Schumacher Takes Opening Win at a wet Red Bull Ring to Head Championship

Mick Schumacher - Prema Theodore Racing - Red Bull Ring
Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Mick Schumacher took over the lead of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship after a lights-to-flag victory in the opening race of the weekend at a soggy Red Bull Ring on Saturday morning.

The German’s fourth consecutive victory, coupled with Daniel Ticktum finishing only eighth, means Schumacher now holds the advantage in the Drivers’ Championship, sitting eighteen points clear with five races of the season remaining.

Pre-race rain had left the track soaking prior to the race, but despite the tricky conditions, Schumacher was able to retain the lead into turn one ahead of Prema Theodore Racing team-mate Robert Shwartzman, while Ticktum dropped from sixth on the grid to tenth after a difficult opening lap for the Motopark driver.

Shwartzman put pressure on Schumacher but was unable to find a way ahead, but the Russian was untroubled as he finished second for a fourth consecutive race to his team-mate, but the track action for the remaining places inside the top ten was thrilling throughout.

Alex Palou completed the podium for Hitech Bullfrog GP despite having started thirteenth on the grid, with the Spaniard jumping up to sixth early before passing Jüri Vips for fifth on lap three.

Ferdinand Habsburg had initially jumped up to fourth on the opening lap and then moved up to third ahead of Marcus Armstrong to run third on lap three, but the Carlin driver was asked to concede a place to Vips after stewards felt his pass on the Estonian was illegal after it began after running off track at turn three.  Had he not complied he would have been handed a drive-through penalty, with Habsburg dropping down to sixth, behind Armstrong, Palou and Vips.

Palou enjoyed a battle with Prema Theodore Racing’s Armstrong for the final spot on the podium, coming out on top at turn six before pulling away from the New Zealander, although he was too far away from the leading duo to do anything about advancing any further.

Habsburg managed to pass both Vips and Armstrong once more but found his tyres fading in the closing stages, which allowed the latter to reclaim fourth.  Vips finished sixth ahead of Motopark team-mates Jonathan Aberdein, Ticktum and Fabio Scherer, while Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala claimed the final point.

Ticktum enjoyed a great battle with Daruvala for eighth place on the road, the duo going side by side for almost a full lap before the Briton got the advantage, while Scherer also found his way passed the Indian, who was able to retain the final place in the points despite the close attention of team-mate Sacha Fenestraz and Prema Theodore Racing’s Guanyu Zhou.

Red Bull Ring Race 1 Result

14Mick SchumacherDEUPrema Theodore Racing35:30.307
210Robert ShwartzmanRUSPrema Theodore Racing+0.903
339Alex PalouESPHitech Bullfrog GP+5.811
48Marcus ArmstrongNZLPrema Theodore Racing+12.911
562Ferdinand HabsburgAUTCarlin+15.505
644Juri VipsESTMotopark+17.127
723Jonathan AberdeinZAFMotopark+17.256
827Daniel TicktumGBRMotopark+19.409
913Fabio SchererCHEMotopark+24.864
109Jehan DaruvalaINDCarlin+26.718
1111Sacha FenestrazFRACarlin+28.286
121Guan Yu ZhouCHNPrema Theodore Racing+28.616
1377Ben HingeleyGBRHitech Bullfrog GP+29.737
143Sebastian FernandezVENMotopark+31.341
1533Marino SatoJAPMotopark+34.842
1616Nikita TroitskiyRUSCarlin+39.602
1725Sophia FlorschDEUVan Amersfoort Racing+45.723
1815Keyvan AndresDEUVan Amersfoort Racing+49.928
1924Ameya VaidyanathanINDCarlin+57.660
2017Julian HansesGERCarlin+58.101
2112Artem PetrovRUSVan Amersfoort Racing+1:00.927
2265Enaam AhmedGBRHitech Bullfrog GP+1:04.008
23/RET7Ralf AronESTPrema Theodore Racing+2 Laps