William Buller could have picked up his second win of the season after Daniel Juncadella was disqualified following a chaotic end to the first of the Formula 3 races at the Norisring, except nobody actually inherited first place.
Starting third on the grid, Juncadella took the lead on the opening lap after a flying start that took him past front row starter Pascal Wehrlein and down the inside of polesitter Raffaele Marciello at the first hairpin.
As Marciello fell backwards to fifth by the end of the first lap, Wehrlein took up second place and clung on to Juncadella. As the race ran towards its conclusion, the Spaniard ran wide at the final turn allowing Wehrlein through into the lead.
A few laps later, Juncadella saw his chance to take the place back and lunged down the inside of Wehrlein at the first hairpin, but pushed his way through forcing the German rookie off the road and damaging his car.
Having recovered to third, Marciello took his opportunity and got a run on Juncadella out of the corner. The pair tangled however as they took the gentle left curve, causing Marciello to spin off to the right. He quickly recovered, but his car was damaged and he understeered off into the wall at the exit of the S bend.
The safety car came out and with the race approaching its time limit the decision was taken to call an early end with the red flag.
Juncadella took the win, but the stewards later disqualified him for causing avoidable collisions.
“I was in the lead, but then I made a slight mistake and Pascal overtook me,” he said after the race.
“Soon after that, he made a mistake, from which I wanted to benefit, so I dove into the gap. Unfortunately, Pascal left me no room. What exactly happened with Raffaele Marciello soon after that, I don’t really know. I am sorry that he retired after the collision. Nevertheless, I am pleased with my performance.”
The amended results still showed Buller in second place, as per the regulations, with no winner of the race counting towards the FIA European, Euro Series and British F3 championships.
Third went to Emil Bernstorff, a significant improvement on the Brit's previous best finish of ninth place.
Pietro Fantin led the British F3 category throughout to take his first series win of the season in fourth overall, ahead of Fortec's Felix Serralles.
Felix Rosenqvist drove a clean race to pick up sixth after starting way down in 22nd, with his Mucke Motorsport teammate Wehrlein classified seventh. Harry Tincknell took third in British F3 in eighth overall after racing without much of rear wing in an attempt to boost his straight-line speed. He took the reverse grid pole for Saturday evening's race.
Sven Muller was ninth and Tom Blomqvist tenth, ahead of Sandro Zeller.
Geoff Uhrhane was 11th, benefiting from high attrition amongst the British runners to take his ebst result of fourth in the category.
That attrition began at the first corner, when Jack Harvey outbraked himself and took out his Carlin teammate and title rival Jazeman Jaafar, the pair finishing 13th and 17th after Harvey took a drive-through penalty.
Another Carlin racer Carlos Sainz Jr, who was lying third in all three championships coming into the race, then slid into the concrete wall at the exit of the S wall and into early retirement.
Later on, Michael Lewis took out Pipo Derani at turn one, with Van Asseldonk also involved and having to go into the pits to have his damaged rear wing half-removed.
Nick McBride survived contact that put Philip Ellis out of the race to take 12th overall and fifth in British F3, with Harvey's recovery drive giving him sixth in the category.
British DTM aces Gary Paffett and Jamie Green have locked out the front row for Mercedes in qualifying at the Norisring.