The second FIA Formula 3 European Championship race at the 5.793 kilometres long Monza Grand Prix circuit again provided exciting racing action. Joel Eriksson (Motopark) scored a lights-to-flag victory from the two rookie drivers Lando Norris (Carlin) and Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam). While Swedish driver Eriksson moved up into the lead of the drivers’ standings with his second win of the season, German Mick Schumacher, the son of Formula 1 record world champion Michael Schumacher, scored his maiden overall podium finish in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
Joel Eriksson started from pole position and took the lead at the start. Initially, Mick Schumacher slotted in behind the Motopark driver, followed by Lando Norris, Callum Ilott and Jake Dennis. On lap six, Norris overtook Mick Schumacher for second, but at that time, he was already over three seconds behind race leader Eriksson. Only towards the end of the race, Norris came considerably closer to Eriksson, but the gap was never small enough to mount a challenge. As a result, BMW junior driver Eriksson went on to claim his second win of the season. McLaren protégé Norris took the chequered flag in second place ahead of Mick Schumacher, whose third place was never under threat.
Schumacher’s team-mate Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) finished fourth in the race in Monza’s royal park. Around the halfway point, the German was involved in a battle with Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) and had the upper hand over the Brit. Later on, Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin) put Günther under pressure for fourth, but a driving error during an attempt to overtake meant that the Austrian eventually crossed the finish line behind Günther. Earlier on, Harrison Newey and Jake Dennis had been battling for fifth, but both had to retire following a collision.
Ferrari junior Guanyu Zhou, (Prema Powerteam), Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam), Force India junior Jehan Daruvala (Carlin), Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix) and Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix), who is also supported by the Force India Formula 1 team, rounded out the top ten in bright sunshine near the city of Milan.
Joel Eriksson (Motopark): “Winning a race at Monza is a dream coming true, I am really happy. For me, the race was nearly perfect. My start was really good and I was able to pull clear from the rest of the field very quickly. As a result, the drivers behind me didn’t have a slipstream, which was very important to me. In the closing stages, Lando was able to close up, but my victory was never really under threat.”
Lando Norris (Carlin): “Once again, the start was my weak point. When I continuously lose positions in the early stages, I am making life more difficult for me than necessary and that annoys me. However, my team and I are working on it, although the issue is more a driver’s problem. In this race, Joel was really fast and closing up to him after my start was all the more difficult as a result. Nevertheless, I am happy with my second place, especially after my start that wasn’t perfect.”
Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam): “My maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship podium finish is a really nice feeling, especially as I managed to score it at the home race for my Italian team. I didn’t quite expect such a result on my second weekend in Formula 3 already, but third place in qualifying already gave me a very good position to start from. Initially, I was still able to keep up with Joel, but after I had made a slight error, he pulled away. Once Lando had overtaken me, I hoped for him to close up to Joel. Should the two have battled for the lead, that would perhaps have allowed me to close up as well. Admittedly, it didn’t work out that way, but I am happy with third place, too.”