At the 2.3 kilometres long Norisring in Nuremberg, Lando Norris (Carlin) scored his third win in the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. In the closing stages of the race, the Brit came out on top in the duel with Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix), who eventually finished fifth. Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix) came second while Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) was classified third in his home race. Thus, the German extended his lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standing. He is now 22 points clear of his main rival Joel Eriksson.
Ralf Aron started from pole position and took the lead ahead of his team-mate Jake Hughes and Maximilian Günther. On the first few metres already, the latter got involved in a duel with Lando Norris, but initially remained ahead of the Brit. Later on, Norris had to defend his position against Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing), but successfully managed to do so.
A few laps later, Günther made a few attempts to overtake Hughes, but there was no success for the German. Norris also tried his luck and attacked Günther in return. On lap 18, he found a way past Günther, who was thus fourth. Norris, however, wanted more and also overtook Jake Hughes five laps later. Immediately, he started closing up to race leader Aron and quickly minimised the initial gap of more than one second. Nine minutes before the end, he was closely behind the Hitech Grand Prix driver who hasn’t won a race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this season so far. On lap 37, McLaren junior driver Norris overtook Aron for the lead and went on to claim his first Norisring race win.
Behind the Brit, Jake Hughes was second across the line. Maximilian Günther finished third. Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) finished fourth in the 14th race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season from long-time leader Ralf Aron, Pedro Piquet, Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing), Guanyu Zuhou (Prema Powerteam), Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) and Joel Eriksson (Motopark).
Lando Norris (Carlin): “I am really happy to finally be on the top step of the podium again. The race was fun, I had some great fights. Nevertheless, overtaking isn’t easy here when the driver in front is defending well. My start was pretty good, too: I didn’t move up, but at least I didn’t lose any positions either.”
Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix): “Being on the podium after yesterday’s mishap is nice. Lando already overtook me halfway through the race, but I stayed closely behind him to take any opportunity that would occur. Our start of the season wasn’t too good, but now we understand the car better and better. It is now easier to drive, especially on the limit.”
Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam): “At the start, I was third and I immediately tried to put Jake under pressure. He defended well and didn’t make any mistakes, so that I didn’t have a chance. Towards the halfway point, I was having some brake problems from which Lando benefitted to overtake me. I was able to keep up with him and finally use my chance to finish on the podium. Being on the podium in my home round again is nice and the points for third place are valuable, too. However, at this fairly early stage of the season, I am not looking at the championship standings too much.”