot.
The accident was enough for the Safety Car to come out again and lead the field to the flag, where Lawson ended his run of three non-finishes to win out over Piastri and Sargeant. Hughes was fourth ahead of Peroni, Fernandez, Novalak, Beckmann and Alex Smolyar, who will start on reverse-grid pole for Sunday’s second race. Novalak got the extra two points for the fastest lap.
Oscar Piastri extends his lead over Logan Sargeant to 25 points, while Liam Lawson’s win leaps him up to third, a further 19 points behind.
The second race of the FIA Formula 3 weekend starts on Sunday morning at 08:45 BST.