Maximilian Günther reaffirmed himself as the main championship challenger to Lance Stroll as he clinched a runners-up spot to the Canadian in race one at Spa-Francorchamps.
The German racer felt the decision to start the race behind the safety car due to the weather conditions after pre-race rain, and although he was unable to attack Prema Powerteam team-mate Stroll for the win, he was never under attack from those behind.
“The decision of the stewards to start the race behind the safety car was therefore correct,” said Günther. “Some sections of the track were really wet – we were aquaplaning at Eau Rouge even though we were taking it in third gear.
“When the race got started in earnest, I was struggling with poor visibility because of the spray. All the same, I had excellent pace in the wet. It wasn’t possible to attack the car in front, but at least there wasn’t any threat from behind.
“Anyway, finishing on the podium in such a difficult race obviously made me very happy. A great start to the weekend.”
After taking a seventh place in race two and sixth in race three from relatively poor qualifying positions after Prema struggled in dry conditions, Günther felt he got the best out of his Spa weekend, and still feels to be in contention for the championship despite being 61 points behind team-mate Stroll.
“I extracted the maximum available at Spa and accumulated a lot of points towards the championship,” said Günther. “The podium on Friday was of course extremely important, but on a weekend as difficult as this, you also have to be grateful for the seventh and sixth-place finishes.
“I am still well placed in the championship. Admittedly, I’m some way off first position, but there are still more than 200 points up for grabs. I have extended the lead on my closest pursuers. So all in all, I can tick the Spa weekend off as a success.”