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
|1||8||Marcus Armstrong||NZL||Prema Theodore Racing||34:29.816|
|2||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Prema Theodore Racing||+2.926|
|5||4||Mick Schumacher||GER||Prema Theodore Racing||+7.496|
|6||10||Robert Shwartzman||RUS||Prema Theodore Racing||+8.044|
|9||1||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Theodore Racing||+11.784|
|10||15||Keyvan Andres||GER||Van Amersfoort Racing||+15.876|
|11||39||Alex Palou||ESP||Hitech Grand Prix||+16.102|
|12||77||Ben Hingeley||GBR||Hitech Grand Prix||+17.371|
|13||12||Artem Petrov||RUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||+21.836|
|14||65||Enaam Ahmed||GBR||Hitech Grand Prix||+22.678|
|21||5||Petru Florescu||ROM||Fortec Motorsports||+1 Lap|
|22||16||Nikita Troitskiy||RUS||Carlin||+1 Lap|