Mick Schumacher led from start to finish at the Nurburgring on Sunday morning to take his fifth FIA European Formula 3 Championship victory and his second of the weekend in dominant fashion.
The Prema Theodore Racing driver retained his position at the front of the field after making a good start, and despite a couple of safety car interventions, Schumacher was in control throughout.
The first safety car was caused when Hitech Bullfrog GP’s Enaam Ahmed was left stranded on the outside of turn one on the opening lap with a broken suspension after contact with Motopark’s Jüri Vips. It appeared that for the second day running, Vips was caught in a first corner melee as he was spun to the back of the field, but Ahmed was out on the spot and in a position adjudged to be dangerous.
The second safety car was required when Motopark’s Marino Sato made a hugely optimistic move on Hitech Bullfrog GP’s Ben Hingeley at turn one with a little over eleven minutes remaining. Sato came from a long way back and hit the side of Hingeley, who was already attempting to hit the apex of the corner, and it left the Japanese racer’s car stranded in the middle of the track while the Briton returned to the pits to retire.
Schumacher judged both safety restarts to perfection, and he was not challenged for his position before the chequered flag fell, and he led home a Prema Theodore Racing 1-2 ahead of team-mate Robert Shwartzman.
Shwartzman’s main focus was to keep the Red Bull-backed Daniel Ticktum behind him, but the Motopark driver never got close enough to make a serious challenge, meaning the same three drivers that filled the podium in Saturday’s opening race did the same in race two, and in the same positions. It also meant Ticktum’s advantage over Schumacher in the championship has been reduced from twenty-six points to sixteen.
Behind Ticktum came two more Prema Theodore Racing drivers, with Marcus Armstrong fourth ahead of Ralf Aron, although they were not able to keep pace with the trio ahead of them, while Alex Palou claimed sixth for Hitech Bullfrog GP.
Palou survived one big attack from Motopark’s Jonathan Aberdein to keep his place, with the South African also embroiled in a battle that involved Sacha Fenestraz, Sebastian Fernandez, Guanyu Zhou and Ferdinand Habsburg.
Aberdein ultimately held on for seventh, while Zhou took advantage of a battle between Fenestraz and Fernandez to take eighth, although the Chinese driver is under investigation for a potentially dangerous manoeuvre after appearing to edge Fenestraz off the track exiting the turn five hairpin.
After dropping outside the points after seeing Habsburg pass him, Fernandez was forced to retire not long afterwards with what appeared to be a left-rear puncture, ending what appeared to be a strong race for the Venezuelan racer.
Vips’ championship challenge has taken a big hit so far this weekend, with the Estonian having failed to score points in either race whereas his main rivals have been finishing on the podium. After his first lap contact with Ahmed, he also was involved in an incident that spun around Sophia Flörsch at turn two not long after the safety car restart that is being investigated by the stewards.
However, the Nurburgring weekend has been all about Schumacher, and starting from pole position for race three, he could become the first driver this season to win all three races in a weekend. He is certainly the driver with the form and momentum, just when it matters.
Nurburgring Race 2 Result
|1||4||Mick Schumacher||DEU||Prema Theodore Racing||24 Laps|
|2||10||Robert Shwartzman||RUS||Prema Theodore Racing||+3.229|
|4||8||Marcus Armstrong||NZL||Prema Theodore Racing||+5.334|
|5||7||Ralf Aron||EST||Prema Theodore Racing||+6.316|
|6||39||Alex Palou||ESP||Hitech Bullfrog GP||+9.631|
|8||1||Guan Yu Zhou||CHN||Prema Theodore Racing||+10.698|
|12||15||Keyvan Andres||DEU||Van Amersfoort Racing||+16.452|
|13||12||Artem Petrov||RUS||Van Amersfoort Racing||+17.202|
|16||25||Sophia Florsch||DEU||Van Amersfoort Racing||+19.734|
|RET||77||Ben Hingeley||GBR||Hitech Bullfrog GP||Retired|
|RET||65||Enaam Ahmed||GBR||Hitech Bullfrog GP||Retired|