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Nigel Melker has claimed victory in the opening race of the Formula 3 Euro Series season at Paul Ricard. The Dutchman took the chequered flag first after 19 laps, leading home with teammate Felix Rosenqvist by four seconds. Daniel Juncadella was third, while pole sitter Roberto Merhi had to settle for fourth place.
The RSC Mücke Motorsport driver closed in on Merhi after an intense fight for second, and by the sixth lap he was able to find his way passed the Spaniard and pull out a four second lead before the finish. After his strong qualifying pace yesterday, Merhi had to settle for fourth, one place behind fewllow Prema Powerteam man Daniel Juncadella.
Marco Wittmann was able to salvage some points after a poor start, as he battled through the field to fifth. The German was helped by a collision between Kimiya Sato and Daniel Abbo, with both men retiring from the race as a result. Carlos Muñoz claimed sixth, just ahead of Giermaziak Kuba. Laurens Vanthoor, Gianmarco Raimondo and Jimmy Eriksson rounded out the top ten.
As in previous seasons, the top eight finishers from the first race will be reversed on the grid. Vanthoor inherits start from pole position, and will be hoping to secure a strong result following a difficult first race.
Saturday’s Race 2 begins at 15.00pm local time (BST +1)
F3 Euro Series
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