Charlie Eustice  |    |   0  |  10 July 2016

Antonio Fuoco fights past Alex Palou to seal confusing first win

Trident's Antonio Fuoco took the first win of his GP3 career with a win in the Silverstone Sprint race on Sunday.

The Italian tore past Alex Palou - who led the majority of the race after starting tenth - with just a couple of laps to go. However, behind them confusion reigned, as the Chequered flag was shown a lap early.

Two Virtual Safety Car periods shortened the race from its original 15-lap length to a 30 minute event. When this time limit expires, the rules state that one additional lap is raced, but the chequered flag was waved before this was completed.

This meant that Palou - who was passed by Leclerc on the eventually anullified final lap - finished second, rather than behind the ART driver.

Extremely dull conditions met the drivers as the racing got underway, and slightly damp tarmac resulted in many drivers going wide at the start.

GP3 debutant Arjun Maini started the race on reverse grid pole, but slight contact with Matt Parry on the opening lap resulted in a puncture for the former, and a broken front wing, black and orange flag, and five-second penalty for the latter.

Nyck de Vries was also handed a penalty after contact with Ralph Boschung earlier in the race, meaning the Dutchman's eventual finishing position of fourth was dropped to eighth.

Sandy Stuvik started the race from second, but fell rapidly through the order, with Palou, Leclerc and Fuoco demoting him in the first few laps. His fortune did not improve later in the race, and he slowed significantly with just a handful of laps remaining, retiring from sixth place.

Behind Fuoco, Palou and Leclerc was Santino Ferrucci, Steijn Schothorst, Jack Aitken, Nirei Fukuzumi, and de Vries, who completed the points.

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