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Fukuzumi soars to Race 1 victory

Fukuzumi soars to Race 1 victory

07 OCT 2017

Japanese driver grabs second win of the season

Nirei Fukuzumi reminded everyone of his abilities with a strong, unopposed victory in this morning’s Race 1 at the Circuito de Jerez, making a tremendous start and soaring off into the distance untroubled by the intra-team battle behind him for his first win since Barcelona, leading home an ART 1-2-3 ahead of teammates George Russell and Jack Aitken.

If most eyes were on the title fight between his teammates, the Honda development driver was determined to make the most of his opportunity and grab the win on offer: under gloriously sunny skies Fukuzumi tore away when the lights went out for a lead which never looked in question, while Aitken made a strong start from P2 but was slightly conservative into turn 1, opening the door to Russell.

The Series leader didn’t need any further invitation: the Mercedes F1 junior driver slid inside his teammate into turn 1, with the pair running side by side through 2 before Russell edged ahead at turn 3, with Aitken left thinking about DRS strategies and the mounting challenge behind him from newcomer Dan Ticktum, who made a good start and was running on the same pace as his countryman.

Fukuzumi shook off his rivals early, building a gap to avoid any DRS attacks while Russell, Aitken and Ticktum were running at a similar to each other but were unable to capitalise given the tight, technical nature of the circuit. As the race ran down it became clear that the combination of the new, smoother surface and the hard compound tyres meant that degradation was not going to affect the race, as there was little in the way of overtaking up and down the order.

Fukuzumi slowed slightly at the end before greeting the flag with delight 1.6s ahead of Russell, who extended his lead in the title fight over teammate Aitken, with Ticktum a strong P4 behind the title contenders. Anthoine Hubert held station behind the Briton all race long, ahead of Niko Kari, who dispatched Dorian Boccolacci at the start for 6th place, while Giuliano Alesi barged his way past Alessio Lorandi on the last lap for P8 and the reverse pole, with Julien Falchero grabbing the final point of the day after blasting past Steijn Schothorst midway through the race.

Provisional Race 1 Classification



Driver

Team

Gap


1


Nirei FUKUZUMI

ART Grand Prix



2


George RUSSELL

ART Grand Prix

+1.559


3


Jack AITKEN

ART Grand Prix

+3.128


4


Daniel TICKTUM

DAMS

+5.459


5


Anthoine HUBERT

ART Grand Prix

+8.146


6


Niko KARI

Arden International

+10.299


7


Dorian BOCCOLACCI

Trident

+12.514


8


Giuliano ALESI

Trident

+18.055


9


Alessio LORANDI

Jenzer Motorsport

+19.393


10


Julien FALCHERO

Campos Racing

+19.984


11


Steijn SCHOTHORST

Arden International

+21.574


12


Ryan TVETER

Trident

+21.869


13


Tatiana CALDERON

DAMS

+22.371


14


Leonardo PULCINI

Arden International

+23.131


15


Juan Manuel CORREA

Jenzer Motorsport

+23.710


16


Bruno BAPTISTA

DAMS

+30.610


17


Arjun MAINI

Jenzer Motorsport

+31.203


18


Marcos SIEBERT

Campos Racing

+1:09.306


19


Raoul HYMAN

Campos Racing

+1:20.941


20


Kevin JOERG

Trident

+1 Lap