Armstrong Dominates at the Norisring to Take Maiden Euro F3 Win

by Paul Hensby
Marcus Armstrong - Prema Theodore Racing

Marcus Armstrong converted his maiden FIA European Formula 3 Championship pole position into his maiden victory as he led from start to finish to win race one of the weekend at the Norisring.

The New Zealander maintained his advantage into turn one, and despite an early safety car to recover the stranded Carlin car of Sacha Fenestraz, controlled the race from the front to lead a Prema Theodore Racing one-two finish.

Fenestraz was tipped into the wall by Jonathan Aberdein at the end of the opening lap, leaving the Renault Sport Academy star with a damaged Carlin, and although a Full Course Yellow was initially called, it was swiftly switched to a full safety car so the stricken car could be recovered.

Ralf Aron had made it up to second place as a result of a slow start by front row starter Jehan Daruvala, who also lost ground to Motopark’s Daniel Ticktum to fall to fourth.  Aron held on for second despite pressure from Daruvala, who managed to get back ahead of Ticktum with a move into turn one, with the trio running virtually nose-to-tail throughout.

Behind the top four, Mick Schumacher claimed fifth for Prema Theodore Racing after a great pass on the first lap following the safety car on team-mate Robert Shwartzman, while Motopark’s Juri Vips shadowed them both up until the chequered flag in seventh.

Marino Sato made it three Motopark drivers inside the top eight, following Vips for much of the race before dropping off the back of the three ahead of him in the closing laps, with Guan Yu Zhou taking ninth to ensure Prema Theodore Racing scored points with all five of their drivers.

Alex Palou finished tenth on the road for Hitech Grand Prix but was handed a post-race one-second time penalty for passing Keyvan Andres under the brief Full Course Yellow, meaning the Spaniard dropped behind the German in the final results, with the Van Amersfoort Racing driver securing his first ever point in European Formula 3.

Pre-race championship leader Enaam Ahmed had moved himself into points scoring contention only for the Hitech Grand Prix driver to spin it away at turn one, and although he was able to continue, he ultimately finished down in fourteenth.

Both Ferdinand Habsburg and Fabio Scherer were handed drive-through penalties for jump starts, ending their opportunities for points, while a first lap pit stop for a new nose cone left Nikita Troitskiy a lap down at the chequered flag, which for the Russian will be particularly disappointing after starting inside the top seven for the first time this season.

Another person to drop outside the points due to a spin was Aberdein, who was running seventh but lost control at the same turn he hit Fenestraz on the opening lap.  The South African ultimately finished sixteenth.

Norisring Race 1 Result

18Marcus ArmstrongNZLPrema Theodore Racing34:29.816
27Ralf AronESTPrema Theodore Racing+2.926
39Jehan DaruvalaINDCarlin+3.311
427Daniel TicktumGBRMotopark+5.078
54Mick SchumacherGERPrema Theodore Racing+7.496
610Robert ShwartzmanRUSPrema Theodore Racing+8.044
744Juri VipsESTMotopark+8.462
833Marino SatoJAPMotopark+10.934
91Guan Yu ZhouCHNPrema Theodore Racing+11.784
1015Keyvan AndresGERVan Amersfoort Racing+15.876
1139Alex PalouESPHitech Grand Prix+16.102
1277Ben HingeleyGBRHitech Grand Prix+17.371
1312Artem PetrovRUSVan Amersfoort Racing+21.836
1465Enaam AhmedGBRHitech Grand Prix+22.678
153Sebastian FernandezVENMotopark+26.723
1623Jonathan AberdeinRSAMotopark+32.956
1724Ameya VaidyanathanINDCarlin+33.544
1862Ferdinand HabsburgAUTCarlin+37.946
1913Fabio SchererSWIMotopark+40.684
2018Julian HansesGERMa-Con+43.629
215Petru FlorescuROMFortec Motorsports+1 Lap
2216Nikita TroitskiyRUSCarlin+1 Lap
RET11Sacha FenestrazFRACarlinRetired

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