Callum Ilott survived an early attack from Joel Eriksson to secure victory in the opening race of the weekend at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday, despite the Briton running with a new chassis following an overnight change due to damage caused to the original chassis during qualifying.
The Prema Powerteam driver started from pole position alongside team-mate Maximilian Günther, but Motopark’s lead driver Eriksson got a great start to demote the German, and then attempted to attack Ilott into turns two and three.
However, the Briton withstood the pressure and eventually was able to edge away, ultimately winning by 1.828 seconds at the end of the twenty-five lap race, while Günther shadowed the front-running pair in third, which gave him the final podium spot.
Günther’s podium meant he closed the gap to Lando Norris in the championship standings by five points, meaning the Briton will head into the final two races of the weekend still in with a chance of clinching the title this weekend.
The Carlin driver finished fourth in race one after a superb penultimate lap pass on Tadasuke Makino, pressurising him into turn five before sweeping passed in between turns six and seventh. Makino’s fifth continued his strong form that was evident last time out at the Nurburgring, and the Hitech Grand Prix driver finished a long way clear of sixth placed Ferdinand Habsburg.
Habsburg himself had a strong race having started thirteenth on the grid, although he was helped early on firstly by Ralf Aron running across the gravel trap at turn four, and then by Harrison Newey colliding with Nikita Mazepin at turn three. Newey pitted with damage to his Van Amersfoort Racing machine, while Hitech Grand Prix driver Mazepin was out on the spot.
It wasn’t over though for Habsburg, as he then passed both Mick Schumacher and David Beckmann on the same lap to move up to sixth, a position he would stay until the end, while Schumacher held off Beckmann for seventh.
Guan Yu Zhou had a low-key day to finish ninth for Prema Powerteam, while Pedro Piquet held off the challenge of Jake Hughes for the final point, with the Briton having fought through from the back of the grid following his ten-place grid penalty for an engine change, only to miss out on a point by 0.681 seconds.
Red Bull Ring Race 1 Result
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