Joel came home just outside the podium in fourth place to get his 2017 FIA F3 European Championship attack underway with a solid points score in the first race of the season.
With a light drizzle arriving at Silverstone just before the start of Friday’s curtain-raiser, the race begun behind the safety car, with Joel consolidating his P4 grid slot once running got going after two laps.
The safety car would soon make a further two appearances, however, both due to incidents at Luffield corner; the first one caused by Nikita Mazepin crashing out, and the second courtesy of Ralf Aron doing the same a few laps later.
With the first two thirds of the race chopped up by the safety car interventions, it wasn’t until the final ten minutes that action eventually settled in, with Joel starting to put pressure on Maximilian Günther for the final podium position.
After momentarily thinking about launching an attack into Brooklands, Joel eventually decided not to take any unnecessary risks, coming home just outside the rostrum to kick-start the 2017 season with a solid 12 points for fourth place.
British home hero Lando Norris converted pole position into victory.
“That was a pretty basic race for me, not very dramatic. I took a bit of a cautious approach; it’s 29 more races to go this season, and this is not the right time to take too many risks. It will be important to score regular, good points this year with the top pack appearing so close. The most important thing is that the pace is there, which it is, and I’m relatively pleased with P4 today.”
Next session: Race 2, 11.00 local time (GMT+01:00) tomorrow
RESULTS – Race 1
FOLLOW THE ACTION
TV / live stream
FIA F3 European Championship races are broadcast throughout a wide network of TV stations. Click here to find out where to watch in your part of the world. All races are also transmitted LIVE at www.fiaf3europe.com/live, with Eurosport airing a highlights package in the days following each round.
Live timing for each session of the 2017 FIA F3 European Championship is available at www.fiaf3europe.com/live.
WHERE IT HAPPENS
Lap length: 5.901 km
Silverstone FIA F3 EC data
Lap record: 1m51.498s (C.Leclerc, ’15)
Latest event: 2015
Most recent winners (2015):