Günther dominates Hungaroring opener to take championship lead

Maximilian Günther dominated race one in Hungary - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Maximilian Günther is the new leader in the 2017 FIA European Formula 3 Championship standings after securing a third consecutive race victory in the opening race at the Hungaroring on Saturday,

The German, racing for perennial frontrunners Prema Powerteam, retained the lead at the start and was never threatened thereafter, with Günther ultimately triumphing by almost six seconds.

A full-course yellow was required before the end of the opening lap when Pedro Piquet was hit from behind by Ralf Aron at the turn six chicane, ending both of their races, but when the race resumed under green flag conditions, Günther was able to pull a gap to the chasing pack.

That chasing pack was led by fellow front-row starter Jake Hughes, but unlike Günther, the British racer did not have such an easy ride to the chequered flag. The Hitech Grand Prix driver was under constant pressure from Jehan Daruvala, but Hughes withstood it well to secure his first podium finish since Silverstone.

Joey Mawson was fourth for Van Amersfoort Racing, finishing on the tail of Hughes and Daruvala, but the Australian was responsible for a good pass on Callum Ilott around the outside of turn one, with the Briton ultimately being forced to settle for fifth.

Harrison Newey was sixth for Van Amersfoort Racing ahead of Prema Powerteam’s Guan Yu Zhou, while Lando Norris had a quiet race to eighth, with the Carlin driver dropping two places from his seventh place on the grid at the start before reclaiming one back when he re-passed Mick Schumacher.

Schumacher was left to defend his ninth place from Joel Eriksson, the pre-race points leader, with the Motopark driver having climbed from fifteenth on the grid to claim the final point, with the Swede making a late race pass on team-mate David Beckmann to claim that position before he attempted to attack Schumacher.

Günther now has a nineteen-point advantage in the championship standings, with a second qualifying session coming up later this afternoon to determine the grid positions for races two and three, both of which take place on Sunday.

Hungaroring Race 1 Result

13Maximilian GuntherGERPrema Powerteam35:37.466s
234Jake HughesGBRHitech Grand Prix+5.873s
327Jehan DaruvalaINDCarlin+6.509s
496Joey MawsonAUSVan Amersfoort Racing+7.142s
553Callum IlottGBRPrema Powerteam+9.473s
617Harrison NeweyGBRVan Amersfoort Racing+12.034s
78Guan Yu ZhouCHNPrema Powerteam+13.726s
831Lando NorrisGBRCarlin+14.313s
925Mick SchumacherGERPrema Powerteam+21.944s
101Joel ErikssonSWEMotopark+22.406s
1155David BeckmannGERMotopark+24.440s
1299Nikita MazepinRUSHitech Grand Prix+25.038s
1311Tadasuke MakinoJAPHitech Grand Prix+25.911s
1447Keyvan Andres SooriGERMotopark+26.512s
1562Ferdinand HabsburgAUTCarlin+29.679s
1633Marino SatoJAPMotopark+1 Lap
RET5Pedro PiquetBRZVan Amersfoort RacingRetired
RET7Ralf AronESTHitech Grand PrixRetired