Stroll survives Norisring chaos to claim race one victory

Lance Stroll - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Lance Stroll secured his fourth win of the season as he survived a chaotic opening FIA European Formula 3 Championship race at the Norisring on Saturday morning.

The Canadian was running second behind Joel Eriksson when Callum Ilott, having driven a strong race from twelfth on the grid to run third, made an overtaking attempt on Stroll heading into turn one only to out-brake himself and hit the unfortunate Eriksson, eliminating both drivers and bringing out the safety car.

With Eriksson and Ilott out of the picture, Prema Powerteam’s Stroll held the lead until the chequered flag, surviving another safety car when Motopark duo Guanyu Zhou and Sergio Sette Câmara came to blows at turn two, the Red Bull-backed Sette Câmara spinning the Ferrari Driver Academy driver Zhou into the concrete barriers while the duo battled for a podium finish.

Niko Kari was the only Motopark driver to see the chequered flag and the young Finn secured second place on the podium and took the rookie victory in the process. Kari had driven strongly to move up to second just before the clash between Zhou and Sette Câmara.

Nick Cassidy made a welcome return to the podium for Prema Powerteam, avoiding all the carnage ahead of him to move into the top three, while George Russell took fourth for Hitech GP ahead of Ralf Aron, also of Prema Powerteam.

Ben Barnicoat moved forward a number of places in the final laps of the race, taking advantages of battles ahead of him to grab sixth for Hitech GP, ahead of Mücke Motorsport’s Mikkel Jensen, Van Amersfoort Racing duo Anthoine Hubert and Pedro Piquet, and the second Mücke of David Beckmann.

Piquet in particular was lucky to finish after a clash with team-mate Harrison Newey at the final corner as the second safety car departed from the track, with the duo fighting for tenth at the time. The clash damaged Newey’s car but despite a small jump into the air, Piquet was able to continue and fight for only his third points finish of the season.

Maximilian Günther was another casualty of the race when he clashed with Prema Powerteam team-mate Aron early, breaking his front wing and retiring in the pits, while mechanical issues accounted for series returnee William Buller.

Norisring Race 1 Result

11Lance StrollCANPrema Powerteam33:59.186
210Niko KariFINMotopark+1.064
32Nick CassidyNZLPrema Powerteam+2.258
412George RussellGBRHitech GP+2.926
516Ralf AronESTPrema Powerteam+4.821
624Ben BarnicoatGBRHitech GP+6.233
77Mikkel JensenDENMucke Motorsport+7.401
821Anthoine HubertFRAVan Amersfoort Racing+7.883
95Pedro PiquetBRZVan Amersfoort Racing+8.737
108David BeckmannGERMucke Motorsport+13.285
1111Nikita MazepinRUSHitech GP+13.720
124Alessio LorandiITACarlin+13.881
133Ryan TveterUSACarlin+13.992
RET20Harrison NeweyGBRVan Amersfoort RacingRetired
RET9Sergio Sette CamaraBRZMotoparkRetired
RET23Guanyu ZhouCHNMotoparkRetired
RET22Joel ErikssonSWEMotoparkRetired
RET6Callum IlottGBRVan Amersfoort RacingRetired
RET17Maximilian GuntherGERPrema PowerteamRetired
RET18William BullerGBRCarlinRetired