This weekend, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship makes its stop in the Eifel. At the Nürburgring’s 3.629-kilometre long sprint circuit, the young drivers will contest the 22nd to 24th races of the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season. Germany’s Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) wants to use his home event to make it back to the top in the championship standings by regaining the lead from the British rookie Lando Norris (Carlin). In addition to Günther, the other German drivers – Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam), David Beckmann (Motopark) and Keyvan Andres (Motopark) look forward to the second race meeting in their home country in the 2017 season.
Günther demonstrated in 2016 that he has what it takes to win at the Nürburgring. The young German won the third race and finished second in the other two – behind Lance Stroll who advanced to Formula One after the season. BMW Junior Joel Eriksson (Motopark) also claimed a podium in the Eifel. In the second round of the 2016 Nürburgring meeting the Swede finished third. At the same time, Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) failed to make it to the podium in 2016 by finishing fourth – but secured the third place in one of the Nürburgring races in 2015.
The appearance at the Nürburgring is the second meeting of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in Germany this year, as the Formula feeder series raced at Nuremberg’s Norisring in early July. And Maximilian Günther isn’t the only one who wants to make use of this home advantage – the same applies to Mick Schumacher, David Beckmann and Keyvan Andres. While it is the rookie season for Schumacher and Andres, Beckmann contested most of last year’s FIA F3 European Championship season and already has two podiums under his belt.
In the race meeting at the Eifel, Frenchman Sacha Fenestraz (Carlin), Romania’s Petru Florescu (Motopark) and Belgian Max Defourny (Van Amersfoort Racing) will join the top-class FIA Formula 3 European Championship grid. Fenestraz, the brother-in-law of Argentina’s three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion José María López, travels to the Nürburgring as Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup leader. Defourny competes in the same championship and is currently fourth in the standings. Florescu contests this year’s Euroformula Open and currently holds eighth position in the drivers’ championship. With their debuts, they underline the attractiveness of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship that is regarded as one of the most important series on the way to Formula One. Last year, Canada’s Lance Stroll, the reigning FIA Formula 3 European Champion, made it to Formula One right away, thus following in the footsteps of Max Verstappen who did so at the end of the 2014 season.
Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam): “Contesting a race at the Nürburgring definitely represents an extra dose of motivation as it virtually is a home race. From the experiences I gathered there in the past I know that there aren’t too many overtaking possibilities. Therefore, securing a good grid position is of major importance – just as it was the case at Zandvoort. And this is what I want to improve at the Nürburgring. The races certainly will be extremely close but driving a Formula 3 car is big fun and therefore, I’m looking forward to the races.”