Click here for full race one results from the Hungaroring

Rookie Ralf Aron has won his first European Formula 3 Championship race after clinging on to a rapidly decreasing lead in a thrilling first encounter of the weekend at the Hungaroring.

In a race defined by a combination of tyre problems on the resurfaced Hungarian venue and its notoriously difficult overtaking opportunities, Aron took the lead on lap eight and managed an advantage that stretched as much as ten seconds but ended up little more than one second at the line.

Indeed, HItech's George Russell proved to be the key to the race, the Briton getting away best from the front row to beat Max Gunther into the first corner. Though he would allow a front group of six to stretch clear initially as a struggling Nick Cassidy bottled up everyone else behind him in seventh, it was clear Russell didn't have the pace of those behind either.

Aron eventually squeezed by on lap eight and the measure of Russell's apparent tyre woes were made immediately evident when the Estonian put a mammoth eight seconds between himself and the chasing pack in just three laps.

Nevertheless, Russell was staunchly defensive in second and managed to hold off an inter-changing pack of Gunther, Lance Stroll, Joel Eriksson and Niko Kari for another ten laps, so much so that when Alessio Lorandi did eventually get by a similarly troubled Cassidy eight seconds back, he had joined the lead group in just two laps.

Eventually Russell ceded second with five laps to go and quickly plummeted down the order until pulled into the pits to retire, with the pack stretching out again with Kari in second place, Eriksson third and Stroll fourth.

Up at the front, Aron was seemingly starting to feel the pinch from his tyres as Kari took a five second chunk out of his lead in one lap, but the youngster would up the pace enough to keep the Red Bull-backed Finn behind by the chequered flag for a 1.4secs win.

With the top four holding position, Gunther ended up fifth, resisting Lorandi and Sergio Camara, while Ferrari backed Guanyu Zhou, Ben Barnicoat and Mikkel Jensen rounded out the top ten.

 

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