European Formula 3

Superb Schumacher Strikes to take Fourth Win of 2018 in Germany

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Mick Schumacher - Prema Theodore Racing - Nurburgring
Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship / Thomas Suer

Mick Schumacher’s momentum in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship continued at the Nurburgring on Saturday morning when the nineteen-year-old took his fourth win in as many rounds, holding off both Robert Shwartzman and Daniel Ticktum.

Schumacher was able to jump his pole-sitting Prema Theodore Racing team-mate Shwartzman into turn one on the opening lap to assume the lead, while Ralf Aron made it a trio of Prema drivers at the front of the field as he jumped ahead of both Ticktum and Enaam Ahmed.

It was a chaotic first corner, with no fewer than six cars finding themselves being involved in an incident that was initiated by contact between Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala and Hitech Bullfrog GP’s Alex Palou, with the safety car being deployed as a result.

Going side by side into the turn, the two touched and Palou was spun around, but due to his momentum, he struck the innocent Jüri Vips, who was minding his own business on the outside of the turn.  Likewise, also caught up in the incident was Vips’ Motopark team-mates Marino Sato and Fabio Scherer, while Carlin’s Sacha Fenestraz was forced to run through the gravel trap in avoidance.

Daruvala, Palou and Sato were out on the spot, while Vips and Scherer made it back to the pit lane, but unfortunately, they were both out due to the damage they received.  Fenestraz was the luckier one, but the Renault Sport Academy star dropped down to the back of the pack.

There was more incident after the safety car restart when Sophia Flörsch was eliminated in another incident, which unfortunately came when the young Van Amersfoort Racing driver was running inside the points – she is still searching for that first top ten finish of the year so to be out of the race whilst running in eighth will be extremely disappointing for her.

Schumacher judged the safety car restart well to retain his position at the front of the field, while it was not long before Ticktum had worked his Motopark car around the outside of Aron for third place, doing so at the first turn although he ran all four wheels off the track to complete the move…

Ahmed was able to take advantage of Aron’s lost momentum to put his Hitech Bullfrog GP car into fourth, but he was unable to keep pace with Ticktum as the championship leader closed the gap on the front-running pair of Schumacher and Shwartzman.

The trio ran nose-to-tail for the last few laps but with passing difficult around this shorter version of the Nurburgring track, the order remained the same, although it ensured Ticktum’s advantage in the championship standings was extended thanks to team-mate Vips’ retirement.  Schumacher’s win moves him into second place in championship, but is twenty-six points back on the Red Bull Junior.

Ahmed drove a lonely race to fourth ahead of Aron, but a driver to lose out on a potential points finish was Artem Petrov, who was handed a penalty whilst running in sixth.  The Russian driver, part of the Van Amersfoort Racing stable, was adjudged to have jumped the start, which saw him handed a drive-through the pit lane as a result, relegating him to fifteenth and last at the chequered flag.

Marcus Armstrong claimed sixth for Prema Theodore Racing ahead of team-mate and fellow Ferrari Driver Academy star Guanyu Zhou, while Jonathan Aberdein claimed eighth for Motopark after the South African made late race passes on both Ben Hingeley and Keyvan Andres.

Hingeley claimed his first points since the opening race of the Zandvoort weekend back in July with ninth, while Andres scored his first points since the opening race at Spa-Francorchamps, with Motopark’s Sebastian Fernandez, who survived contact with Ferdinand Habsburg, and the delayed Fenestraz just outside the points in eleventh and twelfth.

Qualifying for races two and three takes place later on Saturday afternoon, while those races take place on Sunday.

Nurburgring Race 1 Result

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