Mere hours after being involved in a start-line crash that heavily damaged his Motopark car, Daniel Ticktum was standing on the top step of the podium at the Norisring after edging out team-mate Jüri Vips in a photo finish at the end of a stop/start final race of the weekend.
Marcus Armstrong led Ticktum into turn one on the opening lap, but the race was soon under safety car conditions as Alex Palou collided with Nikita Troitskiy, while both Jonathan Aberdein and Ben Hingeley also found themselves involved as a chain reaction took place. Of the quartet, only Palou managed to continue, albeit until he returned to the pits when his suspension broke whilst running behind the safety car.
Eleven minutes of trailing behind the safety car, the red flag flew so the marshals could do their job and clear the track, having done a lacklustre job up until then, mainly due to having inadequate vehicles to retrieve the stricken cars.
The safety car was immediately out again on the restart after Keyvan Andres hit the barriers at the Dutzenteich hairpin even before he had crossed the start line, but on the following restart, Ticktum made his move on Armstrong for the lead, going around the outside of turn one to put himself into a perfect position into the following turn to assume the advantage at the front.
Before he could even complete the lap however, the safety car was out again as Artem Petrov was pushed into Sacha Fenestraz at Dutzenteich by Mick Schumacher. Fenestraz was forced into retirement – the second time this weekend he was eliminated at Dutzenteich having hit the wall there in race one – and Schumacher was handed a time penalty post-race for the causing the incident.
Armstrong lost second to Vips when the race got underway again, with the Estonian getting the better of the New Zealander at Dutzenteich, with the Motopark ace then aiming for Ticktum. The two ran nose to tail out of the final turns, and although Vips pulled out of the slipstream as the line approached, the gap between them was 0.057 seconds at the flag in Ticktum’s favour.
Armstrong held third despite late pressure from his Prema Theodore Racing team-mate Guan Yu Zhou, while Jehan Daruvala did likewise to hold on to fifth for Carlin ahead of Prema’s Ralf Aron, with the final two Prema entries – Robert Shwartzman and Schumacher – following them home.
Unfortunately for Schumacher, the penalty relegated him to fifteenth in the final result, promoting Enaam Ahmed to eighth for Hitech Grand Prix ahead of Carlin’s Ferdinand Habsburg and Motopark’s Sebastian Fernandez, with the Venezuelan scoring his first point of the season.
Following his crash with Ticktum in race one, Ameya Vaidyanathan was ruled out of the finale, with the Indian having been taken to hospital as a precaution post-crash, although he did not have a repairable car available to him in any case.
Norisring Race 3 Result
|3||8||Marcus Armstrong||NZL||Prema Theodore Racing||+2.532|
|4||1||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Theodore Racing||+2.940|
|6||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Prema Theodore Racing||+4.607|
|7||10||Robert Shwartzman||RUS||Prema Theodore Racing||+4.987|
|8||65||Enaam Ahmed||GBR||Hitech Grand Prix||+6.492|
|11||12||Artem Petrov||RUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||+9.046|
|14||5||Petru Florescu||ROM||Fortec Motorsports||+11.532|
|15||4||Mick Schumacher||GER||Prema Theodore Racing||+25.450|
|16||13||Fabio Scherer||SWI||Motopark||+1 Lap|
|RET||15||Keyvan Andres||GER||Van Amersfoort Racing||Retired|
|RET||39||Alex Palou||ESP||Hitech Grand Prix||Retired|
|RET||77||Ben Hingeley||GBR||Hitech Grand Prix||Retired|
|DNS||24||Ameya Vaidyanathan||IND||Carlin||Did Not Start|