Lando Norris became the first two-time winner of the 2017 FIA European Formula 3 Championship season as he led a Carlin Motorsport 1-2-3 in race one at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Saturday.
Jehan Daruvala led for the first two-thirds of the race and at one point had built up an advantage of over two seconds on the rest of the field, but he saw his lead eroded by Norris, who made a move stick for the lead into turn one.
The Carlin duo continued to run nose-to-tail until the chequered flag, but Norris held on for the victory by 0.649 seconds from Daruvala, while Ferdinand Habsburg completed the podium.
Habsburg managed to get the better of Joel Eriksson for the bottom step of the podium after the Swede made a mistake at the second chicane, allowing the Austrian to move ahead, a position he would hold until the chequered flag by 0.443 seconds ahead of the Motopark racer.
Guan Yu Zhou came out on top of a great battle between the Prema Powerteam drivers to finish fifth, albeit 11.442 seconds behind Eriksson, with Mick Schumacher and Maximilian Günther following in sixth and seventh ahead of former Prema racer Ralf Aron, now with Hitech Grand Prix, in eighth.
Callum Ilott fought hard in the early laps and ran as high as third but often found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and ended up shuffled down the pack in ninth, with Jake Hughes completing the top ten, finishing side by side with Ilott at the chequered flag, the duo separated by just 0.028 seconds.
Nikita Mazepin missed out on points after a last lap move by Aron saw him lose momentum and track position, the Hitech Grand Prix racer finishing ahead of Japanese duo Tadasuke Makino and Marino Sato.
Jake Dennis was involved in the battle for the lead at the start, making a pass on Daruvala into turn one but running off track to allow the Indian racer back through, and ultimately found himself retiring from the race with three laps remaining having fallen to the lower reaches of the top ten.
He was joined on the sidelines by Pedro Piquet and Keyvan Andres Soori on the final lap as the two clashed heading into the second chicane, which for Piquet it was his second adventure there during the race after earlier finding himself spun around by Joey Mawson that saw the Australian given a drive-through penalty.
David Beckmann was the first retiree after going off track at the Ascari Chicane and acquiring damage on his Van Amersfoort Racing machine. That, coupled with Mawson’s penalty, Piquet’s retirement and a disappointing race for Harrison Newey, meant it was a terrible morning for the Dutch squad.
The result means Norris now shares the championship lead with Eriksson on 67 points, with Ilott and Günther joint third.
Autodromo Nazionale Monza Race 1 Result
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