British driver Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) was unbeatable in the third race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season. He scored his first win of the year. Having started from pole position, he only briefly ran behind Joel Eriksson (Motopark) in the opening stages of the race, but then restored the order and kept the Swede at bay. At the 5.901 kilometres long Silverstone circuit, Eriksson took the flag in second place from the best-placed rookie Lando Norris (Carlin). After the opening meeting of the season, Eriksson is leading the FIA Formula 3 European Championship points’ standings from Ilott and Norris.
From the best starting grid position, Callum Ilott initially took the lead, only to lose it following an attack by Joel Eriksson on the opening lap. Just a little bit later, the Brit made a counter-attack and claimed back first place with a similarly audacious move. Then, he went on to drive an undisputed victory home and thus scored the first win of the season for the Prema Powerteam. Three races into the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season, three different teams already have scored race wins: Carlin, Motopark and now Prema Powerteam.
Joel Eriksson, the previous day’s race winner, crossed the finish line in second place from Lando Norris. The Brit, who won the first race of the season on Friday, first had to find a way past Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) in his attempt to score a second FIA Formula 3 European Championship podium finish, which he managed to do on lap six.
Thrilling duels were by no means just limited to the front of the field as there were also plenty of tough, but always fair battles for positions in the midfield. Jake Dennis (Carlin), rookie driver Jehan Daruvala (Carlin), Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix), rookie driver Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing), Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix) rounded out the top ten in sunny conditions.
Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam): “The first lap was a repeat of the start of yesterday’s second race. Once again, Joel managed to overtake me on the opening lap, but this time, I wasn’t forced to let him go. Prior to the race, we had made some changes on the car, so that I wasn’t having any problems with the tyre temperatures today. Thus, I was also able to attack after Joel had made a slight mistake. After that, I tried to pull clear from him and I am happy with my first win of the season. Having retired after a mistake in the first race, at least I still managed to score valuable points in the other races.”
Joel Eriksson (Motopark): “My start was good and today, I again managed to overtake Callum for the lead. Unfortunately, however, my car wasn’t as good as yesterday, so that I wasn’t able to pull away from Callum. As I then made a mistake, he was in a position to benefit from the slipstream to overtake me. All in all, I am happy with my outcome from the Silverstone weekend: I have scored many points and I am leading the FIA Formula 3 European Championship standings.”
Lando Norris (Carlin): “Today, my start again wasn’t really good. After that, I tried to make up as many positions as possible, but it wasn’t easy. My battle with Maximilian Günther was particularly hard on the tyres, so that I eventually had to make do with third place. I am quite happy with the first meeting of the new season, but I really have to work on improving my starts. In the opening stages of the race, you usually have the best chances to make up positions, so being up front from the very beginning is all the more important.”