European Formula 3

Norris wouldn’t have caused race one crash on purpose – Hughes

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Jake Hughes lost a potential win in the closing stages at the Norisring after a clash with Lando Norris - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Jake Hughes believes Lando Norris did not cause the crash between the two during Saturday’s opening race at the Norisring on purpose, although the stewards did penalise Norris for the clash.

The two drivers were battling for victory but after 31 laps, on the run down to turn one, the two battled side by side before Carlin driver Norris touched Hitech Grand Prix Hughes, spinning the latter in the wall and out of the race.

Hughes admitted both drivers were on the limit heading into the turn, but he was disappointed to see the opportunity of a first FIA European Formula 3 Championship victory disappear with only a few minutes left on the clock.

“It all happened so quickly,” said Hughes to Autosport, “and I know he wouldn’t have done it on purpose. I was on the limit on braking.

“We were both on the inside on the dust, but I was still confident of making the corner. The problem is the rear of the car is so light on the brakes that the slightest contact is enough to turn it round. It was just a crap way to end the race really.”

“I remember we were both on the limit under braking, but I could have made the corner. Whether I was out of shape or not, it was the contact that sent me into the barrier.

“But it’s my first race here, I led 31 laps under all that pressure without a mistake, and that’s something to be proud of – but it doesn’t make it any less galling!”

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