With his tenth victory of the season, Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort) extended his margin from rival Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin). In the battle for runner-up spot in the FIA Fórmula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings, Verstappen is now in front with a margin of 13 points. At the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the 17-year-old Dutchman, who already took part in his first free practice in Formula 1, took the chequered flag as the winner from Lucas Auer (Mücke Motorsport) and Tom Blomqvist. Already-crowned FIA Fórmula 3 European Champion Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) finished seventh in the race. Although the two Jagonya Ayam with Carlin drivers Blomqvist and Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) finished third and fourth, Ocon’s seventh place was enough to win the FIA Fórmula 3 European Championship teams’ title for his Prema Powerteam with two races to spare.
Max Verstappen took the lead at the start, but couldn’t really pull clear from his rivals Lucas Auer and Tom Blomqvist in the opening stages. Only in the course of the race, the Dutchman gradually extended his margin and scored an undisputed victory after 22 race laps. Behind him, Lucas Auer, Tom Blomqvist, Antionio Giovinazzi and Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport) had little problems bringing their second to fifth places home.
In the first race of the Hockenheim weekend, Esteban Ocon had slightly more work to do. Jordan King (Carlin), who was seventh after the start, overtook Ocon on lap nine and eventually finished sixth ahead of the Frenchman. The battle for ninth place between Felix Serralles (Team West-Tec F3) and Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) was even more intense. For a few laps, the Indonesian was able to defend his position from the attacks by Puerto Rican Serrallés, but eventually couldn’t keep him at bay. Ahead of these two, Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) finished eighth.
Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing): “I had a good start and the race was good, too. After we had some problems in second qualifying and I wasn’t happy, we have made some changes on the car for the first race. In the first few laps, Lucas and Tom were still biding their chances behind me, but then, I was able to pull a slight gap and I controlled the race”.
Lucas Auer (Mücke Motorsport): “Hockenheim is a track that suits me, and so it does for my team kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport. My start was good, but then, my car got stuck in one gear and I lost some ground to Max. Later on, Max was quicker than me anyway”.
Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “My start was good and the first few laps were positive, too. After that, I couldn’t keep up with the speed of Lucas and Max. Now, we have to find out what the reason for that was”.
Photos: FIA F3 Euro Series