Lando Norris dominated race one at a wet Nurburgring to further extend his championship advantage as main rival Maximilian Günther failed to break into the top ten.
The British driver was pretty much untouchable at the German track on Saturday as the rain, much like in qualifying on Friday, intervened, forcing the whole race to be held in treacherous conditions.
Save for one minor mistake at turn two when he took to the run-off area, Norris was by far the star of the field, with the Carlin driver taking the chequered flag a remarkable 17.562 seconds clear of Jake Hughes.
Hughes had made the move on Callum Ilott on lap two, and from there on in the Hitech Grand Prix driver was also alone on track, and although he was a long way behind Norris at the end of the race, he was 17.873 seconds himself clear of the battle for third position.
That battle for the final podium position went right to the chequered flag, with Joey Mawson coming out on top for his maiden series podium for Van Amersfoort Racing by holding off both Tadasuke Makino and Ilott.
Mawson was under pressure from Ilott for the last few laps, but whilst battling into the chicane at the end of the lap, a loss of momentum from Ilott allowed Makino through into fourth, but unfortunately for the Japanese racer, a post race time penalty for a full course yellow offence relegated him to seventh.
Ilott was the first of those to profit from Makino’s penalty to reclaim fourth, while Carlin duo Ferdinand Habsburg and Jehan Daruvala moved up to fifth and sixth respectively.
Max Defourny was running eighth for Van Amersfoort Racing on debut, but the Belgian lost ground when he ran across the gravel trap at the final corner as the second full course yellow period came to an end, which allowed Prema duo Mick Schumacher and Guan Yu Zhou through, while Joel Eriksson also found a way ahead of Defourny before the chequered flag.
Harrison Newey finished twelfth ahead of the beleaguered Günther, who was forced to pit with damage in the early laps after a tangle with Hitech Grand Prix’s Ralf Aron. The result sees the German fall thirty-six points behind Norris at the head of the championship standings, but there are still eight races remaining of the season.
The first full course yellow was required when Nikita Mazepin hit the turn one tyre wall after being tapped into a spin by debutant Sacha Fenestraz at the start of lap three. The two were running nose-to-tail heading down the start and finish straight, only for Fenestraz to run into the back of Mazepin in the braking zone, spinning the Hitech Grand Prix driver into the barriers and forcing the Carlin driver into the pits to replace his front wing.
Fenestraz was handed a drive-through penalty for the incident, and the French-Argentine driver finished fifteenth on the road, just 4.181 seconds behind Aron, while Pedro Piquet caused the second full course yellow when he crashed out a turn five just a handful of laps from the end.
There was also a ten-second time penalty handed out to the third debutant in the field, Motopark’s Petru Florescu, who was penalised for straight-lining the chicane and gaining an advantage. The Romanian dropped from seventeenth to eighteenth as a result of the penalty, behind team-mate Keyvan Andres Soori, with both drivers also being handed €500 fines for taking the chequered flag twice, with neither having been aware that the race was over.
Nurburgring Race 1 Result
|2||34||Jake Hughes||GBR||Hitech Grand Prix||+17.562s|
|3||96||Joey Mawson||AUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||+35.435s|
|4||53||Callum Ilott||GBR||Prema Powerteam||+36.251s|
|7||11||Tadasuke Makino||JAP||Hitech Grand Prix||+40.990s|
|8||25||Mick Schumacher||GER||Prema Powerteam||+44.750s|
|9||8||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Powerteam||+45.424s|
|11||15||Max Defourny||BEL||Van Amersfoort Racing||+53.189s|
|12||17||Harrison Newey||GBR||Van Amersfoort Racing||+1:08.616s|
|13||3||Maximilian Gunther||GER||Prema Powerteam||+1:19.653s|
|14||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Hitech Grand Prix||+1:21.256s|
|17||47||Keyvan Andres Soori||GER||Motopark||+1 Lap|
|18||10||Petru Florescu||ROM||Motopark||+1 Lap|
|19||21||Ameya Vaidyanathan||IND||Carlin||+1 Lap|
|RET||5||Pedro Piquet||BRZ||Van Amersfoort Racing||Retired|
|RET||99||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Hitech Grand Prix||Retired|