Maximilian Günther took his maiden FIA European Formula 3 Championship victory in thrilling circumstances, climbing from twelfth on the grid to win race two at the Norisring.
The German driver took Mücke Motorsport’s first victory of the season, and revealed just how he achieved the result, including making a good start and being able to capitalise on the three leaders (George Russell, Alexander Albon and Charles Leclerc) running wide at the hairpin to take the lead, which he would not relinquish.
“I got off to an excellent start and had already moved up to seventh from twelfth after the first corner,” revealed Günther. “Then, I was almost spun round by another car, losing two positions in the process.
“When the safety car came out for the first time, I was running ninth. The restart went very well for me, and I improved by two positions. Then came the next safety car period, at the end of which I immediately gained three more places. Having got up to fourth, I was actually very pleased with my performance.
“After the restart, I thought that I could get past maybe one or two of the drivers ahead of me. In the hairpin, I took up a good position on the inside of the track and went past all three at the same time! It was simply fantastic!
“I then drove one qualifying lap after another in flat-out mode and was able to build up a lead which got the other cars out of my slipstream. I didn’t make a single mistake and wrapped up the victory.”
After qualifying so lowly in comparison to where he has qualified earlier in the season, Günther admitted that not many people were optimistic about his chances of victory at the Norisring, but revelled in the result.
“I couldn’t believe it; after all, no-one would have given me any chance starting from twelfth,” said Günther. “This victory shows that anything is possible if the package as a whole is right – and it could not have been better this time.
“With my podium finish in the Grand Prix de Pau, I proved that I’m capable of fighting for race wins in Formula 3. The fact that we did it on this historical track makes it all the more amazing. But we mustn’t rest on our laurels; we’ve still got a long season ahead of us.
“The victory was obviously the highlight, but fourth place in Race 1 is also worth a mention. I started the race from second on the grid after a good qualifying and scored further important points towards the championship.
“The only annoying part was having to retire in the third race after a no-fault collision with another car. My pace was super, and I would certainly have been in contention for another podium.
“All in all, though, I can feel well satisfied. I’m third in the rookie championship, and we can build on that.”