Ralf Aron concluded the FIA European Formula 3 Championship weekend with a well-earned victory in extremely tricky conditions at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on Sunday.
Whereas one Prema Theodore Racing driver was victorious, it was not such a good day for Marcus Armstrong and Guanyu Zhou’s championship aspirations, as a collision between the duo knocked both of them out of the race.
The race began with heavy rain and behind the safety car, with officials calling a suspension on just the second lap, with all twenty-two cars heading back to the pits for twenty-minutes as they waited for a break in the weather.
Eventually the rain eased off and with drainage seemingly good at Misano, polesitter Armstrong was able to maintain the lead, only for Aron to come back fighting, with the Estonian making a pass on the New Zealander at turn eight on the sixth lap to assume the lead.
Aron was able to gap the New Zealander by almost a second, only for the safety car to be deployed as not one, but two, Motopark drivers spun into the gravel trap in separate incidents, with both Sebastian Fernandez and Marino Sato being forced out as a result.
The restart was Armstrong’s undoing, as he found himself passed by Jüri Vips and Ferdinand Habsburg even before the start line, before he was collected by team-mate Zhou at turn two, with both suffering race-ending damage as a result.
The battle between Vips and Habsburg for second was intense, with the two at one point attacking one-another for almost a full lap, with the Motopark coming out on top ahead of the Carlin driver. Vips finishing second to Aron also meant Estonian drivers finished first and second for the first time in the history of the championship.
Daniel Ticktum ensured he left Misano with the championship lead as the Red Bull-backed Motopark driver claimed his second fourth place finish of the day ahead of Prema Theodore Racing’s Mick Schumacher, with the two having a lively battle that swung Schumacher’s way at first when the Briton made a mistake, before Ticktum repaid the favour to regain the position.
Alex Palou took sixth for Hitech Bullfrog GP ahead of Prema’s Robert Shwartzman and Motopark’s Fabio Scherer, while Jehan Daruvala of Carlin and Enaam Ahmed of Hitech completed the top ten, although the latter was on course for a better result only to suffer a brief technical problem whilst running fourth that saw him drop down the order.
Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli Race 3 Result
|1||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Prema Theodore Racing||58:57.472|
|5||4||Mick Schumacher||DEU||Prema Theodore Racing||+7.698|
|6||39||Alex Palou||ESP||Hitech Bullfrog GP||+9.072|
|7||10||Robert Shwartzman||RUS||Prema Theodore Racing||+11.323|
|10||65||Enaam Ahmed||GBR||Hitech Bullfrog GP||+15.448|
|13||77||Ben Hingeley||GBR||Hitech Bullfrog GP||+19.463|
|15||12||Artem Petrov||RUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||+22.793|
|17||15||Keyvan Andres||DEU||Van Amersfoort Racing||+30.457|
|18||25||Sophia Florsch||DEU||Van Amersfoort Racing||+34.571|
|RET||8||Marcus Armstrong||NZL||Prema Theodore Racing||Retired|
|RET||1||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Theodore Racing||Retired|