Eriksson Wins Hockenheimring Opener as Norris Clinches Title

Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Joel Eriksson took victory in the opening race at the Hockenheimring on Saturday, but second place was more than enough for Lando Norris to become the 2017 FIA European Formula 3 Champion.

With Maximilian Günther needing to win and Norris finish outside the top eight for the championship battle to go on, the German started on the back foot in twelfth and could only move forward into tenth, meaning that even without Norris’ podium the Briton was always in a position to take the title.

Callum Ilott started on pole position and initially led away but Eriksson found a way into the lead into the hairpin, and despite a brief response from the Prema Powerteam driver, the Swede repelled the Brits challenge into the Mercedes Arena, with Ferdinand Habsburg slipping into second after Ilott and Norris banged wheels.

Norris came out of that tussle ahead, and on lap seven made a move on Carlin team-mate Habsburg for second, but despite pushing hard until the chequered flag, the Briton was forced to settle for second, 0.725 seconds behind Eriksson, who took his third win in four races and his seventh of the season.

Habsburg withstood pressure from Ilott to claim the final spot on the podium, with the Briton making a mistake that meant he ultimately was forced to defend fourth from Jehan Daruvala before moving more than three seconds clear in the closing laps.

Pedro Piquet lost out on sixth place to Hitech Grand Prix’s Nikita Mazepin, but the Brazilian held of Russian’s team-mate Ralf Aron to take seventh for Van Amersfoort Racing, with Tadasuke Makino clinching ninth ahead of Günther, who not only lost out on the title but saw himself drop to third in the championship behind Eriksson.

But Norris did everything he needed, and more, to become the champion, and there can be no doubt that with the performances the young Briton has put in this year, it was his destiny to clinch a fifth title in just three years.

Hockenheimring Race 1 Result

11Joel ErikssonSWEMotopark35:45.712s
231Lando NorrisGBRCarlin+0.725s
362Ferdinand HabsburgAUTCarlin+3.988s
453Callum IlottGBRPrema Powerteam+9.036s
527Jehan DaruvalaINDCarlin+12.520s
699Nikita MazepinRUSHitech Grand Prix+15.639s
75Pedro PiquetBRZVan Amersfoort Racing+17.218s
87Ralf AronESTHitech Grand Prix+17.815s
911Tadasuke MakinoJAPHitech Grand Prix+19.436s
103Maximilian GuntherGERPrema Powerteam+25.250s
1134Jake HughesGBRHitech Grand Prix+28.740s
1225Mick SchumacherGERPrema Powerteam+30.928s
138Guan Yu ZhouCHNPrema Powerteam+31.647s
1417Harrison NeweyGBRVan Amersfoort Racing+32.448s
1596Joey MawsonAUSVan Amersfoort Racing+35.521s
1616Felipe DrugovichBRZVan Amersfoort Racing+36.441s
1755David BeckmannGERMotopark+37.271s
1833Marino SatoJAPMotopark+38.405s
1921Devlin DeFrancescoCANCarlin+42.363s
2047Keyvan Andres SooriGERMotopark+44.579s
214Juri VipsESTMotopark+45.207s