Joel Eriksson returned to winning ways for the first time since the Hungaroring back in June as he led from start to finish in race two at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday morning to reclaim third place in the championship standings.
However Lando Norris edged closer to the title with second place, with the Briton shadowing the Swede throughout, with the Motopark driver holding him back to win by just 0.896 seconds.
Starting from pole position, Eriksson held the lead into turn one, and despite the concerted effort from Norris in the opening few laps to find a way passed, the Swede withstood that pressure, with the BMW-protégé securing his fifth victory of 2017.
Norris however now holds an eighty-four-point advantage over Maximilian Günther heading into the final race of the weekend, and should the German not outscore the Briton by ten points or more, the championship will be done and dusted without Norris needing the final race weekend of the season at the Hockenheimring next month.
Nikita Mazepin resisted pressure from Callum Ilott to claim the final spot on the podium, just the second time in 2017 that the Hitech Grand Prix racer has finished inside the top three after a second place in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Ilott appeared to have better pace at times, but the Prema Powerteam driver was unable to do anything about the Russian, and was forced to settle for fourth, while Jehan Daruvala had a quiet race to finish fifth for Carlin ahead of Hitech Grand Prix’s Ralf Aron.
Jake Hughes ended more than ten seconds behind team-mate Aron in seventh, while Günther could only muster eighth for Prema Powerteam ahead of Van Amersfoort Racing’s Joey Mawson, while Ferdinand Habsburg claimed the final point in tenth for Carlin, although a mistake in the middle sector on the final lap cost him a few seconds and two positions.
Both Guan Yu Zhou and Tadasuke Makino ruined their races right at the start when both moved before the lights went out, earning themselves drive-through penalties and ending their chances of points.
The final race of the weekend gets underway on Sunday afternoon, with Eriksson again on pole position ahead of Norris, with Günther sixth and desperate to prevent the Briton from taking the title with three races to spare.
Red Bull Ring Race 2 Result
|3||99||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Hitech Grand Prix||+7.303s|
|4||53||Callum Ilott||GBR||Prema Powerteam||+7.842s|
|6||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Hitech Grand Prix||+13.412s|
|7||34||Jake Hughes||GBR||Hitech Grand Prix||+23.818s|
|8||3||Maximilian Gunther||GER||Prema Powerteam||+24.461s|
|9||96||Joey Mawson||AUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||+25.141s|
|11||25||Mick Schumacher||GER||Prema Powerteam||+26.661s|
|13||17||Harrison Newey||GBR||Van Amersfoort Racing||+33.109s|
|14||47||Keyvan Andres Soori||GER||Motopark||+35.160s|
|15||5||Pedro Piquet||BRZ||Van Amersfoort Racing||+35.909s|
|17||11||Tadasuke Makino||JAP||Hitech Grand Prix||+38.876s|
|19||8||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Powerteam||+43.708s|
|20||21||Devlin DeFrancesco||CAN||Carlin||+2 Laps|