Lance Stroll was victorious in the first race of the season in the FIA European Formula 3, which was held at the circuit of Paul Ricard, France for the first time. The young Canadian led the field with PREMA teammate Cassidy second. Russell completed the podium in his Hitech GP.

After starting on pole, Stroll initially lost a place to Cassidy (Prema Powerteam) who got better traction and passed him for first, although the places switched back quickly. The pair were followed by Russell (Hitech GP), Barnicoat (Hitech GP) and Günther (Prema Powerteam). At the first corner, Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark) made contact with and lost seventh place to fellow Red Bull Junior program member, Niko Kari (Motopark). The accident was under investigation by the stewards.

Stroll completed the first lap ahead of Cassidy, beginning to distance himself from the New Zealander who was under pressure from Hitech GP.

The race was calmer after two laps, as the drivers settled into their positions. Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) made a good first manoeuver which put him past the Carlin of Alessio Lorandi to eighth position.

Lorandi lost a lot of rhythm, being overtaken by Niko Kari, Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing). The race neared its end with the struggle for the last point awarded to tenth place finisher. The VAR partners, Piquet and Ilott fought over tenth with the Brit passing his teammate five minutes from the end of the race.

Prema Powerteam, as they’ve done many times in the past, begin by leading the championship with a double podium. Hitech GP are close behind, with Russell and Barnicoat third and fourth respectively, the latter also winning the rookie class ahead of Joel Eriksson and Ralf Aron.

In fifth was the polesitter for races 2 & 3, Maximilian Günther, followed by Joel Eriksson (Motopark) and Prema’s lowest placed driver today, Ralf Aron was seventh. Closing the top 10 was Niko Kari, Harrison Newey and Callum Ilott.