Nikita Mazepin finished on the podium twice during the Red Bull Ring weekend of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, with the Hitech Grand Prix driver having one of his strongest weekends to date.
The Russian ran third early on during race two in Austria having earlier retired from race one after early contact with Harrison Newey, and then withstood pressure from Callum Ilott until the chequered flag to finish third behind Joel Eriksson and Lando Norris.
“I am happy to be on the podium for the second time this year,” said Mazepin. “Since the middle of the season, we have solved the problems we were having at the beginning of the year.
“Recently, however, I had a lot of bad luck and was punted off in good positions more than once. I am all the happier that my string of bad luck is now over.
“At the start of the race, I tried to attack Lando, but then I had to defend my position from Callum. After that, it was relatively quiet until the end.”
Mazepin was able to capitalise on a number of problems and penalties in race three to take a second place finish, with Norris and Ralf Aron crashing out and Ferdinand Habsburg acquiring a five-second penalty, which meant that he moved from fifth heading into the final lap to stand on the second step of the podium!
“My start was good, I was fast and I didn’t make any mistakes,” said Mazepin. “Sometimes, it happens in racing that two rivals collide and others gain positions as a result.
“This time, I was the lucky one, but in the previous weeks, I have had a lot of bad luck as well. Now, it seems that my good fortune has come back and I hope for a similar result during the finale at Hockenheim in three weeks’ time.”