Callum Ilott put the disappointing results from the opening two races at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza to return to winning ways in the third FIA European Formula 3 Championship race of the weekend on Sunday.
From third on the grid, Ilott jumped into the lead into turn one ahead of pole sitter Joel Eriksson and front row starter Lando Norris, while Guan Yu Zhou slipped into second to make it a Prema Powerteam 1-2.
Eriksson soon slipped to fourth after getting out of shape at the Ascari Chicane and falling behind Norris, who then chased down Zhou and made the pass on the Chinese driver into Lesmo on lap five.
But Ilott had extended his lead to over two seconds by this stage, and although slightly faster, Norris was unable to get close enough to make a move, even when the Prema driver locked up into Rettifilo on the penultimate lap.
Zhou fell back into the clutches of the chasing pack thereafter and could not hold onto the final spot on the podium, ultimately finishing tenth, with Maximilian Günther beating Eriksson to third.
The two were battling hard but with four laps remaining, the two ran side-by-side heading into Rettifilo, with Eriksson putting two wheels onto the grass and taking to the escape road, leaving Günther with a straightforward run to the chequered flag.
However, Eriksson’s fourth place ensures the Motopark driver remains on top of the championship standings leaving Italy, albeit by just one point from Norris.
Ferdinand Habsburg completed a strong weekend for Carlin with fifth place ahead of Mick Schumacher, while Pedro Piquet had his best finish of the season so far for Van Amersfoort Racing in seventh, while Ralf Aron, Jehan Daruvala and Zhou completed the top ten.
Autodromo Nazionale Monza Race 3 Result
|1||53||Callum Ilott||GBR||Prema Powerteam||35:05.538s|
|3||3||Maximilian Gunther||GER||Prema Powerteam||+2.705s|
|6||25||Mick Schumacher||GER||Prema Powerteam||+12.135s|
|7||5||Pedro Piquet||BRZ||Van Amersfoort Racing||+13.627s|
|8||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Hitech Grand Prix||+14.980s|
|10||8||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Powerteam||+17.436s|
|11||99||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Hitech Grand Prix||+17.873s|
|13||11||Tadasuke Makino||JAP||Hitech Grand Prix||+27.198s|
|14||55||David Beckmann||GER||Van Amersfoort Racing||+28.094s|
|15||17||Harrison Newey||GBR||Van Amersfoort Racing||+29.742s|
|16||96||Joey Mawson||AUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||+1 Lap|
|RET||47||Keyvan Andres Soori||GER||Motopark||Retired|
|RET||34||Jake Hughes||GBR||Hitech Grand Prix||Retired|