At the 7.004 kilometres long Spa-Francorchamps Formula 1 circuit, Lando Norris (Carlin) scored his fourth season victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. At the start, the Brit took the lead and won from Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix) and Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam). For the Russian Force India junior driver, it was his first FIA Formula 3 European Championship podium finish. Günther remains in the lead of the drivers’ standings, but now has a new main rival with Lando Norris. The Brit, who is supported by the McLaren Formula 1 team and, like Mazepin, will be testing a Formula 1 car next week, now is 28 points down on Günther.
At the start, Lando Norris converted his pole position into the race lead which he had to defend against Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) on the opening lap. At the end of the long Kemmel straight, Ilott then came off the track and collided with Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix) after which the latter retired. The safety car was deployed after the incident.
At the restart, Norris maintained his lead ahead of Maximilian Günther and Nikita Mazepin. While Norris pulled clear from the rest of the field and eventually drove a safe victory home, Mazepin stayed in Günther’s slipstream and finally overtook his opponent on lap seven. The Russian crossed the finish line in second place, Günther took the flag in third.
Especially in the midfield, there were tough position fights, some of them until the very end. Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) finished fourth ahead of Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing), Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam), Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing), Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin), Joel Eriksson (Motopark) and Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing).
Lando Norris (Carlin): “The weekend at Spa-Francorchamps went very well so far. I was in first place in every session so far and the race went very well right from the start. Once Nikita had overtaken Maximilian, he was able to slightly close up on me, but I managed to increase my speed, so that I could extend my lead again. At the end, I then concentrated on not making any mistakes and safely made it to the finish line.”
Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix): “My maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship podium finish was a long time coming, but now, I am very happy. In the opening stages, I just managed to avoid the accident with Callum and Jake and found myself in third place. Once I had overtaken Maximilian, I probably was a bit too eager and my tyres degraded. So far, my season and that of my team-mates was rather topsy-turvy. Now, we have to work to ensure that we are consistent front runners, but we are on a good way.”
Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam): “All in all, I have scored good points in this race. My start was good and I was second after the opening lap. Then, I wasn’t able to attack Lando because the balance of my car wasn’t perfect. That also was the reason that Nikita was able to overtake me a little bit later. For me, third place was all I could do.”