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Feature Race: Vesti takes victory for Prema as rain ends race early

  • Published on 11 Jul 2020 11:06
  • comments 0
  • By: Coilin Higgins

Prema's Fredrik Vest took the win this morning in Austria ahead of Lirim Zandelli. David Beckmann rounded out the podium positions in third place in a race that was ended ten laps early due to very wet conditions.

As rain began to sprinkle the grid prior to the formation lap. most teams took the decision to wet tyres for the start. It was also reported before the race got underway that more rain was on the way and that there was heavier rain at turns four and five.

Pole sitter Vesti led away as teammate Logan Sargeant dropped down the order. Zandeli challenged Vesti for the lead after a great start on the run up to turn three, but could not find a way around the Danish driver.

Liam Lawson and Alex Peroni made slight contact as the pair battled for ninth coming through turn five, but both drivers continued on without any issue. The virtual safety car was deployed soon after as Aleksandr Smolyar spun into the barriers exiting turn ten and was forced to retire.

The drivers got back to racing on lap six as the Trident cars of Zandeli and Beckmann chased after Vesti. Many drivers reported the conditions as very difficult to drive in as rain and spray hindered visibility.

Olli Caldwell and Oscar Piastri finished in fourth and fifth, while Richard Verschoor and Sargeant crossed the line in sixth and seventh.

Carlin's Clement Novalak was the next driver to suffer in the race, as a left rear puncture sent the Carlin spinning at the final corner, bringing out the safety car. Novalak managed to continue on after making a pit stop, as it was revealed that contact with teammate Enaam Ahmed was the cause of his puncture.

Vesti continued to lead as racing resumed on lap twelve, with Caldwell stealing fourth from Piastri with a late lunge into turn three. Beckmann was lucky to not spin at turn seven as the Trident got into a slide through the corner.

A second safety car was deployed after incidents for both Sebastian Fernandez and Roman Stanek. However, the cars would return to the pit lane as race control decided to red flag the race.

Eighth and ninth went to Lawson and Theo Pourchaire as Jake Hughes took the final point and pole for tomorrow's reverse grid race in tenth.

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