Maximilian Günther left the Hungaroring with the FIA European Formula 3 Championship lead after becoming the first double winner of the 2016 season during Saturday’s second race.
The Prema Powerteam driver secured pole position for each of the three weekend races, but could only convert the second one into a victory, finding himself compromised by his start in race one only to get it all correct and control the race from the front for race two.
“In race 1 I didn’t start well so that compromised all the plans I had,” said Günther. “In the early fights I lost more positions and I battled my way to end up fifth, not without some tyre issues.
“My start in race 2 was good, much better than in the first race. After that, we had analysed the problem and I knew what I had to do. Once in front, I was able to control the race and secured the 1-2 for the Prema Powerteam, together with my team-mate Ralf Aron.
“This first place is also a nice gift for my mother, who is celebrating her 50th birthday today [Saturday]. The fact that I am now leading in the drivers’ standings is nice, but, of course, I know that there are still 25 races remaining.”
Günther was leading race three on Sunday until he tangled with George Russell on the fifth lap that saw both drivers retired with the German ending up in the barriers. He was disappointed with the retirement, but was happy to retain his championship lead heading into the Pau Grand Prix weekend.
“I started well and was in the lead of the race,” said Günther. “Russell got closer and closer so I started defending myself.
“At one point he tried to make a move and crashed on me, forcing me to retire. At least I’m still leading the championship.”