Maximilian Günther capitalised on drivers ahead of him tripping over each other to take his maiden FIA European Formula 3 Championship victory in race two at the Norisring of a race interrupted four times by the safety car.
Günther took the lead when Alexander Albon, Charles Leclerc and George Russell, then running 1-2-3, all ran wide at the first corner, with the Mücke Motorsport driver holding onto the lead until the chequered flag.
Signature driver Albon had led for most of the race, and had to contend with all of the safety car restarts, and looked disappointed on the podium not to have taken his first series victory, while Van Amersfoort Racing’s Leclerc extended his championship lead with third, with all three of his main rivals, Antonio Giovinazzi, Felix Rosenqvist and Jake Dennis all ending the afternoon point-less.
Rookie drivers filled the first six places, with Lance Stroll putting in one of his strongest performances of the season so far to finish fourth for Prema Powerteam ahead of Carlin driver Russell, who was the most heavily delayed of those who tripped over each other just minutes before the chequered flag.
Mikkel Jensen was sixth for Mücke Motorsport, while the best-placed non-rookie was Gustavo Menezes of Jagonya Ayam with Carlin in seventh, while Dorian Boccolacci was eighth for Signature.
Alessio Lorandi was ninth for Van Amersfoort Racing despite picking up early front wing damage, while Brandon Maisano found himself in the points in tenth for Prema Powerteam.
Rosenqvist was the first of the three championship rivals to Leclerc to see his chance of points disappear, when the Swedish Prema Powerteam driver was handed a drive-through penalty for not starting the race from the correct position, while both Giovinazzi and Dennis were crashed into by Mücke Motorsport’s Santino Ferrucci, eliminating Dennis and sending Giovinazzi into the pits for a new front wing.
Another Mücke Motorsport driver, Michele Beretta, was lucky to walk away from a crash with Matt Solomon of Double R Racing, with the Italian being pitched into a roll and hitting the outside wall at turn one. Beretta looked angry as he got out of the car, and the stewards will be looking at the incident after the race.
The first safety car had been deployed on the second lap when Ryan Tveter was hit by Lorandi, breaking the American driver’s rear suspension and leaving him stranded on track.
The final safety car was needed to clear Pietro Fittipaldi’s stranded Fortec Motorsports car on the entry to turn one late in the race after the young Brazilian made a mistake and half spun into Fabian Schiller’s Team West-Tec F3 machine, before being hit himself by Kang Ling of Mücke Motorsport.
Norisring Race 2 Result
|1||28||Maximilian Gunther||GER||Mucke Motorsport||35m29.238s|
|3||7||Charles Leclerc||MON||Van Amersfoort Racing||+1.034s|
|4||25||Lance Stroll||CAN||Prema Powerteam||+1.906s|
|6||27||Mikkel Jensen||DEN||Mucke Motorsport||+3.115s|
|7||4||Gustavo Menezes||USA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+3.755s|
|9||8||Alessio Lorandi||ITA||Van Amersfoort Racing||+5.555s|
|10||24||Brandon Maisano||FRA||Prema Powerteam||+6.001s|
|14||29||Arjun Maini||IND||Van Amersfoort Racing||+8.521s|
|15||11||Fabian Schiller||GER||Team West-Tec F3||+10.094s|
|17||1||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Prema Powerteam||+11.768s|
|18||38||Raoul Hyman||RSA||Team West-Tec F3||+12.838s|
|19||17||Julio Moreno||ECU||Threebond with T-Sport||+13.721s|
|21||14||Matt Rao||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||+30.159s|
|22||3||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+35.235s|
|23||23||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||Motopark||+38.349s|
|24||22||Nabil Jeffri||MAY||Motopark||+1 Lap|
|25||19||Matt Solomon||HKG||Double R Racing||+1 Lap|
|RET||12||Pietro Fittipaldi||BRZ||Fortec Motorsports||Retired|
|RET||35||Kang Ling||CHN||Mucke Motorsport||Retired|
|RET||2||Jake Dennis||GBR||Prema Powerteam||Retired|
|RET||5||Santino Ferrucci||USA||Mucke Motorsport||Retired|
|RET||6||Michele Beretta||ITA||Mucke Motorsport||Retired|
|RET||18||Nicolas Pohler||GER||Double R Racing||Retired|
|RET||26||Ryan Tveter||USA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||Retired|