Lucas Auer became the winner of the 27th season race of the FIA Fórmula 3 European Championship. In a tight battle, the Austrian came out on top from Tom Blomqvist and thus claimed the first win for his team Mücke Motorsport since the weekend at Pau, early May. Max Verstappen, (Van Amersfoort Racing), who was dropped ten places on the grid following an engine change and thus started twelfth, ended up third at the 3.629 kilometres long Nürburgring sprint circuit. In the FIA Fórmula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings, the 16-year-old Dutchman remains in second place behind Esteban Ocon, (Prema Powerteam). The Frenchman already retired after a collision on the opening lap, but still has a 77 points’ lead from Verstappen, who recently was integrated into the Red Bull Junior Team.
The opening stage of the race already provided plenty of action with an accident in the first corner. Antonio Giovinazzi, (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Esteban Ocon collided and spun. Nicholas Latifi, (Prema Powerteam) couldn’t avoid the two cars and Dennis van de Laar, (Prema Powerteam), damaged the rear of his car after contact with Latifi. After the incident, the safety car was deployed.
Racing resumed at the start of lap five. Lucas Auer took the opportunity and mounted an attack on Blomqvist, after which he was able to overtake him. On lap ten, the Austrian briefly had to slot in behind Blomqvist again, but he successfully countered straight away and claimed back the lead. He defended his first place until the chequered flag was out. Behind Auer and Blomqvist, Max Verstappen kept Antonio Fuoco under pressure in the battle for third, but initially, the Italian stayed in front. Only two laps before the end, Verstappen managed to overtake Fuoco and bring home third place. Behind Fuoco, the protégé of the Ferrari Driver Academy, in fourth, Jordan King crossed the line to finish fifth.
The battle for the positions in the midfield was also highly entertaining. Roy Nissany, (Mücke Motorsport) attacked Felix Serralles, (Team West-Tec F3), several times and eventually managed to overtake the driver from Puerto Rico to finish sixth. Behind Serralles, Tatiana Calderón, (Jo Zeller Racing), the only lady racer in the field, took the flag in eighth place. Jake Dennis, (Carlin) and Jules Szymkowiak, (Van Amersfoort Racing) rounded out the top ten.
Lucas Auer, (Mücke Motorsport): “I made a good start, after which I was able to move up into second place right away. During the safety car phase, it was clear that my only chance to overtake Tom would be to mount an attack right after the restart, and that is what I did. But even though I have won here, we are still lacking the speed to be in contention for victory on a regular basis”.
Tom Blomqvist, (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “Second place is a nice result for us, although I am slightly disappointed with it. After all, I would have liked to win the race after starting from pole position. I briefly overtook Lucas, but then I ran wide and Lucas went past again”.
Max Verstappen, (Van Amersfoort Racing): “My engine blew in the second race, so that the engine had to be replaced and I was dropped ten places on the grid in accordance with the regulations. In the race, I had a really good pace and I tried everything to move up through the ranks. I reckon that I can be happy with having made it all the way from twelfth on the grid to a podium finish”.
Photos: FIA F3 Euro Series